Saratoga and North Creek Railway

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Coordinates: 43°04′58″N 73°48′36″W / 43.082790°N 73.810080°W / 43.082790; -73.810080

Saratoga and North Creek Railway
Saratoga and North Creek train.jpg
Saratoga and North Creek train at the Saratoga Springs station
Locale Warren and Saratoga counties, New York, USA
Commercial operations
Built by Adirondack Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Reporting mark SNC
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1871
1889 D&H acquires the railroad
Closed 1989
Preservation history
1999 Upper Hudson River Railroad began operating
2010 Upper Hudson River Railroad closed
2011 Saratoga and North Creek Railway began operation
2018 Saratoga and North Creek Railway seized operation
Headquarters Saratoga Springs, New York

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway was a heritage railway that began operation in July 2011. Passenger operations ceased on April 7 2018, and the final 'revenue' run (to remove stored tank cars) was made in May 2018,[1] the railroad ran in the upper Hudson River region of the Adirondack Mountains, in the U.S. state of New York.

The railroad operated between North Creek and Saratoga Springs, New York, where it connects with Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack services.


The Saratoga and North Creek Railway operates over former Adirondack Railway trackage built by Thomas C. Durant in 1871. North Creek station is where Theodore Roosevelt learned he was to become president of the United States of America after President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. During World War II, magnetite, ilmenite, and titanium were shipped by rail from Tahawus by the Delaware and Hudson Railway (D&H). The D&H, which acquired the Adirondack Line from William West Durant in 1889, ran through this region until September 1989 when the mine at Tahawus closed.

In 1998, the line was purchased by Warren County with plans to operate an excursion train to improve tourism and economic development in the area; in 1999, the Upper Hudson River Railroad began operating excursion trains south from North Creek to Riverside Station in Riparius. The Upper Hudson River Railroad lost their contract with Warren County on December 31, 2010, ending 11 years of operation.[2]

On April 8, 2011, it was announced that Iowa Pacific Holdings (IPH) would take over operation of the route effective July 1, 2011,[3] as part of the agreement, IPH agreed to operate a minimum of 182 tourist-oriented passenger trains over the line.[3] IPH began operating trains on July 14, 2011 as the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad. Unlike the Upper Hudson River Railroad, the Saratoga and North Creek operates over the entire 57 miles (92 km) between Saratoga Springs, New York and North Creek.[4]

With the creation of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway, regularly scheduled service returns to the line for the first time since the D&H ceased freight operations on November 17, 1989.[5]

On May 14, 2012, IPH received permission from the Surface Transportation Board to restore freight service on the derelict north end of the line as far as Newcomb.[6] Freight service began on the line in February 2013.[7]

On August 2, 2013, the rear locomotive of an SNCRR train derailed in Thurman. No injuries were reported, but the railroad was closed temporarily to allow for repairs.[8]

Passenger service[edit]

Regularly scheduled service runs once each day Friday through Monday from July 1 to October 31 and on Saturdays and Sundays during the fall and spring, the trip takes 2 hours and 12 minutes.[9]

A separate service, the Snow Train, runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the winter. Unlike the summer trains, the Snow Train has two trains each day in both directions.[10]

Railbike tours[edit]

In 2016, plans were floated for 3-hour pedal-powered railbike tours on a 10-mile section of unused railroad tracks between Moose Pond Club Road and North Creek.[11][12]

The tours opened in July, 2017 using two and four-person pedal-powered railbikes. Starting from the North Creek rail depot, tourists are driven to North River, where they pedal north for three miles along a fairly flat route which includes crossing the Hudson River on a trestle before returning on the same route.

The trip takes about two hours each way, the tours are operated by Revolution Rail, which pays the railway to use the line.[13]

The North End Local runs a shorter route between Thurman and North Creek twice a day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in July and August.[14] All other trains run the full length of the line between Saratoga Springs and North Creek.


  1. ^ Railfan & Railroad magazine, June 2018
  2. ^ "Iowa Pacific may reopen line in New York State". Trains Magazine. December 17, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Iowa Pacific gets go-ahead to operate Upper Hudson River Railroad". Trains Magazine. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ Nemeth, Tom (August 2011). "The Buzz in the Adirondacks". Railpace Newsmagazine. 
  5. ^ John Sesonske, Tom Trencansky (August 2011). "Saratoga & North Creek Debuts Operations". Railpace Newsmagazine. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Maury (May 14, 2012). "Federal board OKs rail freight line between North Creek and Newcomb". Post Star. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ Post, Paul (20 Feb 2013). "Saratoga & North Creek Railway now hauling freight". The Saratogian. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Post, Paul (6 August 2013). "Saratoga & North Creek Railway closes after train goes off track". The Saratogian. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Summer & Fall Schedule". Saratoga & North Creek Railway. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Snow Train Timetable
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Lehman, Dave (July 14, 2017). "Rail bike company to start trips this weekend". The Post Star. Glens Falls, NY. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  14. ^ North End Local

External links[edit]

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