Rails-to-trail effort is good

To the editor:

I am encouraged by the progress of efforts to convert the Adirondack rail corridor into one of the great bikeways in the United States.

I support these efforts and will offer some commentary of my own:

A couple in my neighborhood rode the Lake-Placid-to-Saranac-Lake train which operates in the northern 9 miles of the rail corridor. Upon returning from this experience, they said they disliked the short ride and would not repeat it. They were also surprised that this line somehow continued to operate and thought it probably should be discontinued. And this from first-time Adirondack visitors!

A friend of mine worked maintenance on the Old-Forge-to-Tupper-Lake route during the 1980 Olympics, and he remarked that is was almost impossible to keep the rails in safe and operating condition, even back then. He felt that the line should be abandoned, which eventually it was.

We have a great opportunity to add a new recreational dimension to the 90-mile wilderness rail trail through some of the wildest, most beautiful areas of the Park. It is my opinion that the railroad will never be successful or profitable, no matter what the railroad boosters tell us. On the other hand, rail trails have been a success throughout the country wherever the rails have been removed, and this could be one of the best of them all.

Jerry Gingalewski