Thursday, August 6, 2020

North Creek Depot Museum prez favors rails, not trails

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

Railbikes made 2019 the best year ever for the Railway Depot Museum in North Creek, says Ellen Schaefer, president of North Creek Railway Depot Preservation Society. She says she is firmly against removing rail lines in Warren County.

“We had a great season last year,” with almost 4,500 visitors to the museum — even with the scenic train not running.

She credits Revolution Rail Company’s self-peddled railbikes, which accessed the railway from the former freight building next-door to the Depot

“They had over 21,000 riders last year,” Mrs. Schaefer says. “Actually, we did better with them than with the tourist trains.”

She said, “They bring people that stay here in town, rather than taking the tourist train, stopping here for two hours, maybe do a little shopping or eat and then leave.”

“Revolution Rail has been really good for the museum and North Creek,” said Mrs. Schaefer.

Warren County is considering a move to “abandon” the rail line between North Creek and Corinth. (see separate article).

That would remove oversight by the Federal Surface Transportation Board and the option to haul freight on the railways — potentially making it possible to create a hiking and biking path in its stead or to retain the rails for more tourist-focused use.

Meeting was to be Tuesday

Mrs. Schaefer said she was planning to attend a community meeting on Tuesday night at the Tannery Pond Community Center, on “the controversy between people who want to see the rails torn up and those of us who do not want to see the rails go away. I’m looking at it from the historic preservation perspective.”

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