Posts Tagged ‘excursion trains’

New River Gorge Excursions Canceled

September 24, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic concerns have led to the cancellation of the 2021 Autumn Colors Express excursion trips through the New River Gorge of West Virginia.

Rail Excursion Management, which is sponsoring the excursions, said the trips have been rescheduled for 2022.

 “An overwhelming number of customers have expressed concern about this year’s event,” said Railexco CEO Adam Auxier.

He noted that a surge in COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has local hospitals operating at emergency levels,” making postponement our best and only option this year.

Ticket holders will automatically be transferred to equivalent dates in October 2022. Questions about tickets, credits, or refunds can be directed to

The excursions were to be run in cooperation with Amtrak and the cities Huntington, Charleston and Hinton.

Passengers were to board in Huntington or Charleston and travel to Hinton for that city’s Railroad Days festival.

The Autumn Colors Express uses the same route as Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Agawa Canyon Train to Resume in Fall

September 17, 2021

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train in Ontario will operate on a limited schedule this fall.

Officials of Canadian National, which owns the tracks used by the train, said the shorter schedule is due to reduced capacity prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortened season runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 11, and all trips are already sold out. 

“It’s obviously really good news for us and the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Travis Anderson, Sault Ste. Marie’s director of tourism and community development. “It was a big gap in our portfolio last year and it presents a really good shot in the arm in terms of economic impact to the community.”

Ohio Rail Experience Sets Fall Excursions

August 12, 2021

The Ohio Rail Experience has announced its slate of fall excursions most of which will run in western and southwestern Ohio with a few venturing into Indiana and Michigan.

Tickets for most trips can be purchased at

Two of the excursions are fund raising events and tickets must be purchased from the sponsoring agency.

Most trips are between six to 10 hours in duration and feature stopovers in the destination city.

Among the trips and their dates are: Blue Ash Flyer, Cincinnati and Blue Ash, Sept. 4; Fireworks train, Norwood and Cincinnati, Sept. 5; Lima Limited, Springfield and Lima, Oct. 9 and 10; South Charleston Rocket, South Charleston and Jeffersonville; Oct. 16; St. Paris Special, St. Paris and Maplewood; Oct. 17; DT&I to the Old Road, Leipsic and Blissfield, Michigan, Oct. 23; Lima and Quincy, Oct. 24; Return to the Big Four, Cincinnati and Greensburg, Indiana, Oct. 30; North Bend Flyer, Cincinnati and Dearborn County, Indiana, Oct. 31.

The Ohio Rail Experience is sponsored by Cincinnati Scenic Railway, which operates the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in Lebanon, Ohio.

R&N Acquires 11 Passenger Cars

July 24, 2021

Pennsylvania regional carrier Reading & Northern Railroad has acquired 11 passenger cars to be used in its excursion services.

The cars were most recently operated by Colorado tourist railroad San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad.

The Colorado railroad closed in the wake of the bankrupty of its parent owner, Iowa Pacific Holdings.

R&N now has a fleet of 41 cars to be used for steam and diesel excursions.

Notable cars that R&N acquired from the SL&RG include former Southern Railway steam program open-air coach Lookout Mountain and former Illinois Central streamlined observation-lounge car Mardi Gras.

Also included in the acquisition was a full-length super dome once operated by the Milwaukee Road. That will bring to two the number of ex-Milwaukee Road full-length domes in the R&N fleet.

Other cars acquired include Calumet Club, a former IC streamlined flat-end parlor-observation-lounge car; a former IC heavyweight coach; Chuchara Valley, a former Canadian National heavyweight coach; a former Southern heavyweight coach,; Gila Valley, a former Southern heavyweight coach; San Luis Valley, a former Southern heavyweight coach; Ellerslie, a sformefr CN streamlined sleeper; and a former New York Central diner.

R&N said adding the cars will enable R&N to expand excursion n service to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, region.

