Adirondack Railway (1976–1981)

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Adirondack Railway
Reporting markADIR
LocaleNew York
Dates of operation1976 (1976)–1981 (1981)
SuccessorAdirondack Scenic Railroad
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length118 miles (190 km)
HeadquartersOld Forge, New York

The Adirondack Railway (reporting mark ADIR) was a short-lived tourist railroad which operated in northeastern New York. The company was founded in 1976 to operate a disused railway line then owned by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). It operated trains between 1979–1981, including to Lake Placid, New York, for the 1980 Winter Olympics, before derailments led to the end of service. The route is now operated by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.


The company's route ran from Utica, New York, north to Lake Placid. This route was originally opened by the Mohawk and Malone Railway, a predecessor of the New York Central Railroad, in 1892.[1] The New York Central maintained it as its Adirondack Division. In 1972 the Penn Central Transportation Company, successor to the New York Central, discontinued operations between Remsen, New York, and Lake Placid. NYSDOT purchased the line in 1974.[2]

The Adirondack Railway was incorporated in 1976 to rehabilitate and operate passenger services on the line. Conrail, successor to Penn Central, still owned the Remsen–Utica portion but permitted the Adirondack to operate trains over it.[3] The company spent $2.5 million rebuilding the section north of Remsen.[2] Service began on October 9, 1979.[3] In Utica the company used Union Station, with connections available to Amtrak's Empire Corridor services.[4] The journey from Utica to Lake Placid required over five hours, with the maximum speed often 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).[5] The company carried passengers between Utica to Lake Placid for the 1980 Winter Olympics.[6] However, this was significantly hampered by no fewer than seven derailments. Service ended in August 1980, briefly resumed in September, and ended for good in February 1981.[3]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Adirondack Railway owned four diesel locomotives and 21 passenger cars.[3] The passenger cars were steam heated and included coaches, a parlor car, a dining car, and a club car.[5]


  1. ^ Gove 2006, pp. 65–69
  2. ^ a b Schwieterman 2001, p. 216
  3. ^ a b c d Drury 1985, p. 14
  4. ^ "National Train Timetables". Amtrak. August 3, 1980.
  5. ^ a b Felger, Carolyn (March 6, 1980). "Hamburg Couple, Jim and Carolyn Felger Had Nostalgic Journey to Olympic Games". The Sun and the Erie County Independent. p. 9. Retrieved August 21, 2015 – via open access
  6. ^ Fenton, Richard T.; Gray, David V. (March 1996). "Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Final Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement" (PDF). New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. p. 8. Retrieved 25 August 2015.


External links[edit]

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