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Railway to launch new Thurman runs, local day trips, freight hauls

A train operated by Saratoga North Creek Railway pulls into Thurman Station during summer 2013. The railway is launching new passenger rail service between Thurman and North Creek this summer at a fraction of the former cost. Targeted toward lake George tourists as well as local residents, two 23-mile round trips will be made per day.
Photo by Greg Klingler

A train operated by Saratoga North Creek Railway pulls into Thurman Station during summer 2013. The railway is launching new passenger rail service between Thurman and North Creek this summer at a fraction of the former cost. Targeted toward lake George tourists as well as local residents, two 23-mile round trips will be made per day. Photo by Greg Klingler

— The Saratoga-North Creek Railway is all but reinventing its service, as it plans to establish day trips between Thurman and North Creek aimed primarily at Lake George visitors, slash prices for short trips between local stations, and offer discounts for seniors, youth, students and families.

The railway’s new General Manager Justin Gonyo announced these changes to Warren County supervisors Monday Nov. 25. He also talked of pending contracts the railway is negotiating to haul high-grade stone products out of Tahawus, to be delivered to Long Island.

The trips out of the Thurman station, two per weekend day, would begin July 4 and extend through Labor Day, Gonyo said. One run would feature an immediate return trip, and the other would provide a two-and-a-half hour layover so passengers could enjoy lunch and some shopping. Gonyo said that the railway executives were hopeful they could entice 10,000 visitors to Lake George to take the trip in 2014, considering that Lake George hosts up to 80,000 visitors in a weekend. The Thurman-North Creek run would also be held during selected fall weekends. The fare would be $18 per adult with discounts for families.

Gonyo added that the Thurman station, now an enclosed platform, will be outfitted like a traditional train station, featuring various passenger amenities as well as a ticket counter. Such changes would go hand-in-hand with the station being federally certified as a Crew Reporting Point, he said. He added that railway officials were considering ways of drawing more people to the Thurman and Hadley stations, perhaps hosting artisans at work.

“Both these stations will be open for business,” he said.

Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood said she was happy to hear that the local rail station would be outfitted and that many hundreds of people that probably had never been to Thurman would now be visiting, even if momentarily.

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