NORTHERN ADIRONDACK RAILROAD

                                     Santa Clara Station, now a Church oratory, 1999
 
 
 

Starting with this line, we now focus on the portion that ran in the United States.  On Feb. 9, 1883, John Hurd, Peter MacFarlane and Charles Hotchkiss chartered a logging rail line called the Northern Adirondack Railroad to transport logs and finished products from the several sawmills and gross virgin timber lands that they owned in the area south of Moira.  The NARR opened on Sept. 25, 1883 between Moira and St. Regis Falls with only one problem, the leased locomotive derailed in the latter town.  Hurd, who was the son-in-law of P.T. Barnum, became ambitious and had his eyes set on what was, at that time, the largest saw mill in North America in Tupper Lake.  He began to buy out his partners, first was MacFarlane, who went on to fund the Everton Railroad, then Hotchkiss by 1890.  Hurd did this so that he could be the sole controller of the line and have little to no resistance in expansion.  The line was built to Santa Clara in 1885 and then Hurd created the Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad on Feb. 17, 1886, with the mandate to build to Tupper Lake from Santa Clara.  The moment the company was formed, he transfered the rails recently built south of St. Regis Falls to the NAERR and leased them.

NAERR opened in two parts.  In 1886, it opened to Brandon then the final section to Tupper Lake was completed in 1889.  The first train to run the entire route was on July 1, 1890.  The NARR absorbed the NAERR on Apr. 5, 1890, thereby ending the use of leases.  The logging business was doing so well that, in 1892, Hurd built a branch line from Black Rapids Junction, just south of Bay Pond, to Black Rapids, where a logging operation was situated.  With all this done, one might ask why did Hurd stop building at Tupper Lake.  The answer was that he had other plans.  He had formed agreements with other rail lines so that, if realized, Hurdís line would be part of a new short route between Ottawa in Canada to New York City.  First was the arrangement made with the Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad, a small line from Moira to Bombay.  Hurd aquired trackage rights along this line for his passenger trains and was able to reach the Grand Trunk Railway line that ran to Montreal.  The second company was the Adirondack Railroad, which ran from Saratoga Springs to North Creek.  It had a junction to the Delaware & Hudson Railroadís main line and this was the most ideal route for the short line.  All that was needed was a connection between Tupper Lake and North Creek, but it was not to be.  The New York State Forest Preserve would not alone any rail lines to be built between those places and Hurd was left hopeless.  The NARR business was doing well, but the profits were minimal and Hurdís business practices started to affect the operation of the line.  The NARR was put into receivership on Jan. 25, 1894.
 

 Return To A History Of