Town board and citizens join forces to save train

The Reigel operators submitted a proposal to renew their contract and that proposal was rejected by Warren County, according to Johnsburg Town Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed.

The county has since been approached by several operators including Eastern Maine and Iowa Pacific railroads. These operators suggested the exploration of using the North Creek rails to haul freight as well as tourist traffic. The hauling of freight has been an issue surrounding the rail system for several years and Barton Mines has voiced interest in using the trains for their freight.

"These companies believe freight is so key in order to make money and then make a splash in the local communities with tourist traffic," said Goodspeed. "We need to think about what is best for Johnsburg and Main Street. We should consider what kinds of proposals our RFP is targeting."

The current RFP includes a requirement for tourist traffic, but doesn't specifically note the direction of that travel. North Creek hopes to maintain a train that picks passengers up in the village and then returns them there as well, according to Goodspeed.

Goodspeed and the town board were receptive of the citizens' concerns and suggested they attend as many county meetings as possible to show the support that North Creek harbors for the train.

According to the motion made by the board, they will be prompting Warren County on behalf of the people of Johnsburg to act on the issue quickly in the coming weeks.

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