Posts Tagged ‘French Lick Scenic Railway’

Indiana Holiday Train Rides Canceled

September 10, 2020

An Indiana tourist railroad has canceled it holiday season train rides due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The French Lick Scenic Railway canceled its Polar Express Train Ride but plans to reinstate the event next year.

In a Facebook page message, the railroad said it canceled the trips after reviewing safety requirements.

Those would have resulted in an experience quite different from what has been offered in the past, including limited personal interactions with the conductor and not being able to have Santa pose for photographs with passengers.

“This is just not the show we feel you deserve – the one that many of you have come to know and love,” the railroad said.

Those who purchased tickets for this year’s trips will be notified by email and mail with information on the railroad’s plans.

Indiana Tourist Railroad Gets Northern Pacific Look

June 29, 2019

An Indiana tourist railroad has acquired a geep that will remind observers of the Northern Pacific.

GP9 No. 465 was acquired by the French Lick Scenic Railway from the Hoosier Southern Railroad that has been given a two-tone green livery reminiscent of NP’s North Coast Limited passenger train identity.

No. 465 will be used to pull regular excursions and dinner trains between French Lick and Jasper in Southern Indiana.

This is an expansion of the railroad’s existing service between French Lick and Cuzco.

The Spirit of Jasper dinner train operates a few miles from Jasper.

Those trains will continue to operate and supplement the new French Lick-Jasper service, whose inauguration date has yet to be announced. However, railroad officials expect it to be in the fall.

The track used by the trains was once operated by the Southern Railway.

No. 465 was built in 1959 for Southern Pacific subsidiary Texas & New Orleans as No. 454.

Also receiving the NP-inspired livery are former Ringling Brothers Circus Train car No. 41310, which has become dining/first class car RPCX No. 1710, and French Lick Scenic business car No. 500 Indianapolis, an observation car of Seaboard Coast Line ancestry.

The railroad already had former NP Dome Car Homestake Pass, which came already painted in the NP-inspired green livery.

Ex-Monon Business Car Restored

March 14, 2014

A former Monon business car has been restored by the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society.

Pullman built Monon business car No. 2, Lynne, in 1924 as an open platform observation.

The Monon acquired the car in 1953 and rebuilt it into a business car with a kitchen, dining room, drawing room, two compartments and a large observation room.

It was named Lynne after Monon President Warren Brown’s 2-year-old granddaughter Lynne Chambers. The car would visit French Lick, Ind., at least once a year when the railroad ran specials to the Kentucky Derby in nearby Louisville.

The car was retired in 1971 and sold to construction company Brown Inc. of Michigan City, Ind., which used it as an office.

When the owner of the company died, the family donated the car to the society, which spent $30,000 for brake and structural work to move the car to the Indiana Railway Museum at French Lick in December 2011.

Interior and exterior work was done in the restoration process with cabinetry remanufactured, plumbing repaired, head end power work done, and furniture acquired.

The Jasper Group, a French Lick custom furniture manufacturer, donated furniture for the dining room.

Society President Pete Pedigo was found the original brass script logos that carried the car’s name from Lynne’s family, which was invited to an inaugural celebration to mount the plates back on the car.

The Lynne is used on occasional excursion runs by the museum, which operates the French Lick Scenic Railway over 25 miles of track from French Lick to Jasper.
Restoration of the Lynne was funded in part by a grant from the National Railway Historical Society National Heritage Grant program.