By DON LEHMAN, The Post-Star; October 21, 2019
The Chicago-based rail company that owns a controversial rail line in the central Adirondacks that the state is seeking to have declared “abandoned” has consented to the abandonment, records show.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office submitted a letter to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Friday indicating that Saratoga & North Creek Railway had consented to abandonment of and interim trail use on the so-called “Tahawus” rail line between North Creek and the hamlet of Tahawus in Newcomb. The state has been seeking to have the 30-mile stretch of rails considered abandoned in light of SNCR’s lack of rail activity on it, after the company stored dozens of out-of-service tank cars on the line two years ago. SNCR hoped to ship stone tailings south from the former iron and titanium mines in Tahawus, but no market developed for it. The line crosses the state Forest Preserve as well as the Hudson and Boreas rivers, and the Department of Environmental Conservation and environmental groups vehemently objected to that practice. SNCR paid $1 million for it in 2011, as the line had been shuttered for more than 20 years after NL Industries halted mining operations in Tahawus.