Press Release (ePRNews.com) - DURANGO, Colo. - Jun 07, 2018 - American Heritage Railways, Inc. (http://www.americanheritagerailways.com/) (AHR), the country’s premier scenic tourist rail operator, the industry expert in rail-related special event management, and the parent company of the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR)™ (https://mtrainierrailroad.com/) and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR)™ (http://www.durangotrain.com/), today announced it is suspending all MRRR passenger service and special events through August 3, 2018, due to the long-term operational and financial impact posed by the current 416 Fire in Durango on the D&SNGRR’s overall business. Additionally, the inaugural Train to Table event scheduled for Friday evenings in August has been canceled for this year. The MRRR’s Logging Museum in Mineral, Wash. will remain open limited hours during this time.
All guests whose train excursions are canceled as a result of this decision will receive full, immediate and automatic ticket refunds. Ticket holders should allow 7-10 business days for their refunds to be processed and appear on their credit card statements.
Located in Elbe, Wash., the MRRR will resume passenger service in early August to accommodate families still traveling on summer vacation and other guests interested in the railroad’s rich logging and pioneering histories. In addition to conserving financial and human resources, the MRRR will also utilize the next several months to plan, execute, and promote its highly-anticipated slate of popular fall special events, including PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, and three adults-only affairs for cider, craft beer, and wine connoisseurs: Hard Cider Express, Washington Wine Express, and Rails to Ales: The Oktoberfest Express. The MRRR’s 2018 fall schedule and special events calendar can be found at http://mtrainierrailroad.com/train-excursions/special-events.
“We remain fully committed to the long-term vibrancy and sustainability of the MRRR, and to providing Pacific Northwest travelers with a unique, enjoyable, and affordable family-friendly travel experience that combines the state’s fascinating pioneering and logging histories with the unparalleled beauty of the Cascade forests,” said Allen C. Harper, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of American Heritage Railways. “While this was a difficult decision to make, we strongly believe the MRRR will emerge from this service hiatus as a more robust and improved historic scenic railroad that is strongly positioned for ongoing growth and development. In fact, we are currently assessing several ambitious short- and long-range expansion plans for the MRRR which will create more exhilarating guest experiences for passengers of all ages.”
Today’s announcement follows yesterday’s D&SNGRR’s extended suspension of its coal-fired steam train steam passenger service through at least Sun., June 17, after extensive consultation with local authorities and agencies regarding their progress in containing the 416 Fire and the status of current fire, drought and weather conditions. Additionally, the railroad canceled the 2018 edition of its popular family-oriented dinosaur train experience, The T-REX Express, originally scheduled for the weekends of June 16-17 and June 23-24.
“Given the severity of the 416 Fire, and the projected effects of this tragic fire on the Durango community and American Heritage Railways’ multi-faceted business portfolio, we are carefully auditing all corporate assets at this time to determine where constructive changes in strategy, operations, and cash flow can be made,” added Harper. “It is our sincere hope this thorough evaluation will not lead to more challenging decisions, but rather reveal opportunities which the corporation can leverage to make each property as healthy and viable as possible for the future.”
American Heritage Railways, Inc.