Digest: West Virginia's Autumn Colors Express will not run this fall (updated)

News Wire Digest third section for July 21: Metra extends free rides for medical personnel; Catskill Mountain Railroad reopens
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Still more Tuesday rail news:

Autumn Colors Express off for 2020

Operation of West Virginia’s Autumn Colors Express is off for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an online message, operator Railexco cites a mandate by West Virignia Gov. Jim Justice, and cancellation of the annual festival in Hinton, W.Va., which normally accompanies the rail excursions, as reasons for postponement to 2021. The excursions between Huntington, Charleston, and Hinton, W.Va., had been planned for Oct. 22-25 of this year. Dates of Oct. 21-24, 2021, have tentatively been set for the return of the excursions. Hinton had announced cancellation of its Railroad Days festival in June [see “Durango & Silverton to reopen …” News Wire Digest, June 17, 2020].

Metra extends free rides for medical personnel
Metra has extended its program offering free rides for medical personnel through the end of August. The commuter railroad began the program in March. Riders need to present a work ID showing they are employed at a hospital, doctor’s office, medical facility or local fire department to a conductor. More information is available here.

Catskill Mountrain Railroad returns
The Catskill Mountain Railroad has reopened under Phase Four of New York’s reopening plan, following state guidelines that include required use of face masks, checking passenger temperatures, and social distancing. The railroad, based in Kingston, N.Y., is using three open-air cars with reduced capacity. For more information, visit the railroad website.

— Updated Aug. 14 to reflect status of Autumn Colors Express as a postponement.
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