First, the railway’s extension bolsters the finances of the enterprise, helping it to flourish, which in turn boosts both passenger and freight traffic.
Already, the several hundred extra tourists riding the train to North Creek per day in the summer has meant a dozen or so new enterprises opening up in town, representing dozens of new jobs.
Next, the railway’s extension represents a step toward a sustainable future for residents of the southern Adirondacks, which can be accomplished by tapping the natural resources of the region — primarily wood products and minerals, both of which are becoming ever more valuable.
Not only would harvesting and transporting these raw materials to market create hundreds of local jobs, but small industries would likely spring up to create products that are in demand and multiply the economic benefits.
Thirdly, rehabilitation of the railroad infrastructure provides opportunity for a vital, efficient passenger service to be extended into the Adirondacks, while fuel prices continue to rise.
It’s not just a matter of boosting the tourist trade, which is now a mainstay for the rural Adirondacks, and is likely to grow substantially — it’s far more.
Some area citizens, and Iowa Pacific executives, have talked of how, with government support, the railway could become an affordable, convenient venue-of-choice for those commuting to work in Albany.
Affordable train service would allow a wide range of workers to pursue their urban employment while their families are raised in the Adirondacks, with its outstanding quality of life.
Such developments would revitalize area communities, devastated in recent decades by the exodus of citizens who have moved away to find good-paying jobs.
The cultural richness of life in the Adirondacks could reach new heights, as well.
We commend all those who have taken steps to facilitate the railway’s development, and we support further actions toward providing a sustainable economy; affordable, ecological public transportation; and judicious economic development.
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