Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mike Hein embraces the success of the Catskill Mt.Railroad Events

Due to the overwhelming success of Thomas the Train and Polar Express and due to the monetary benefits to Ulster County businesses from train riders, the county executive has committed to keeping the Kingston Plaza to Hurley Mt.Road tracks in place.  However, he currently wants to truncate the rails 5 miles short of the Glenford Dike at the edge of the Ashokan reservoir.  Railroaders at the Catskill Mt. RR say their volunteers can easily repair this 5 mile stretch.  They say that Glenford is the right stopping point for now, since the extra uphill 5 miles from the Hurly Mountain Road to Glenford gets people up the long hill to the trail and the great views at the flat plateau at the reservoir.  From Glenford to Mt.Pleasant, there are storm related washouts at Phoenicia and Cold Brook that will take county help to repair.  Presently, Catskill Mt. Railroad runs a second scenic 5 mile round trip from Mt.Tremper to Boiceville. 

There is no good rationale for not completing the railroad tracks to Glenford.  This extra 5 miles will allow the Catskill Mt.Railroad to run "Dinner Train Rides to the Reservoir"  year round, bringing in more money for the county and its businesses.  The extra 5 miles will also allow the transport of bikers and their bikes on the train from Kingston to Glenford.  People could take the train up the hill to the reservoir and bike the trail up there and then ride the bike down the hill back to Kingston where their cars are parked.  The key point is to encourage tourists to drive to Kingston, park at the Kingston Plaza, go to the reservoir trail, and then take the train, or bike or walk back to Kingston where their cars are parked.  Kingston has the amenities that tourists want and enjoy.  Let's bring in the tourists and money to Kingston to benefit our residents and businesses.