New York State agency seeks temporary rights for trail on former Iowa Pacific short line

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NORTH CREEK, N.Y. — As negotiations to operate passenger trains on tracks from Saratoga to North Creek, N.Y., continue, the future of tracks running north from North Creek to Tahawus got cloudier this week when the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation asked the Surface Transportation Board to issue a Certificate of Interim Trail Use for the northern section.

The request is part of the conservation department's effort to have the track declared abandoned. The track in question is owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, which had operated the Saratoga & North Creek Railway on the southern portion until it shut down in 2018. Iowa Pacific had used the northern portion to store freight cars for other railroads, until opposition led to their being removed.

DEC filed its original abandonment request in Sept. 2018. As Iowa Pacific negotiated with OMNItrax to sell the tracks, the request had been stayed. OMNItrax recently said it was unable to reach agreement on a sale, leading to the state's renewed effort to seek abandonment.

Union Rail has been negotiating with Warren County, N.Y., to run passenger trains on the southern portion of the track that the county owns, and has indicated it would also consider running freight trains to the abandoned titanium mine at Tahawus, which contains tailings that can be sold. It is unclear whether the state wants to tear out the northern tracks if it is successful in its abandonment effort.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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