For such a run-down little city, Utica has an exquisite train station. The Department of Motor Vehicles and many small shops are in the station, too. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad and Amtrak use the station. We visited it to ride on the lovely ADK Scenic Railroad. What a trip! The entire entourage is made up of volunteers from the area. There’s a distinctly fun and whimsical atmosphere, largely cultivated by the volunteers who obviously love their work here. I am actually surprised that it’s a volunteer crew — there’s SO much work involved. No pay. The work must be tough sometimes and there’s definitely danger involved. Most who volunteer (those who I saw) were older than 55, so they were all retirement age or more.
But they all were AMAZING. I think a volunteer force is better than a paid-for work force. These people WANT to be a part of the ADK RR. And their enthusiasm is very contagious. What a gem for the area, indeed.