In a tweet, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said a deal has been reached with Amtrak to allow resumption of the state’s iconic New River Train, but his office said details on the agreement will come out next week.
In a Twitter entry, Manchin wrote, “I’ve been working nonstop with @Amtrak to preserve #WV’s proud railroading history by keeping the annual New River Train running, and that’s why I’m glad a deal is in place to continue this proud Mountain State tradition. I’m looking forward to announcing more details soon.”
Asked to elaborate, Manchin press secretary Katey McCutheon said only, “We’ll be announcing more details next week.”
In February, the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which has operated the excursion train for 52 years, announced the New River Train will not run in 2019, citing higher charges and more restrictive policies for operation of private cars and excursion trains imposed by Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, in 2018.
The New River Train operated its four round-trip excursions from Huntington to Hinton that year, but the society reported operating losses of $180,000 because of the policy changes.
Shortly before announcing cancellation of the 2019 runs, the society closed its offices in Huntington and laid off its two employees.
The telephone numbers listed for the society were out of service Thursday.