W.Va. Group Moving On From New River Train

The West Virginia organization that operated the New River Train for several years is moving on working to recover from the financial difficulties that led it to bow out of operating the long-running excursion train.

The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society in Huntington is working to get its insurance policy reinstated so it can resume offering commentary aboard Amtrak’s Cardinal and reopen its museum.

The Society is also looking to continue paying off its bills and might seek a smaller office building for its headquarters. It currently owns a two-story building in Huntington.

In an interview with Trains magazine, Society President Skip Reinhard said he wishes the new operators of the New River Train, which has been renamed the Autumn Colors Express, all the best.

“I hope everything works out  . . . and people have a good time,” Reinhard said.

Reinhard was reluctant to comment further about the New River Train situation other than to say he wished his organization had received more political support.

The Society said earlier this year it was cancelling the New River Train in 2019 due to having suffered a financial loss on the October 2018 excursions.

That led to cost overruns and cash flow issues that Society officials said stemmed from increases in Amtrak charter and tariff rates.

The Autumn Colors Express will be operated by Minnesota-based Rail Excursion Management under an agreement with Amtrak on Oct. 25-27 between Huntington and Hinton, West Virginia.

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