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'On Track to Saranac...Rails and Trails' campaign announced

Group raising money for train service between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake

— "On Track to Saranac... Rails and Trails" is the name of the new campaign by Next Stop! Tupper Lake to raise money for the repair and restoration of the Adirondack Railroad line between here and Saranac Lake.

The local train station-building committee signed on in recent weeks to start the fundraising effort to restore train service between here and our neighbor to the east as part of an expanded excursion operation that currently is limited to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. To do that means fixing the tracks and ties. Many of the ties are in very bad condition and must be replaced if a train is to run the line on a regular basis.

There are approximately 1,100 ties per mile of railroad track- and probably half are in need of replacement.

There are many levels of gifts in the new campaign, beginning at the sale of railroad ties for $50 and railroad spikes for $25.

During a fundraising meeting last week, the Next Stop! Tupper Lake volunteers came up with a number of other gift levels. A 30-foot length of rail, for example, can be purchased for $500. A donor could sponsor a one-tenth of mile section of track for $2,000. An entire mile of track is available for $18,000.

Switches, crossings and bridges along the 24 mile length of rail also have price tags associated with them: $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000, respectively. All of these one-of-a-kind naming opportunities will be posted on http://nextstoptupperlake.com over the coming weeks.

In the case of each donation a plaque or sign will be affixed to the particular structure. The buyers of ties will receive a small plate they can attach to their tie or ties. Mile sponsorship signs will be posted at regular intervals along the corridor. Individuals or organizations who sponsor a mile of track will have their names listed on the concrete mile markers.

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