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Wayne Post
  • Dick Colacino: Train of thought differs



  • I have supported the proposed passenger station in Lyons for over 20 years and still do. I even contributed financially to the proposed Lyons station 20 years ago. The site in Lyons has some obstacles that remain unresolved after all those years without any resolution in site. Therefore, I began to look into the feasibility of bringing it to Newark for the benefit of all county residents.

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  • Editor’s note: This essay is in response to commentary from the Times of Wayne County that was critical of the writer, Arcadia Town Supervisor Dick Colacino, who asked that we run a response in the Wayne Post.
    While I understand your long-term opposition to passenger trains as well as your recent criticism of nearly everything that I try to accomplish, I would respectfully ask that you research the facts before you publish anymore of your editorials. I offer the following information, not for the impossible goal of changing your mind, but rather to clarify matters for your readers.
    My initial interest in the North Main property North of Newark had nothing to do with a railroad station and in fact was centered on placing abandoned properties back on the tax roll. I continue to receive complaints about the decay, and if we don’t take responsibility, it will sit there in limbo forever.
    I have supported the proposed passenger station in Lyons for over 20 years and still do. I even contributed financially to the proposed Lyons station 20 years ago. The site in Lyons has some obstacles that remain unresolved after all those years without any resolution in site. Therefore, I began to look into the feasibility of bringing it to Newark for the benefit of all county residents.
    I have made it quite clear from the start that in addition to other uses, the North Main site could possibly be more marketable because of its proximity to a major rail line for industrial development and yes, perhaps as a good location for a railroad station.
    A station in Newark would likely not necessitate the construction of a spur line as suggested by the editor; in fact it is quite common for trains to make brief stops on the main tracks, just as it used to be in Newark and many other towns. Passenger trains stop on the main tracks in Rochester. You see Ron, you don’t know what you don’t know!
    Very few people realize that the eight of the 12 daily passenger trains that go through Wayne County actually are state Department of Transportation Empire Service Inter-City Commuter trains. Although the trains are owned and staffed by Amtrak, the service is totally subsidized by New York State taxpayers. The four other trains are the eastbound and westbound versions of the regular Amtrak trains known as the Maple Leaf and Lake Shore Limited, which are supported by the federal government. I am not satisfied that Wayne County residents are paying but receiving no benefits. A station here will bring thousands of tourists here to one of the most beautiful places in the world, to our attractions and to the entire Finger Lakes region.
    I am not seeking a station for the high-speed rail network, which is a long-range plan for the same route. I am merely seeking a single stop somewhere in Wayne County, which is midway between Rochester and Syracuse and the longest stretch on the Empire Route without a station.  Lyons was initially selected for that reason and also because studies show that ridership to or from a stop in our area could easily support the service.
    Page 2 of 2 - I think that when the high-speed rail is completed, that it too is something that would be great for our area. While that would not stop at every “wannabe town” as the editorial stated, it is likely to stop at the stations that already are in existence at the time when the service commences.
    Sure, a plane can get to New York City in about an hour or less, but that is only a small fraction of the time needed for a Wayne County resident to drive to Rochester, go through security and board their flight, not to speak of the time spent on the other end at a destination that is far from the heart of the city. Sure, most Americans are in love with their cars, but that does not mean that this mindset will never change, especially in light of the cost of fuel, which will continue to rise over the long term.
    I want to leave you with a favorite quote I happen to like: RISK-more than others think is safe, CARE-more than others think is wise, DREAM-more than others think is practical, EXPECT more than others think is possible.
    Dick Colacino is supervisor of the Town of Arcadia.

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