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Railroaders' Nostalgia > "Sudden Shutdown: Adirondack RY 1980"

Date: 10/23/22 10:07
"Sudden Shutdown: Adirondack RY 1980"
Author: ut-1

TrainOrder's "train1275" tells about the last run of Adirondack RY in August 1980 in this interview given on Oct 16th on the occasion of the first revenue passenger train to Tupper Lake NY in 42 years.

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Date: 10/23/22 15:00
Re: "Sudden Shutdown: Adirondack RY 1980"
Author: train1275

Thanks for posting this UT-1.

As a point of record, the shutdown affected the Utica - Lake Placid service permanently. Nothing ran at all until Fall of 1980 when we did some Fall Foliage trips between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. I rode one, but never worked again after signing off at 1330 hours on August 6, 1980, even though I was told several times to be available to mark up. On June 20, 1981 we made a trip from Thendara to Lake Placid to pick up the camp cars that were left up there. The trip was funded by Walter Rich as part of an inspection, or looking back on it maybe for one last blast and a fun "private excursion". 

The first attached photo taken at Saranac Lake is the train I deadheaded south on August 4th with leased Conrail 9968 a DeWitt Geep. I worked this train set north, then turned back south with the new crew after arriving in Lake Placid to deadhead on my own time to Utica and my home. Railroad-wise Lake Placid was my home terminal, but I lived 35 miles south of Utica. The Utica - Placid run was 141 miles. On-board services crew made the roundtrip but T&E employees only went one way.

Very shortly after this photo was taken, we derailed all the cars on the train and had to evacuate the passengers out on the locomotive to Floodwood where we were met by busses. The engineer was Durwood Carman and the Conductor was Charlie Lorraine, barely visible as the white blob on the platform. Fireman Mike Houck has his head stuck out the cab looking back and I am in the cab staring at photographer Chris Brescia our Saranac Lake operator. The next day I called in and was told to mark up at Tupper Lake where we had our own RS-3 #29 and train ready for us to go south to Utica as mentioned in the video with the rest of the story.

2nd photo - Frank Menair, President of the Adirondack Railway Corporation at right, Walter Rich of Delaware Otsego, center and someone from NYSDOT whose name I do not recall (Edgar Hoose?). They are propped against my 1963 Plymouth Fury at Thendara prior to the June 20, 1981 run to Placid and back.

3rd photo - A shot I have shared before of the 2nd trip of the day on October 5, 1980 from Tupper to Placid during those fall foliage northend runs. Engine 28 and train at Lake Placid turned to return south to Tupper. I am not sure if this was the last revenue run into Tupper from the north, or if they ran another weekend. The train had derailed on the Tupper wye and had both 29 and 28 on when Engineer Durwood Carman and myself arrived that day. TO Member "locoinsp" then took the 29 light to Thendara. 

Thanks for letting me share the memories.

For more of the trip on October 16th and a few photos of the Nehasane Lodge that was burned down by New York State, see my post on trainorders at: 


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/22 15:27 by train1275.

Date: 10/23/22 18:15
Re: "Sudden Shutdown: Adirondack RY 1980"
Author: Locoinsp

Wow, I'd forgotten about taking the 29 to Thendara until you mentioned it. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) was my fireman (firewoman???). The right rear outside truck equalizer was bent in the derailment so we made the trip at reduced speed. We acquired another equalizer and repaired the locomotive in Thendara.

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