TAHAWUS, N.Y. – New tank car safety standards coupled with a slump in oil-by-rail shipments are causing headaches for many in the railroad business, but for struggling scenic railroads and other short-line operators, they may bring salvation.
Continue Reading Below
Ed Ellis is president of Saratoga and North Creek Railway. He says he plans to store up to 500 empty tank cars for a year or more on seldom-used tracks near the High Peaks Wilderness region of the Adirondacks. He estimates storage fees could add up to "seven figures," ensuring the future of the cash-strapped tourist train.
The American Association of Railroads says oil-by-rail shipments were down. Miles-long lines of idle tank cars are showing up on long-unused rail spurs around the country as short line railroads like Ellis' store them.