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NORTH CREEK -- Friday's return of the snow train to North Creek was extra special for North River resident Milda Burns.

She was 10 in 1934, when the first winter train rolled into the North Creek depot to bring skiers to the region.

She was among dozens of local residents who met the first downstate residents to emerge from the train to ski at the local Ski Bowl.

"I remember them getting off carrying their skis and walking right across the road to the Ski Bowl. They didn't know how to carry their skis," she said Friday. "It was something."

Burns was among two dozen or so people who greeted the return of the snow train Friday on its maiden trip after being resurrected by the Saratoga & North Creek Railway.

With applause from onlookers, the first North Country Ski & Snow Train chugged through a steady snowfall to drop off 37 people at the historic platform in North Creek.

One of the passengers was 91-year-old Schenectady resident Frederica "Freddie" Anderson, founder of the Schenectady Ski School and one of the riders of the first snow train more than 70 years ago.

She giddily reminisced about past trips on the train with those who greeted her, including Burns.

"We were square dancing in the baggage area," she recalled of her first trip decades ago.

The accommodations were much more luxurious this time around, she said.

Minutes after the train arrived, Burns and Anderson recalled skiing together decades ago, when Anderson was known for skiing in a kilt.

Anderson said she planned to ski at the Gore Mountain Ski Center Friday.

Local business owners and dignitaries, including state Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, and Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed were on hand to greet the train. Little said the train should be a good option for parents of teens who don't want their kids piling into a car for a day trip to Gore.

Joel Beaudin, co-owner of The Copperfield Inn and Trapper's Tavern, was handing out menus and fliers for the inn and restaurant.

The North Creek Depot Museum at Railroad Place opened for the occasion as well. It normally closes in the fall but couldn't miss such a special event, said museum past president Helen Miner, one of a number of museum volunteers on hand Friday.

"It's been 70 years since we had the snow train here. It's so special," Miner said.

Railway Manager Steve Torrico called the first trip "fantastic." Three cars were filled with riders from around the region and downstate.

Among them was Burnt Hills resident Marion Kinosian, who took a trip on the train with friends to ski at Gore Mountain Friday.

"It's an exciting new thing. You don't get stuck sitting in the back of a car for the ride up," she said.

A shuttle bus awaited passengers for a free ride to the mountain.

The snow train departs Saratoga Springs at 7 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of March. It arrives in North Creek at 9:20 a.m. and leaves to return to Saratoga Springs at 4:30 p.m. those days.

Round-trip tickets in coach cost $30, with seats in dome cars going for $55.


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