Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon headed an effort to present a letter of support to the rail regulation board that rejected Saratoga-North Creek Railway's application. He grew up around the Tahawus mining operations, and said the rail is essential to local economic development.
continued Scozzafava said that he felt the railways were important and should be protected.
“I think it is crazy that the environmentalists are out there wanting to tear the tracks up on that line that is so important to the economic recovery in that area and we as a board should do everything that we can do to make certain that they do not tear that rail line out,” he said.
Canon said that the rails are in good shape at the moment when asked by new Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret “Maggie” Bartley.
“I would say the rails are in very good shape,” Canon said. “Does there need to be some repairs? There are probably some washouts that have taken place over the last 20 years, but for the most part those rails were in excellent shape when the mines closed and I would expect that it would take minor repairs to put them back in order.”
The rail line, owned by National Lead, was last used when the Tahawus mine closed in 1989. In the early to mid-1800s, the area was used for iron mining, but since 1942 it had been mined for ilmenite, which was processed into titanium dioxide for products such as paint. Magnetite was a byproduct.