Derailment disrupts rail service, train trips to resume Friday Aug. 9

Supervisors unhappy about lack of notification

After a jaunt on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway, passengers emerge from a train at the North Creek train depot.

After a jaunt on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway, passengers emerge from a train at the North Creek train depot.

— A minor derailment on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway has suspended train service since Friday Aug. 2, but repairs to the track accomplished since will mean the railway should be operating again by Friday Aug. 9, a railroad representative announced Wednesday.

A locomotive being pulled behind a tourist train jumped the track on Friday morning, which didn’t affect passenger cars, according to Luisa Sherman, spokeswoman for the railway. The derailment happened in Thurman between Thousand Acres Ranch and Thurman. Sherman said that although the passengers onboard weren’t affected, they were shuttled back to the North Creek station via buses.

Repairs have been made, and inspections have been conducted by Federal rail administration inspectors, she said. Railway General Superintendent Justin Gonyo said the inspectors “found no defects or violations with equipment or track” despite the derailment on the railroad, owned by Warren County.

Kevin Geraghty, Chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said that the derailment caused the track to twist, but it has since been repaired.

He expressed dismay over why it took Saratoga-North Creek Railway officials four days to notify the media or public officials about the derailment, considering the disruption of train service.

Sherman said Wednesday that the railway operators would from now on be notifying local officials on a more timely basis of schedule disruptions.

She noted that for several weeks, the trains would be slowing down over the area of repaired track, and that trip times would be increased by about 15 minutes each direction. This requirement would cause the mid-day departures from Saratoga and from North Creek to be suspended until further notice.

Departures from Saratoga will continue at 10 a.m. daily and Friday through Monday evenings also at 7 p.m. to accommodate weekend stays, she said. Departures from North Creek southbound will continue to be offered at 7 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. daily, she added.

“We regret any inconvenience to our passengers and loss of ‘foot traffic,’ especially in North Creek where merchants and event promoters count on rail passengers to bolster commerce,” she said, noting that the train will be operating in time to transport passengers to and from the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival, scheduled for Aug. 16 through 18 in North Creek.

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