JIM THORPE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The trains pulled away from the station in Jim Thorpe Friday after conflict over an amusement tax. Then a pandemic slammed the brakes on the attraction.
Rides in Jim Thorpe were temporarily stopped in December over a tax dispute. They came back in February, only close down again in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.
They took the time away to fix up the cars some of which date back over 100 years.
“They did a lot of re painting to make them really look beautiful. They fixed the seating, the windows, everything. They did a total overhaul of all the cars which is really fantastic,” said William Solomon, a retired conductor.
For passengers who have ridden the train before, it will look different this year with new CDC guidelines to follow.
“When you get on the train we ask that you don’t stand as close as usual. Don’t pack into a bunch to get on. And also make sure you wear you masks to get on the train,” said Solomon.
Reading and Northern Railroad are kicking off their opening weekend with a steam train.
“The steam engine is on the train today. It’s the number 425 it was built in the late 1920’s in the Baldwin shops in Philadelphia. It’s a beautiful blue color and very loud,” said Matt Fisher, general manager of the passenger department.
And the more people that come to ride the train, means more business for the community of Jim Thorpe.
“Jim Thorpe has many things to offer from shops and restaurants to the outdoor activities like hiking and biking. and the train just sets it off where there is just something for everyone to do,” said Fisher.
The next train rides for today are at 1 and 3 p.m. They will have other rides throughout the weekend.