I just wonder and hope the Silverton, the C&T, Cass, the California Western, and assorted other "tourist" roads can weather this travel drought and will still be there when we come out of this long, dark tunnel? I haven't even ridden the full length of the C&T.
The Austin & Texas Central Railroad run by the Austin Steam Train Association resumed operations on June 6th. Everyone on the train must wear face masks. Each car is capped at 50% occupancy and everyone is spaced out in the cars for social distancing. They are doing a 3 hour ride north out of Cedar Park to their restored depot in Bertram as well as a 1 hour quick ride south to the Lakeline Commuter Station and back to Cedar Park. Being shut down for 3 months hurt them to say the least and they have had to cancel their Day out with Thomas. They have a go fund me campaign to help with making it through this pandemic.
For more information on the A&TC / ASTA here is their website: https://www.austinsteamtrain.org/
They allow my club, the Austin Tinplate Trackers to store our trailers at their yard in Cedar Park for free so we try to help them out when we can.
I have heard that the C&TS is running limited service out of Antonito, Colorado (I presume that they turn around at Osier). There probably wont be anything out of Chama until the New Mexico state authorities sound the All-Clear. Passengers riding out of Antonito will be required to wear face masks and undergo a temperature check. People running a fever will NOT be allowed to board.
I fear that the tourist railroads most likely to survive are the ones near major population areas AND with open air or open windows.
Looks like the steam train in South Dakota's Black Hills (1880 Train) is running it's 2020 summer season. We plan to be onboard in August during our
western states vacation. Looks like awesome scenery.
We ran West VA central on our speeders last weekend. Cass was operating and we met the train at Spruce. The central will run at 50% starting soon.
Western Maryland is getting ready to reopen now. I'm sure it will be 50% max.
I would say the season is lost for all tourist RR's. they will be very lucky to break even. They need your donations more than ever.
Strasburg has been running for a few weeks now with advanced reservations, masks required, temperature checks and limited capacity. Went a couple weeks ago and will be going again this weekend.
The Reading and Northern ran a dinner train last week from Reading to Tamaqua, it went well according to their Facebook page. I am going on their F unit excursion on August 1, I hope it does not get cancelled.
As far as I know, all of the tourist railroads here in CA are closed. With the number of cases throughout the state still rising, I think that they will be closed for some time to come. All of the model railroad clubs in the SF Bay Area are also closed. NH Joe