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Rails/trails

To the Valley News:

Around here these days it seems there are a couple of different groups heading in different directions on the same railroad track. Think about that for a second! What does that mean? Well if it happened to be two different actual trains then I think it would be easy enough to understand each scenario. One very specific outcome if they are traveling away from each other. If traveling towards each other, total catastrophe.

The question that enters my mind is this. With two groups or at least two opposing objectives wanting to travel the same corridor, could a reverse scenario occur? If railroad advocates and alternative use advocates are traveling (striving) to move completely apart or away from each other, could catastrophe be the result?

Personally I believe it is becoming just that, a catastrophe! This issue, debate and the prospects, proposals, ideas and re-evaluations have now been taking place for over 35 years!

I have heard some very good points brought up on each sides of this issue. I make no claims that I understand many of the complexities involved with this issue. But I am concerned that the debate might become so entrenched, on the right and on the left, that viable options do not get considered and the corridor wastes away from old age and lack of up keep. Oh, and let’s not consider the amount of tax dollars already spent.

Unlike real trains, these groups or stanch ideals traveling apart could become catastrophic and at a minimum have already been very detrimental. Why, because at odds and in opposition they are stalemating progress of what can be very good, viable economic ventures for the local communities, the Adirondack region and the State of New York.

Is all or nothing the right approach? I have heard some say remove the rails so snowmobilers can have better use in the winter time. I have heard the proposal for rail freight and rail passenger service to be restored along the entire corridor. I have heard the continuing push for scenic rail service. I believe it is time to nail something down!

I applaud and encourage ideas and activism on any side of the fence. These days I am pretty sure public activism is about the only way to make most government types get anything done. But remember if the public is too evenly divided the politicians will sit safely on the fence.

Scott Grady, Lake Placid

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