Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Snow Train: good news, not-so-good news

Good news: According to a recent Post-Star story, Saratoga North Creek Railroad’s ridership rose an estimated 60 percent this fall compared to the fall of 2011. Last fall, nearly 12,000 people took trains while this fall the number was close to 20,000, said Steve Torrico, SNCRR’s general manager. “In the month of October our ridership basically doubled and we were thrilled by it,” he said.

More good news: SNCRR’s Snow Train will have an expanded schedule this winter, with two round-trip trains each Saturday and one round-trip train on Fridays and Sundays, beginning January 11. SNCRR’s Torrico again, this time as quoted in the North Creek News Enterprise: “Our new schedule provides a variety of options for both skiers and sightseers alike. By running two trains on Saturdays, we are offering passengers the opportunity to either tackle the slopes early for a full day of skiing or enjoy a leisurely winter afternoon in the scenic Adirondacks.”

Skiers getting ready to board the Snow Train in North Creek

The not-so-good news: For skiers, only Saturday’s Snow Train schedule will work this year. The Saturday schedule will offer early (7am) and mid-morning (10am) departures from Saratoga Springs with return trips from North Creek in the early afternoon (1pm) and evening (5pm). However the Friday and Sunday schedule will offer only one round-trip train departing at 10am departure and returning at 3:45pm.

While the new schedule offers fewer options for skiers, it will be more appealing to non-skiers, which in turn should provide a boost to both North Creek businesses and SNCRR Snow Train ridership. In my opinion, the new schedule balances out as a good move overall, and hopefully SNCRR will remain open to additional trains for skiers on Fridays and / or Sundays in the future, if this winter’s ridership shows sufficient demand. We had a great time riding the Snow Train last winter, and will certainly return to ride again this year.

SNCRR’s full Snow Train schedule, rates and additional information can be found here.

Top photo courtesy of Saratoga North Creek Railroad

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