The Saratoga-North Creek Railroad passenger train
NORTH CREEK — Following a minor derailment of a locomotive breing pulled on the end of a passenger train last Friday, Aug. 2, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway will resume limited operations tomorrow, Aug. 9, according to company officials.
The derailment occured just south of of the Thurman station last Friday afternoon. Afterward, approximately 1,000-feet of track needed to be repaired.
Saratoga & North Creek Railway general manager Steve Torrico has commended the railway’s on the ground team for their expediency in making the needed repairs in order to get the popular regional attraction up and running quickly.
Initially Torrico and General Superintendent Justin Gonyo expected possible delays until Aug. 15.
Gonyo, noted, “The Federal Rail Administrator (FRA) inspectors were able to complete their review in a very timely manner and found no defects or violations with equipment or track.”
Gonyo said railroad crews worked around the clock to make the needed repairs to the track, which caused the minor Aug. 2 derailment.
During this occasion, passenger cars were not affected but passengers were transported back to the North Creek station via the railway’s shuttle buses as a safety measure. Railway ticket agents worked with booked passengers to reschedule their trips. Messages about rail service are posted routinely on the company’s website and via email to alert passengers.
Moving forward, rail management will be implementing an even more comprehensive communication system including email alerts, with officials and municipalities to keep them aware of any schedule changes.
Rail service will resume on Friday, Aug. 9, however, it will be necessary to reduce speeds over the affected area for several weeks. As a result, the overall trip time will be longer by approximately 15 minutes each direction necessitating the mid-day departures from Saratoga and from North Creek to continue to be suspended until further notice.
Departures from Saratoga will continue at 10 a.m. daily and Friday through Monday evenings also at 7 p.m. to accommodate weekend stays. Departures from North Creek southbound will continue to be offered at 7 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. daily.
“We regret any inconvenience to our passengers and loss of foot traffic especially in North Creek where merchants and event promoters count on rail passengers to bolster commerce”,” said Luisa Sherman, who coordinates marketing and public relations matters for the railway. “Thankfully it looks like the train will be up and running sooner than expected and just in time for the Bluegrass Festival to be held in North Creek over Aug. 16-18.”