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Railway hailed as train contracts are signed

Goodspeed praised the efforts since the early 1990s to rehabilitate and preserve both the rail line and train depot.

"This is a day to celebrate what we've accomplished," he said. "This major venue of transportation in the North Country and its history has been preserved for future generations. And this new rail service not only generates tourism dollars, but it's also about linking the rural communities of the Adirondacks to the rest of the world."

Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Stec said that the signing of agreements with Iowa Pacific represented a turning point for transportation in the area.

"We're looking to a much brighter future with the railway," he said. "We're very thrilled this has come together."

Richard Lucia, supervisor of the town of Corinth, Warren County's municipal partner in the railway, praised those who had lobbied for millions of dollars in grant money to bankroll the rail's revitalization.

"This is an amazing, awesome, historic event today," he said. "Even naysayers have contributed to this day by making us all work harder."

Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis, wearing a Teddy Roosevelt-style hat, praised all those who had fought to preserve the railway, noting that many other communities in the U.S. had allowed theirs to be scrapped, and regretted it.

"Your rail line was saved in a great way, and visitors and residents will be able to go from here to the Saratoga Springs rail station and connect to Amtrak and see the world," he said.

Ellis revealed June 11 that his firm will be bringing "Polar Express" that will run out of Saratoga Springs into Warren County in November and December. These trains, decked out with Christmas themes, have proven very popular on Iowa Pacific rail lines - attracting as many as 26,000 passengers total for the special runs, he said.

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