Because trains can carry a large number of people and goods on a very narrow unpaved right of way, they have a minimal impact on the environment. Nature can survive within a few feet of the track. The rights of way absorb water naturally and do not need salting in winter. Trains can plow themselves through all but the deepest snows. Trains do not need "parking lots" at each and every stop. Because trains stop only a stations, the land in between these "islands" can remain quite unspoiled.

The Grand Traverse -

How does train travel compare with the "freedom" of motor vehicles?
Motor vehicle "freedom" increasingly means the freedom to sit in traffic jams, the freedom to drive round and round looking for parking, the freedom to hike from a remote parking spot to your actual destination while being buzzed by many other stressed out drivers who've not yet found parking. Also basing daily life around cars, busses and trucks contributes to all manner of sprawl which then, as things spread out to accommodate more parking, increases the need for still more driving.

From a purely business standpoint, train access might often encourage travelers to take a trip in weather conditions that otherwise would keep most home.

Ideally, the rail line would be built first to bring in construction workers and materials. Next, worker housing would be built in walking/biking distance to resort site and also walking/biking distance to essential services like a village and supermarket. After construction is all done, the low to moderate income housing would then be available to resort employees. This walkable design drastically reduces the need for paved areas to move and store cars. And on Golf courses, well who's to say that a small natural "meadow & forrest" golf course couldn't become a new challenge for golfers who've been to all the overmanicured courses?

Imagine then that allowing for new development based around train access increases jobs in the region while conceivably actually reducing existing auto traffic all along the newly created transit corridor from Belleayre Mountain on down to the Hudson River.

Sidebar: Most public areas should be designated Cell-Phone-Free. For those who must, some enclosed areas can be provided. (Some national parks already have cell phone free areas).



Center for Livable Communities
organizes a variety of conferences, workshops, and training sessions on land use and transportation-related issues. The Center publishes a monthly newsletter, Livable Places Update, and has produced a variety of easy-to-read guidebooks that explore models and tools for improving land use and transportation planning.


Newport Dinner Train
Dine in classic elegance as you ride around scenic Narragansett Bay aboard Rhode Island.

The Grand Traverse Dinner Train
Dinner Train excursion with lodging packages.

Seminole Gulf Railway The Dinner Theater Train.
The Dinner Train Theater has entertained with its renowned Murder Mysteries and has served over 170,000 dining patrons aboard its four 1930's - 1950's vintage railroad cars.

Cape Cod Central Railroad
Our award winning Elegant Dinner Train was featured among the top three dinner trains nationwide by TV Food Network's Dining on the Train. Join us for a gourmet meal as we journey through scenic Cape Cod and find out why. Or you may prefer our Luncheon Train or our Family Supper Train.
For a less formal train ride, try our Scenic Excursion Train. Named one of the top ten scenic train rides in the country by USA Today, our two-hour scenic excursions are perfect for all ages

Spirit of Washington
Experience the nostalgia of passenger rail as you ride and dine in our luxurious, vintage rail cars. From Renton to Woodinville, your journey takes you along the shores of Lake Washington and over the historic Wilburton Trestle (102 feet high and 975 feet long)


Who would design such a thing? For one possibility, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
Examples of their transit oriented projects are:
Anchor Mill, North Carolina - 32 acres
This project is the first attempt in the county to intentionally create a transit-oriented development to become a part of a larger system. This system will include a series of town centers, along the North-South transit corridor, each of them not entirely complete with all the necessary uses, but each of them covering a range of daily and more specialized needs.
designed by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
and another example of their transit oriented design,
Cornelius, North Carolina - 128 acres
The Cornelius Plan resulted from a unique approach to the standard public/ private venture. Following the example of many of the finest developments of the prewar era around the world, Cornelius purchased a large vacant property adjacent to its town core. A master plan was completed and vested on to the property. The development community, along with citizens and Town officials participated in the charette, producing a Master Plan that was then marketed to perspective developers. designed by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company


The Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota and the Quetico Provincial Park of Canada are two million acre wilderness areas set aside for you to enjoy solely by way of canoe. There are no roads, or power lines, or motorized craft allowed inside these pristine areas. No one lives in these areas so you will share it only with a handful of other canoeists. It is an area of pine forests, crystal clear lakes, and high granite cliffs... where moose roam the woods while bald eagles soar overhead and the loons beckon to you from the lake

Quetico is a protected, pristine wilderness retreat of international acclaim west of Lake Superior on the Canada-U.S. border. The park's tangled network of lakes once formed water routes travelled by Ojibway and fur traders. Now it is primarily the destination of experienced canoeists seeking solitude and rare glimpses of wildlife by cascading waterfalls, glassy lakes and endless forests. The park is accessible at four points by canoe and two by car.

Only did a quick search for this area, may be better sites then the above.

What is being proposed?

"The Belleayre Resort proposal will be a major four-season facility located on lands surrounding the state's primary recreational asset in the Catskills, the Belleayre Mt. Ski Center......."

Cars can again become fun... if we design our world so they're not a necessity for daily living.



by Larry Lawrence, a Woodstock artist.