West Virginia’s New River Train to feature all private car consist in 2017

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The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society's annual New River Train rolls westbound through Cotton Hill, W.Va., as seen from a former Northern Pacific dome car.
Chase Gunnoe
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — When the New River Train rolls through the New River Gorge during the third and fourth weekends of October this fall, it will be sporting an all private car consist for the first time since the steam era.

The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society’s 51st running of the New River Train will feature 30 cars of private varnish of various railroad heritages. In previous years, the society has operated the train with a mix of Amtrak and privately owned cars.

Amtrak Amfleet or Horizon coaches typically make up the train’s coach section, while heritage coach, premium, dome, silver, and business classes are comprised of privately owned coaches, observation lounge cars, and dome cars.

Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society Assistant General Manager Joe Rosenthal tells Trains News Wire the decision to use all heritage equipment stems from customer demands and passengers looking to ride on rail equipment that is not regularly used in passenger or tourist railroad operations.

Cars with lounge seating amenities, dome seating, and other business class luxuries are quick sells for the nonprofit organization. As of August 2017, the society had sold out many classes of service and while the society declined to offer specifics, Rosenthal says only heritage coach seating remains.

Some of the passenger car heritages enthusiasts can expect to see in 2017’s consist include California Zephyr vista-dome car Silver Solarium, Pullman-built Milwaukee Road Super Dome, Budd-built full-length dome car Summit View, the Overland Trail, a former Southern Pacific barber shop car, Great Northern full-length dome car Prairie View, and other lounge and passenger cars built for the New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore & Ohio, Central of Georgia Railway, and other fallen flags.

The train, which runs Saturday and Sunday during the third and fourth weekend of October, has a capacity of a little more than 1,200 passengers per day. The train usually sells out by early September. This year’s days of operation are October 21, 22, 28, and 29.

The train runs from Huntington, W.Va., to Hinton, W.Va., and return along CSX’s ex- Chesapeake & Ohio Kanawha and New River subdivisions. The 2017 consist will feature three Amtrak GE P42DC locomotives and 30 cars.

Heritage coach tickets, the only class remaining, are $179 per person.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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