CARBON COUNTY – All aboard! Riders packed onto a train ride at the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. Operators said business is up about six-percent from last year with two other local train excursions ‘derailed’.
“It`s great for us that we get more business, but people don`t have an option which for me even, if I go somewhere I might want to ride one of those rides,” said Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway Director Laura Kennedy.
The Stourbridge Train out of Honesdale is off track for the second year in a row, and Steamtown excursions stopped in Scranton because of the government shutdown, upsetting many tourists.
“It`s ridiculous, it`s ridiculous that people decided they have to shut down national parks to make whatever their political point is. I think it`s ridiculous,” said Joe Green of King of Prussia.
Joe Green and his wife Karen were supposed to travel to a National Park, but ended up in Jim Thorpe instead and decided to ride this train excursion through Carbon County.
“Now to find out that we have to rearrange our trip and our travel is certainly, especially when we have friends coming in from out of town it was like unexpected and kind of not acceptable,” said Karen Green of King of Prussia.
Some riders weren`t as disappointed with several trains being off their tracks because they say the ride in Jim Thorpe is their favorite destination.
Christina Miller of Kingston said her two and a half year-old, Troy, likes the trains more than Steamtown.
“I think just for the scenery, it`s a longer train ride too so he likes it and he enjoys it,” said Miller.
Edward and Sue Parker traveled to Pennsylvania from Indiana and rode the Lehigh Gorge Rail but caught the Steamtown line before the government shutdown.
“I would have been very sad if I hadn`t got there in time, you know to Steamtown,” said Edward Parker of Indiana.
They like many others hope this isn’t the only train excursion to catch, for long.
“It`s really a shame it really is you know, I know there`s been a lot of cut backs but I hope they get it resolved before long. I really do,” said Sue Parker of Indiana.