This Train Service Is Returning to the Adirondacks for the First Time in Decades

Newly refurbished tracks will carry passengers over 100 miles to Tupper Lake, New York.

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When a passenger train pulled into Tupper Lake, New York in the heart of the state's Adirondack region this week, it marked a major milestone. It was the first time a passenger train had run on those tracks since the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and the first hint of regular passenger service since 1965, The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports.

The arrival of the new train was the first step in a plan to restore seasonal passenger service connecting Utica, New York with Tupper Lake. Service currently runs between Utica and Thendara, New York, a small town on the western edge of the Adirondack Park. The newly renovated section will connect Thendara to the center of the Adirondacks in Tupper Lake.

From there, passengers can enjoy the scenic area or take a newly constructed trail on the remainder of the former rail bed to the towns of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. The railroad will stretch over 100 miles from Utica to Tupper Lake, making it the longest tourist railroad east of the Mississippi River, according to Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society spokeswoman Amanda Hill.

Regular passenger service will begin next season, with an estimated daily ridership of 200-300 people. The ARPS currently offers excursions like a Beer and Wine Train, a Summer Dinner Train Series, and a holiday season Polar Express. The extended tracks and new rail trail are expected to boost these offerings further. There are also popular rail biking excursions on the same tracks.

Amtrak's Adirondack line normally serves the greater region, running outside the far eastern edge of the park to towns like Ticonderoga and Plattsburgh, although it has been suspended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay up to date on all the latest, check out the Adirondack Railroad website.

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Chris Mench is an editor focusing on NYC News at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.