Train ridership on the rise

— The local train is making a brisk trade in tickets, with nearly 1,800 riders logged since the July 23 opening.

Sarah Munley, director of sales and marketing at Iowa Pacific, said the numbers are meeting and exceeding expectations. A few additional riders pay on board at flag stops, noted Munley, though the number right now is fairly small.

Munley said that reservations are also healthy, with calls daily.

Sterling Goodspeed said that on a recent evening, he was dining at Andie's on Main Street. When he arrived and sat down, the restaurant was nearly empty. Soon, the other tables filled up, and all the new customers were train riders. He said it's busier on Main Street when trains arrive, and the railroaid is having a noticible impact.

Mike Bowers, co-chair of the North Creek Business Alliance, said the electric cars recently donated by the Front Street developers has been getting plenty of use.

“Each and every business went out of their way to make the passengers welcome to North Creek,” said Bowers, “and it was clearly expressed by many upon leaving that their visit was enjoyable.”

Bowers said the local business community is appreciative of the Saratoga-North Creek Railroad's personnel, and they plan on supporting SNCRR by sending home happy riders to spread good word of mouth.

The Gore Chamber of Commerce has a public meeting planned at the Copperfield Aug. 17 to build strategies to work closely with the new train operators and offer events and destinations to travelers.

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