Autumn Colors Express returns to New River Gorge in 2020

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Rail Excursion Management Co. announced Friday that it would again run its Autumn Colors Express through West Virginia’s New River Gorge in October.

The Autumn Colors Express first ran in 2019 and was organized after the operators of the original New River Train, the Collis P. Huntington Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society, decided to end the operation after more than 50 years. The group cited new rules imposed by Amtrak regarding the movement of private cars as the reason it ended the train’s run.

The 2020 edition of the Autumn Colors Express will make four round-trip runs from Huntington to Hinton from Oct. 22 to 25. Organizers say that the 2019 edition was so popular that they decided to add a fourth day this year.

Tickets for the 2020 edition of the train go on sale Monday at

“We’re so excited for the 2020 Autumn Colors Express, and with a fourth day added to the schedule, we are able to share this event, and the beauty of West Virginia, with even more people,” says Railexco CEO Adam Auxier.

For the second year in a row, the train will stop in Charleston to pick up additional passengers. The train is being run the same weekend as Hinton’s Railroad Days Festival. Hinton City Manager Cris Meadows says having the excursion bring people to the festival is a big deal for the small town.

“The Railroad Days Festival is the lifeblood of our little town, and ACE has pumped new energy into us at a time when we desperately needed it. We know the festival will continue to get bigger and better each year,” Meadows says.

Officials expect the train to be 25 to 30 cars long.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has been a long supporter of the annual excursion through the New River Gorge and worked with Amtrak to ensure that it could continue to operate under new management.

“For more than 50 years, the New River Train has been at the heart of West Virginia’s proud railroading history as the focal point of Railroad Days and I was proud to work with Amtrak to ensure these traditions carry on with the Autumn Colors Express this year,” Manchin says. “I wish everyone a safe and fun ride for this fall’s Autumn Colors Express and look forward to continuing this time-honored tradition for years to come.”

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