SRI Cancels 2020 Excursions

The Michigan-based Steam Railroading Institute said this week it has canceled the rest of its planned 2020 excursions.

This includes the annual fall foliage specials and the holiday-themed North Pole Express.

In an announcement posted on its website, SRI, which is based in Owosso, cited the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the operation of excursion trains is identified as being among the highest risk activities associated with the spread of the virus.

The North Pole Express will be idle for the first time in 16 years.

SRI said it will explore options for safe, outdoor events in Owosso and hopes to offer a Pere Marquette Christmas experience. The group owns Pere Marquette 2-8-4 No. 1225.

The museum is currently closed for public visits in accordance local health department guidelines.

The announcement noted that with excursions stopped and the museum closed, it has lost its traditional sources of revenue.

It is seeking donations in an effort to help make up the income void.

Information on donating is available at michigansteamtrain.com/save-our-steamer or by mailing donations to Steam Railroading Institute; P.O. Box 665, Owosso, MI 48867.

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