Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 Road Trip – Railroad Depots (#7) NY

Continuing with our end of summer road trip… As any regular viewers of my blog know by now, I have a predilection for seeking out and photographing railroad depots and rolling stock. (Actually, Laurie, who is my better half, takes almost all of my photos) In any case, I feel like we’re documenting a time gone by, bits of history of rail transportation in the USA.

So, here are photos and a bit of history about two very nice depots and some associated rolling stock…

This is the former Chateaugay and Lake Placid Railway Depot in Lake Placid New York.  The Chateaugay operated as a division of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad at the time.  Eventually, the New York Central Railroad took over this operation.  The New York Central ran passenger trains to and from Lake Placid until they suddenly ceased operations here on 10/24/45.

Two Lake Placid sisters, M. Frances and Louise Brewster bought the property and the station in 1967 and then donated it to the community.  That same year, it began operating as a museum managed by the Lake Placid – North Elba Historical Society.

This is Diesel Locomotive #705, on a siding at the Lake Placid railroad station. This EMD SW1 locomotive was built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division in December of 1941.  It was originally delivered to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.  This engine develops 600 HP and a total of 661 were built… New York Central purchased 81 units.  I couldn’t identify the coach in the photo…

In 1980, the railroad was brought back into service in conjunction with the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid.  Unfortunately, bankruptcy soon followed.  Then in 2000, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad was founded.  The ASR operates tourist trains in the summers on 2 sections of the 140 miles of track and right of way that comprised this former branch of the New York Central.  This particular segment of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake New York…about 10 miles in total.  Another 50 mile trip is available between Utica and Thendara New York.

This is a Electro-Motive EMD – GP9 Diesel Locomotive that was originally built in 1961 for the Pennsylvania Railway Company.  This engine develops 1,750 HP and a total of 4,115 of these locomotives were built.  The Adirondack Scenic Railroad owns a large number of vintage diesel locomotives…perhaps as many as 15 units.

This is another photo of some of the passenger coaches in use by the ASR. 

FYI, the entire 140 mile stretch of track and right-of-way is used as a snowmobile trail during the winter.

This is Union Depot in Saranac Lake.  It is located on the other end of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s line from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake.  This depot was built by the Chateaugay & Lake Placid Railway in 1904, as was the depot in Lake Placid. 

Saranac Lake was a very popular destination in the late 1800’s, at least partially due to its popularity for those seeking the ‘fresh air cure’ for tuberculosis.  The first rail service to Saranac Lake was initiated by the C&LP railroad in 1887.

This is the restored interior of one end of the Saranac Lake Depot.  We loved the look of the old ticket windows.  This depot was the largest in the Adirondacks with 18 – 20 trains coming and going every day from 1912 through 1949.  The New York Central railroad closed the depot in 1965.  The depot was restored in 1997 and 1998. 

For information about the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, just go to  Information regarding the Lake Placid – North Elba Historical Society and museum can be found at  
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. great to see the old stuff in such good shape and being used

  2. Hi David, Thank you for this great post about our neck of the woods. I am working with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad on their brochure and would love to be able to borrow some of your shots if possible. Of course I would credit you in the brochure. Let me know if this is ok. Thanks! Gail Brill Saranac lake, NY

    1. Hi Gail, Feel free to use any of my photos. They're for all to enjoy! I'd like to see the finished product when your done with it... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave3