Give rails a chance

To the editor:

I am a longtime rider of railroads and want to express my concern with the continued controversy regarding the access to Adirondack rails.

On a recent trip to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, I rode the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway ( I noticed on that trip, that next to the railroad track, they had made a biking/hiking path which a great number of bikers/hikers utilized.

Based on that experience, this is what I observed:

-There is a wide rail-side bike path that allows both hikers, bikers, and railroad passengers to view scenic areas.

-Rail can give you scenic views that would not be able to be seen from a vehicle.

-It costs less to make a rail-side trail than to pay the extra money to rip up the rail. Why not leave it as is permitting hikers, bikers and railroad passengers to get the same access to scenic views?

-Rail is already going through very scenic areas of the Adirondacks, where most of the time, roads cannot be easily constructed.

If other communities can accomplish rail and trail as co-existing partners, what is preventing this community from doing this, too?

If the real issue is that snowmobilers need more room, could they use the rail-side path as well? Passengers would not be prevented from seeing the beautiful Adirondacks.

Why does it have to be all or nothing for either side?


Jakob Rothfuss