Tourist trains to run by July

NORTH CREEK - Passenger train service, including sightseeing excursions with dome cars, are expected to be operational by July 1 on the Warren County railway - with three trains running daily between North Creek and Saratoga Springs.

Sarah Munley, director of marketing for Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC, the new operator of the county railroad, delivered this news at a gathering June 1 of area business and tourism representatives.

Munley said this open forum, held at the Copperfield Inn, was to seek marketing advice from local business owners and residents for Iowa Pacific Holdings' inaugural year running the railway, which is expected to include freight runs and ski trips.

"This all came together a little hastily," Munley said, adding that Iowa Pacific is still trying to catch up on advertising for the summer season. The contract between Warren County and Iowa

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Pacific was signed in April, several months later than both the company and area officials had anticipated.

Munley presented schedules and outlined the equipment to be used. The trains will include two dome cars that hold 72 passengers each, equipped with dining tables and offer tableside food service in upcoming years. Other coach cars will resemble standard Amtrak passenger cars, with food available but no seat-side service.

Hoped-for dinner service will not be a part of this year's plans, Munley said. Other rail lines operated by Iowa Pacific offer the option, and the company has declared plans to introduce regular dining excursions.

The railway will offer three lines operating Thursday through Monday through rural Warren County along the Hudson River; they are titled the Hudson, the Merganser and the New York Express. The Hudson will run from North Creek to Saratoga Springs. The Merganser will run from North Creek to Hadley in the afternoon. The New York Express will make the North Creek to Saratoga Springs run in the early morning and late evening. Fares will be $19 for an all-day adult coach pass, and $40 for an all-day adult dome pass.

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