The Adirondack Scenic Railroad had to delay the opening of its Lake Placid-Saranac Lake train runs due to a mechanical malfunction in Lake Placid Wednesday.
"There was just a really minor incident with the switch (on the track)," said Bethan Maher, executive director of the Adirondack railway Preservation Society, which operates the recreational train trips between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, as well as between Utica and the Old Forge area. "Safety always comes first. It was an old switch, and we need to fix it."
Railroad tracks meet at a junction, where switches allow a train to be rerouted to a different track. At the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake stations, the locomotive is separated from the passenger cars and switched to a parallel track while it is moved from one end of the train to the other for the return trip.
The railroad season for the normally begins around Memorial Day and continues on weekends through June, but this year it got off a late start due to a combination of track repairs and poor early season ridership over the last few years, railroad officials said.
The train arrived in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Tuesday from Utica, where ARPS is based. Maher said the train will most likely run Thursday.
"We were hoping to start today, but safety always comes first," Maher said. "We should be running tomorrow. It's Clown Train day."
Clown Train day features a clown named Penelope who entertains train passengers. Wednesday's trips were supposed to feature mock train robberies. Friday's trains will feature a magician called Boxcar Benny.
The Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Railroad line runs twice daily out of each location. In Lake Placid the train departs at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. In Saranac Lake it departs at 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The 3:45 p.m. trip is one way to Lake Placid.