• Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by griffs20soccer
There are stockpiles of ilmenite and magnetite which have already been mined on the ground no mining necessary. There are also millions of tons of over burden which can be used as aggregate piled up at the mine. Mineral assays of the materials at the site indicate the presence of rare earth elements. Further evaluation would be needed to determine whether the concentrations were sufficient for the extraction to be economically viable. Initial results look promising. I was just saying there is material there that has real value, not pie in the sky. The current operator would like rail service to move the aggregate. There is at least one other company interest in the other minerals and has done the assessment of what is there and its value.

Let's wait to see how this proceeds. Once again do your own research and don't just use one reference which may have an agenda.
  by NHV 669
If any of this material had any real value, it would have been shipped by rail already, when there was an operator running the length of the line. You don't need to hire a railroad to do a geological analysis.

We're already watching the proceedings come to a halt short of reaching the starting gate right in front of us; there's no need to wait, given that these folks have done this before.

You're putting the cart before the horse again.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Fri Apr 08, 2022 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by Safetee
case in point. somebody did a study of the various material up there and concluded that some of it met all the criteria for arema track ballast. so, seeing a revenue opportunity, the snc put together a small train load of the stuff and shipped it out to an ongoing track project only to find out on arrival that the stuff was not what they thought it was.
  by Safetee
I'm not sure if the initial stone cars were delayed, or not. my minds a bit foggy on their velocity. there definitely were problems with cp for snc wanting to move other similar materials to long island. but cps take it or leave it tariff made the move un-competitive. the loaded stone cars i alluded to of arema "qualified" ballast did make it to eastern mass.
  by griffs20soccer
The initial geologic analyses has already been completed. There is real value of the material on the ground, no mining necessary. There may be additional value in the rare earths, more testing and evaluating is needed. How do I know this, because the company I work for did the survey and initial analyses. If it ever became necessary there are still untapped veins of titanium ore in the ground. Mining would be much more difficult, you'd need NYSDEC to issue a permit which they aren't likely to do with out pressure form the federal government like what happened in WWII. The tricky part is how to get it from the mine to the processing plant. Rail is needed, will it happen, that's the question. Once again instead of stating opinions, let sit back and see what happens.
  by 50-year railfan
As far as I can tell from the current APA maps, the mine area is still classified as "industrial", so it may not be all that difficult to reopen the mine. In this case, however, it may require a federal subsidy to make the revival economically viable, rather than to move the permitting process forward. The reality check is that the mine stopped operating over 30 years ago. Whatever processing/loading/ material handling equipment that was there must either have been moved elsewhere or is totally inoperative due to lack of maintenance and use. Additionally, all of the most important processing equipment was run from a dedicated electric line that has now been totally abandoned. Seems to me that the costs of that kind of revival could only come from the federal government on the basis of our need to develop domestic sources for raw material we now import from countries that may not always be our friends.
  by NHV 669
griffs20soccer wrote: Fri Apr 08, 2022 3:30 pm Once again instead of stating opinions, let sit back and see what happens.
Last I checked, this is a forum where we are free to offer exactly that- and I will gladly continue to do so as I please. You've made several statements backed up by nothing other than personal anecdotes.

The county is getting Schwanke'd, it's too bad they didn't look into these folks more before choosing them over the legitimate Rail Bike operation.

A whole three bidders took part in this process, and the only one who has ever moved a train anywhere ever backed out. If you can't see the trees through the forest, I don't know what to tell you.
Last edited by NHV 669 on Sat Apr 09, 2022 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BR&P
"In an earlier interview, Carol McLean-Wright indicated Doc N Duchess was seeking capital from outside investors."

There's a difference between "seeking" and "has obtained". The article 50-year railfan linked to previously has been updated, but still stops short of saying they have secured the financial support needed. The Wrights contend they were not aware that more down payments would be required before the actual time of closing.

Pull up a chair, grab the popcorn, and let's see what happens next.

FWIW, I was once told by a financially savvy and very accomplished investor that the overwhelming majority of business start-ups that fail do so because of insufficient capitalization.
  by lvrr325
I think sometimes these players make a bid on the assumption they can get loans for the startup capital and if the loans don't come through neither do they
  by 50-year railfan
The following is a comment posted on the Adirondack Explorer article on the possible purchase. It does make some sense in explaining the delay, but going to Europe to find investors for the purchase of an abandoned rail line in the Adirondacks seems to indicate somewhat "thin" support for the venture.

Molly Pritchard says
April 13, 2022 at 12:19 am
In a phone interview, McLean-Wright said Doc N Duchess put up the required $35,000 deposit to participate in the auction, but was not informed that further funds would be required prior to the May 6 closing. But she was notified that the company would have to put up $250,000, and later $500,000, to keep the bid viable.

That was a problem, she said, because the Doc N Duchess investors are in Europe, and large financial transfers are under added scrutiny due to Russia’s war with Ukraine, and the desire to keep oligarchs from moving their assets. She said Doc N Duchess officials were aware that financial transitions were being held up and for that reason asked that the closing date be set toward the end of the 90-day term within which the full amount must be paid.
  by 50-year railfan
This link to an article in the "Adirondack Explorer" seems to be the latest news on this issue. The rail bike people say they will allow 'occasional freight movements' but there is no indication they will spend any money to upgrade the track for those freight movements.

I also question how running rail bikes, which seems to have been profitable, could possibly generate enough to ultimately pay for this multimillion dollar bid.

https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stor ... hawus-line
  by BandA
Revolution Rail bid $700K. Weird that the 1st place bid would be derailed because they were depending on Russian oligarchs to finance so they could access the rare earth elements, which would be good for the USA? Guess they forgot to partner with Hunter Biden or Hillary Clinton but I digress...

The rail bikes are an interim use, like self-storage facilities and solar farms. If they can secondly get a non-profit tourist rail group to set up shop on a time separated basis, then third get someone interested in the mine. Competition for rare earth elements is not going away, and China has locked up supply from most of the developing world.
  by Old Muley
Political digressions are not what this forum is about.

  by BandA
Revolution Rail specifically mentioned the sanctions on Russia and Russian interests as impacting their ability to finance the transaction. This line was built to access rare earth element(s). It is well known that Russia and China have interests in controlling markets in some rare earth elements, metals and natural resources. The links to certain politicians is additional degree(s) of separation, so I apologize for adding them into the mix.
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