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Politicians hail fed decision on Tahawus railroad line

Proposal now qualifies for class exemption

Saratoga-North Creek Railway at the North Creek train station

Saratoga-North Creek Railway at the North Creek train station Photo by Andy Flynn.

— “Infrastructure is one of the most effective ways to create jobs fast, and connect more workers and businesses of our state to help drive economic growth for years to come,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This is the right decision to help get the North Country’s economy on the move, as well as get more trucks off our roads and highways, and cut pollution in the process.”

“This project is needed to continue the momentum we have experienced in job growth and economic development in the community,” said Representative Bill Owens. “The reopening of this rail line has the potential to create jobs in the short and long term, while laying the foundation for more businesses to find a new home in New York. I would like to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Chris Gibson and local economic development leaders like Garry Douglas for their efforts on reviving this project.”

“The North Country Chamber sees transportation infrastructure as the cornerstone of our region's future, and the North Country Regional Economic Development Plan approved last year explicitly highlights the importance of rail, calling for the preservation and rehabilitation of all surviving rail lines in the Adirondacks,” stated Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “That's why we and others jumped on board in the quest to obtain this federal clearance, and we thank Congressmen Bill Owens and Chris Gibson and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for their strong advocacy for approval. This will mean a further restoration of precious rail infrastructure in the Adirondacks and the direct support of jobs in an area where they are greatly needed. Onward, upward and on track for rail service to Tahawus and elsewhere in the region!”

Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens noted that recomissioning of the Tahawus line of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway between North Creek and Newcomb, will provide a critical shot in the arm for businesses along that line and the local economy as a whole. According to Iowa Pacific Holdings, about 15 to 20 people would be employed during reconstruction of the track, and the completed rail line would pump at least $160,000 into the local economy each year. The representatives also noted that once hauling begins again, it will create numerous additional long-term jobs. The company anticipates hauling 100 million tons of material and tailings from the Tahawus mine for this project. A great deal of these tailings contain Titanium remnants from mining at Tahawus during World War II, and Schumer, Gillibrand and Owens noted it would be a win-win to haul these unsightly mining remnants out of the Adirondacks and into local companies where tailings can be refined into rare earths that are widely utilized and desperately needed by high-tech and manufacturing companies across New York.

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