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03/17/17 7:22am
03/17/2017 7:22 AM

Greenport Mayor George Hubbard Jr. has announced that a miniature railroad is planned to once again operate in the village.

During Thursday night’s Village Board work session, Mr. Hubbard said a fundraising effort could soon be in the works to build a new miniature railroad near Moore’s Lane and will consist of an eight-foot wide path through the woods.

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12/22/16 6:00am
12/22/2016 6:00 AM

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Four years ago, Frank Field decided to stop running the Peconic County Miniature Rail Road on tracks he had built adjacent to his Greenport home. Before that, the retired railroad employee had offered train rides for nearly three decades, much to the delight of children of all ages.

Now, there’s a chance Greenport will once again have its own miniature railroad. READ

09/06/12 5:00am
09/06/2012 5:00 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Frank Field, owner of the Peconic County Miniature Railroad.

While we’re sorry to see the Peconic County Rail Road reach the end of the line, we’re pleased to see that it did so on Frank Field’s terms.

Many folks in the community have been on the Suffolk Times website this week offering ideas for keeping Mr. Field’s unique miniature train system open to the public.

Some have asked if Mr. Fields would sell his train. Others have suggested that Southold Town, the Village of Greenport or even the Greenport Business Improvement District keep the railroad running.

That’s all well and good, but it’s also a bunch of nonsense.

Some things are special because they don’t change. It’s in Greenport, not just in any old town, that a man can build a half-mile miniature train track behind his house and open it to the public on summer weekends for 27 years. What does he ask for in return? A small donation, if you have it. And what does he do with all the money he brings in? He donates it to the local hospital.

Now this unique visionary, who turned an idea he had way back in 1953 into a community treasure more than 30 years later, says it’s quitting time. We should respect his wishes.

No one could expect Mr. Field, now 80 years old, to keep doing this forever. Nor is it fair to assume he’d want to sit idly by while someone else ran the train in his backyard.

It would be great to see the railroad relocated to a local park, where local children and adults could continue riding for many years to come, but we know that wouldn’t be quite as much fun.

All good things come to an end. The best things hurt when they do.

We’re sad to see Mr. Field’s train make its final stop but, more importantly, we’re happy to have been along for the ride.

09/04/12 10:08am
09/04/2012 10:08 AM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The Peconic County Miniature Railroad closed after 27 years in operation Sunday.

For 27 years, the Peconic County Miniature Rail Road operated out of Webb Street Station in Greenport. On Sunday, the general public rode the trains for the final time.

The reason the track, which ran on summer weekends and holidays, closed to the public is two-fold, according to Frank Field, who opened the track behind his home in 1985. For starters, the cost of the public liability insurance the 80-year-old has to pay for through donations from visitors has become too costly. Then there’s also the fact that he and engineer Tony Cassone of Southold were the only volunteers left operating the trains.

“This is the whole crew right here,” Mr. Field said of himself and Mr. Cassone, 69. “Almost all the volunteers we’ve had over the years have passed away.

Mr. Field said he plans to keep the track running so it can be used by his and Mr. Cassone’s grandchildren. He can then drop the public liability insurance, which costs $4,000 per year.

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