Train Pulling Out of Jim Thorpe

JIM THORPE, Pa. -- A train that brings tourists to one part of Carbon County is stopping operations next month.

Jim Thorpe is considered by many to be one of the top tourist attractions in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, especially in autumn, but one of the borough's biggest tourist attractions is going away.

"The railroad is ceasing operations for rides that originate and return to Jim Thorpe, and that's thousands of people some days. It's a major impact," said Michael Rivkin, president of Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency.

In a news release, The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway announced it is ceasing operations on November 25. It started offering rides to passengers 15 years ago and has brought more than 1 million people to this historic borough over the last decade.

Recently, the Jim Thorpe borough council sought to force the LGSR to pay an amusement tax and filed a lawsuit, seeking to recover more than $100,000 in back taxes.

"The borough right now is seeking to add the dollars to help mitigate the challenges we face with the levels of tourism we have. It's a tax that's added and paid by the consumer, by the rider. It's not paid for by the train," Rivkin explained.

Riders we spoke with are disappointed to hear the news.

"I think it should stay here. It's lovely. The scenery is lovely and everything," Sarah Leber said.

"I think the town is really going to lose a lot by not having the trains here," Dollee Ruth said.

"The borough and the railroad and the other interested parties must sit down and talk about it. To not do so is unfair to the county, to the borough of Jim Thorpe, and certainly to the shops, restaurants, and vendors in Jim Thorpe that have been part of the train for decades," Rivkin added.

The LGSR says refunds will be issued to those who already purchased tickets for the Santa trains.

4 comments

  • Christopher Valosin

    I took my whole family on the Santa train every year since my son was very little at first in Pottsville. then when they stopped the service there we travled to Jim Thorpe and now I don’t know were we will have our tradition continued. One thing is for sure i have no reason to go to Jim Thorpe any more.

  • Karen Knapp

    Horrible. Once again our local government gets greedy. People loose. Without the train as the major attraction. The local people will go out of business. This is Pa history. Our past generations built this town. And now thanks to a handful of greedy people. Another piece of Pa history, gone. Also gone, shops, Packard House, museums, resteraunts, jobs, etc. No revenue…..Citizens of Jim Thorpe will move out, buildings will become vacant. Because our local government from the past moved out all the industry years ago. All that was left was a tourist town. And now that will be gone. Jim Thorpe will become another ghost town in Pa. Just like so many other towns in Pa and other states. Shame on you!

  • catman5308@yahoo.com

    nice going Carbon County, piss away a major draw to Jim Thorpe, it is not an amusement, the owner of the railroad is right. it is a service, it brings people into town. Let’s see how many jobs are lost due to taxes!!!!!

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