The steam-powered locomotive ‘Leviathan’ will be featured in special train excursions to be offered during North Creek’s upcoming Teddy Roosevelt Weekend set for Sept. 14 and 15 on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway, a rail co. executive told Warren County Supervisors July 29. He also noted that a rail-bed washout over the long Fourth of July weekend had prompted the railway to suspend passenger surface so repairs could be made.
Passenger service on the Saratoga-North Creek railroad was suspended for five days over the Fourth of July holiday weekend due to a rail-bed washout, a railway official told county leaders Monday July 29.
The service interruption from July 3 through July 8 was caused by flash flooding which washed out gravel underneath rail ties over an 850-feet stretch of the rail bed in the town of Greenfield, railway superintendent Justin Gonyo said. Substantial lengths of railway shoulders were also eroded, he said.
Over 100 feet of the damaged stretch of rail bed, the track sunk 3 inches, which prohibited Saratoga-North Creek Railway from running trains at speeds greater than 10 miles per hour, he said. Due to the repairs necessary to restore full service, the railway suspended its daily runs, he added.
Reconstructing the rail bed required laying down 600 tons of stone under the ties. Gonyo said the cost of repairs was $34,079, plus an additional $7,929 in operational losses from the shutdown.
The contract between Warren County which owns the track and the railroad operators call for the railway to pay for repairs costing less than $50,000. Repairs exceeding that sum to be negotiated between the county and the railway.
Gonyo said the washout was caused by a heavy rain sweeping brush, debris and limbs into a storm culvert — blocking it up — which caused water to back up and erode the rail bed.
During the passenger service suspension, the railway continued to carry freight.
Gonyo noted that the railway is now negotiating to transport as much as 500,000 tons of stone next summer from Tahawus to Troy. Plans also call for the enterprise to move 1,000 tons of “rip-rap” stones off the Barton Mines property.
He also said that a meeting was scheduled this week between Saratoga-North Creek Railway management and Canadian-Pacific executives to negotiate fright transportation.
“We’re going into this very hopeful,” he said.
Railway special events approaching
Gonyo reported that the special rail trips featuring the historic Leviathan steam-engine locomotive were now being planned for one weekend — Saturday Sept. 14 and Sunday Sept. 15 — rather than two.
The similar Leviathan trips once scheduled for the prior weekend were cancelled due to problems in getting the locomotive to upstate New York, he said. The Leviathan excursions feature an 82-mile round trip from Corinth to North Creek, complimentary beverages and snacks on train, a barbecue lunch in North Creek, and admission to the North Creek Depot Museum.
The weekend of Sept. 14-15 is being celebrated in North Creek as the Teddy Roosevelt Weekend, including Joe Wiegand impersonating the 26th U.S. president, arts and trades demonstrations, tours, period musical entertainment, and “Rough Rider” pony rides. The two-day event also includes re-enactments of Roosevelt’s famous boarding of the train at North Creek hours before he assumed the presidency.
Gonyo also announced that the railway’s Saratoga Dinner Train excursions set for the three last Tuesday evenings in August were attracting dozens of reservations soon after being announced. For details, see: www.SNCRR.com or call: 877-726-7245.