North Creek Saratoga & North Creek Railway officials recently announced their schedule for the 2013 Snow Train, offering more trips than the previous season but cutting the amount of stay time in North Creek for skiers.
While some business owners have grumbled over the changes — saying the new schedule only serves all-day skiers on Saturday rather than Friday, Saturday and Sunday as it did last year — SNCRR General Manager Steve Torrico said the changes were needed. At the Nov. 15 North Creek Business Alliance meeting, he defended the changes, calling them a “business decision.”
On Nov. 7, the railway announced its new schedule for the Snow Train.
“Our new schedule provides a variety of options for both skiers and sightseers alike,” Torrico said in a prepared release. “By running two trains on Saturdays, we are offering passengers the opportunity to either tackle the slopes early for a full day of skiing or enjoy a leisurely winter afternoon in the scenic Adirondacks.”
In its first year of operation, the Snow Train operated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Dec. 30, 2011 to mid-March 2012. It left Saratoga Springs at 7 a.m., arriving in North Creek at 9:15 a.m., then left North Creek around 4 p.m., arriving in Saratoga Springs at 6:20 p.m. That gave passengers three full days of skiing, with a stay time of almost 7 hours in North Creek.
There was only one problem; about 50 percent of the 1,400 passengers in 2012 were non-skiers, Torrico said Nov. 15. He witnessed many people just sitting around the train station all day waiting to return to Saratoga Springs.
So in order to serve the non-skiers, the railway shortened the Friday and Sunday schedules and created an extra departure on Saturday for this season, which will start on Friday, Jan. 11.