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Locomotive fixed for fall finale

October 31, 2013
SHAUN KITTLE ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Adirondack Scenic Railroad's Halloween Train Ride has started running again, despite damage done to the locomotive earlier this month.

Railroad volunteers at the Lake Placid depot discovered a problem Oct. 9 when they attempted to start the locomotive. Further inspection revealed that wires inside the locomotive's electrical cabinet had been pulled out, cut and placed back into the cabinet. The railroad says it was an act of sabotage.

The train is leased by the railroad company and runs between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake in summer and fall. The Halloween runs will be its last of the year.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, a team of train specialists got the locomotive running again.

"It was a very extensive effort by the head of the mechanical department," said Bethan Maher, executive director of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. "We brought one specialist in from Batavia and one from Ohio. The train is now up and running. It's been tested, and it appears to be running fine."

Initial damage assessments estimated the repair bill at $25,000 to $50,000. Maher said the railroad company hasn't yet received bills from the specialists, but she said the repairs will probably end up costing about $20,000, not including her company's mechanical staff labor.

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"I can't get into too many specifics as to what we had to repair because the investigation is ongoing," Maher said.

The railroad is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those who damaged the locomotive.

"We're hoping that will help because we would really like to find out who did this," Maher said.

Lake Placid police Sgt. Chuck Dobson said investigators are still following a few leads, He said revealing too many details about a case can hinder an ongoing investigation.

"Generally, intimate details about a case or crime can work to our advantage when we're interviewing potential suspects, and once that information becomes public knowledge we no longer have that advantage," Dobson said.

Dobson said a U.S. attorney announced he won't pursue the case on the federal level, which means the Federal Railway Administration and the National Transportation Board won't investigate the incident.

The Halloween Train Ride will include free rides on the Adirondack Carousel, treats, and a horde of family-friendly zombies who will stalk the forests as the train makes its way from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake.

"The Halloween Train has always been a big hit in the community," Maher said. "It's always been one of our more popular train rides, so it's really good to be up and running."

Trains were running this past weekend, and Halloween Trains are scheduled for Halloween day as well as Friday. Nov. 1. For more information, check



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