Morning Read: North Creek tourism train catches on

The tourism train in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid has been controversial, with big debates over its popularity and economic viability, but the private operators of a tourism route from Saratoga Springs to North Creek say business is booming.

According to the Glens Falls Post Star, ridership has been so good that the company has had to arrange for more parking.

For Ed Ellis, owner of Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC, the railway’s parent company, it’s not a bad problem to have less than five months after opening.

“That’s how wildly successful it’s been,” Ellis said during a visit to the train station Thursday. “If anything, we were conservative in our business plan. The ridership has been more than expected.”

Ellis had expected the train would see about 38,000 riders from its first run on July 23 through the end of 2011, he said. He expects the actual total to be nearly 60,000.

Read the full article here.

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3 Comments on “Morning Read: North Creek tourism train catches on”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The next sentence:
    “Two-thirds of those riders will be aboard the Christmas-themed Polar Express train”

    Read more:

    So, let me get out my calculator. 2/3 of 60,000 would be, um (calculating), 40,000.
    Is he saying that they have only had 20,000 riders so far but that they are going to get 40,000 more in the next 2 weeks?

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  2. tootightmike says:

    I wish we had a train in Potsdam. It would be so wonderful to have a train that could take us shopping in Syracuse or Ottawa, or connect us to the regional airports. Driving to those places (especially Syracuse) can be a real drag, and even dangerous in winter….take today for instance.

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  3. Tony Goodwin says:

    The Adirondack Scenic Railroad did much better than expected its first few years, Once the novelty wore off ridership definitely declined. We’ll see what happens in Saratoga. Their ski trail requires that you get to the station by 7 AM, but with slow track you don’t start skiing until after 10 AM. Having driven as far as Saratoga, one could catch first tracks if you kept on driving. They do appear to have some attractive package deals for train and lift tickets, but I will be interested to see how many actually ride this train.

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