PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— It is a busy Memorial Day weekend of travel- trains, planes, and automobiles. Our first stop is the train station for a ride that many have been waiting for some time.
It took passengers from Pittston to Jim Thorpe for the first time by rail in years.
Saturday was the inaugural trip for the passenger train from Pittston to Penobscot to the final destination Jim Thorpe.
The first riders of this grand opening excursion boarded the train in Pittston
The Wyoming Area High School winds played to send the riders off at the Pittston station
passengers smiled ear to ear as they waved goodbye to onlookers and made their way south on the 120-mile round trip.
“I just love the whole area around here from Jim Thorpe in Pittston to Scranton to Wilkes-Barre to Shenandoah, and I just love the fact we can jump on the rails and that reading and northern has made this happen we can ride all around the region,” says Bank Ries a train passenger.
The next stop was Penobscot where more passengers came on board and many gathered to watch the train go by.
From there it was onto White Haven and then Jim Thorpe
For the first time in almost 50 years, a passenger train has just arrived a bagpiper welcomes them to Jim Thorpe
“I came here to bagpipe. It’s a historic town, historic instrument. Thought it would be nice to do. I think it’s wonderful they’ve already got the trains that come in from this south so now having them come in from the north will bring more opportunity for people to come down and see the beautiful town,” explained Christine Barnes a bagpipe player.
The passengers’ Eyewitness News spoke with on this inaugural train ride loved every minute of it
“It was fantastic. The weather is gorgeous. I mean, I love trains, so this was really cool. I’m really excited to have gotten to go on the inaugural run and there were white water rapids that we got to see a lot of things that you can’t see from the other routes,” added Casey Dorn a train passenger.
“This is such a lovely experience. It was a nice relaxing train ride with beautiful scenery it was fun. It felt like we were like in like a different like error I guess of time riding on the train it was nice,” continued Janet & Ashlynn Selden, train passengers
With this new way of getting to the scenic town tourism leaders say helps solve the parking issues visitors often face.
“Is a great problem for jim thorpe, in the sense that there are more visitors to town without creating any more traffic issues so one of the difficulties that we have in town is always about parking and where to park people,” said James Dougher the President of Jim Thorpe Tourist Agency
People once again riding in style with this weekend rail ride back on track.
The Reading and Northern train rides run almost every weekend of the year but it’s sold out through the first weekend of July.
For more information on getting tickets, prices, and dates still available for the coming months check out their website.