The Marion River Carry Railroad started in 1900 under Thomas Durant (of first transcontinental railroad fame) who sought to connect the Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain lakes in the Adirondacks. At the time, Durant and his family owned large plots of acreage on which they established hotels, golf courses, local transporation in the form of passenger steam boats (on the many lakes in the area) and railroads -- essentially, the area became a large tourist destination.
Before the Marion River Carry railroad, transport between steamers on the two lakes was crude, and involved walking (while carrying one's luggage) across nearly a mile of marshy land on a rickety boardwalk. More wealthy families opted for a horse-drawn baggage carts. Thomas Durant, visionary that he was, saw the need for a more refined conveyance, thus building the railroad in 1900.
The railroad ran between a steamboat dock on the Marion River, across the intermediate marsh, to a steamboat dock on the Utowana Lake, providing a link between Raquette Lake (via Marion River) and Blue Mountain Lake (via Utowana Lake).
Owing to the popularity of the automobile, and the consequent construction of nearby parallel NY Route 28, the days of the Marion Carry Railroad were numbered, and abandonment eventually came in 1929. Today, the marsh has reclaimed the right-of-way; reportedly there is effort to reconstruct the route as a heritage railroad.
At 3/4 of a mile long, the Marion River Carry Railroad garners title of the shortest standard-guage railroad in the United States, and the shortest formal abandonment on the Abandoned Rails website.
See also The Raquette Lake Railway.