Rainy Day on the Oil Creek & Titusville

July 13, 2021

Getting ready to depart Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Doing the runaround of the motive power at Rynd Farm.
Arriving at Petroleum Center
About to cross Oil Creek on the return trip.

This past Sunday (July 11), Marty Surdyk and I ventured to Titusville, Pennsylvania to ride the Oil Creek & Titusville.

The weather forecast leading up to Sunday was horrible for our area and for where we were headed.

Marty picked me up about 8:20 a.m. The drive most of the way was cloudy with a few sprinkles. We arrived in Titusville to overcast skies but no rain yet. At the departure time of 11 a.m. we still were OK.

After passing the Drake Well Museum we went out to the open gondola on the rear of the train. About eight minutes later the heavens opened up. The crew sent everybody back to the coaches for safety since the gondola would become very slippery from the rain.

Shorty before arriving at Rynd Farm the rain let up. Upon our departure about 30 minutes later we still were OK and we were welcome in the gondola.

We were good for about 45 minutes then our seats were more inviting for the remainder of the trip. Just before 2 p.m. the train arrived back at Titusville.

Our motive power was ex-Canadian National 3568, an M420W that was built by Montreal Locomotive Works, Canada’s division of Alco, in September 1976.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

WMSR Resumes Excursions This Weekend

May 28, 2021

Excursions will resume this weekend on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The 90-minute trips will be pulled by diesel locomotives and include a new open-air car and a dome car.

They will be the first excursions on the tourist railroad in more than a year with service having been suspended for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trips are scheduled to depart on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Capacity for each trip is limited to 250 people.

Excursions pulled by former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive No. 1309 will be announced at a later date.

CNJ Steamer to Run on R&N

May 4, 2021

A restored Central Railroad of New Jersey steam locomotive will pull an excursion on June 19 on the Reading & Northern in Pennsylvania.

The 0-6-0 No. 113 will face south en route from Minersville to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, and be turned at the latter so it will face north on the return leg.

The train will have an open gondola behind the locomotive and five open-window coaches.

The event also includes a pig roast upon the return to Minersville.

The 37-mile round excursion is a fundraising event for R&N engineer Chris Bost, who is suffering from a nerve disease and presently undergoing therapy.

For additional information call 570-544-8300 or visit the Project 113 Facebook page.

A 1984 Excursion on What Was Then NS

April 23, 2021

Norfolk Southern hosted an excursion from Brewster to Zanesville on Oct. 6, 1984. Here are three views of that train operating to Zanesville on what today is part of the Ohio Central System.

The train is shown passing under the Ohio Route 93 bridge in Dundee, entering Dresden and cruising just north of Sugarcreek.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Pennsy Locos on a Former Pennsy Route

December 30, 2020

Bennett Levin’s former Pennsylvania Railroad E8s powered a rare mileage private car excursion on Aug. 19, 2001, on a former Pennsy route from Harrisburg to Erie, Pennsylvania.

From Emporium, Pennsylvania, to Erie the railroad was operated as the Allegheny & Eastern and since it was a secondary route for the Pennsy the operating speeds were more relaxed.

Marty Surdyk and his brother Robert studied that route and that was where we focused our photography of the excursion.

Listening to the scanner on our trek eastward we set up initially at  St. Marys (top photograph) in pouring rain.

As the day went on the rain let up but the weather mainly remained overcast. We were able to find 12 photo locations. Five of the best are here in this story. 

They included crossing the Allegheny River in Warren, Pennsylvania; Garland, Pennsylvania; and passing a mural of a Climax steam locomotive in Corry, Pennsylvania, the home of Climax Manufacturing, which built the famous logging locomotives.

Our final photo location was in Erie where the excursion train arrived at the Erie Union Station, which today is still used by Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.  

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

An Old Excursion Memory

December 11, 2020

The wayback machine is taking us to the late 1950s for an image from the camera of the late Ed Treesh and now part of the collection of Robert Farkas. Cherry River Boom & Lumber 9 is on an excursion train in Richwood, West Virginia, in June 1958.

Photograph by Ed Treesh