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Iowa Pacific, Adirondack Railroad to develop Pullman service from New York City to Lake Placid

Tourists enjoy the Adirondack Scenic Railroad at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake.

Tourists enjoy the Adirondack Scenic Railroad at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Within several years, operators of a tourist excursion train here hope to see high-end visitors from New York City traveling to the Olympic village the old-fashioned way: on a restored Pullman sleeping car.

The pricey trips could help resurrect the 118-mile Adirondack Railroad corridor between Remsen and Lake Placid, a goal of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS), which currently operates the Adirondack Scenic Railroad excursions around Lake Placid and Old Forge. And the Pullman trips are only possible with the help of Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC, a global railroad company.

“It’s great news for the region,” ARPS President Bill Branson said shortly after the partnership announcement was made in a press release Oct. 25. “It’s great news for all these little towns and villages that need a little boost.”

Iowa Pacific already has experience in the Adirondack Park; it operates the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which offers daily service from Saratoga Springs to North Creek in the warm months, a Polar Express train during the holiday season, and a Snow Train for skiers in the winter. It also connects to Amtrak service in Saratoga, making it possible for tourists to travel from New York City to North Creek in one day for several days of the week during the summer.

“We are grateful to ARPS for the opportunity to work together on a project that can bring a dramatic rail service improvement to the Adirondacks,” Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis said in the press release. “Iowa Pacific has been working to revive rail corridors across the U.S. and in other countries for freight and passenger service for over a decade, and our recent success with the Saratoga and North Creek is an indication of what can be done in the Adirondack market.”

Ellis said he believes the higher-end travel audience in New York City is ready to respond to a first-class overnight experience on historic Pullman cars through the Adirondacks to Lake Placid.

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