Cuomo is noncommittal on rail trail

LAKE PLACID – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he’s not going to weigh in yet on one of the biggest ongoing battles in the Adirondacks – the future of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor.

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates has been pushing for removal of the railroad tracks in the corridor so it can be converted into a multi-use recreational trail for biking, snowmobiling and other activities. Supporters of the existing tourist trains that operate at either end of the corridor want to see the rails upgraded and service expanded on the line.

Asked by the Enterprise about the debate and if the state is willing to spend money to rehabilitate the tracks, Cuomo was noncommittal.

“We’re aware of the debate,” Cuomo said. “I haven’t taken a position in the debate. I think it’s appropriate the region has the conversation, and then, if it’s appropriate, we’ll take a look at it.”

The question came at the end of a 10-minute question-and-answer session between the press and the governor. Cuomo’s aides pulled the governor away from the session before the press could ask any follow up questions.

The state departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation, which jointly manage the corridor, took public comment this fall on the issue and are currently deciding whether or not to reopen its management plan.