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Autumn Color Express returns

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WWW

Train Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
63
Location
MSP
Glad to see they are alive and well....they are certainly offering a tempting variety of 'classes' to choose from...no open platform's, however...
Program for 2020:

Unless the C19 virus claims another (business/pleasure) casualty there is this offering to consider
and the make up consist getting the cars to the Huntington WV location:

https://www.autumncolorexpresswv.com/about-the-trip/

Cincinnati Daylight Express
https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/16342

All using Amtrak locomotives
 

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi all! I will start by clarifying that I'm not actually back (sorry!). I'm just here to post on behalf of a friend who occasionally browses the site but didn't feel comfortable signing up or posting himself.

But before that, I will say that I'm doing well, having graduated and turned 18 last month (though t'was a little overshadowed by...the world). We're incredibly grateful not to have been hit too hard by the pandemic. I of course really really hope you're all doing OK in these trying times.

Now, onto my pal's message:
I strongly doubt that they will be able to run anything this year because of the Virus. Here are my thoughts towards why.

1. The Hinton Railroad Days Festival has been cancelled for this year.

2. Looking at their seating diagrams I think it would be very hard to social distance especially in the vista dome cars, and if you did you would lose 12 of 24 seats, and in my honest opinion you would need to space everyone out with an empty row between them which means you would lose another 4 seats making it an 8 seat car. Then looking at the other PVs being used to do adequate social distancing you need to cut your inventory in half which would give you horrible margins on a trip like that. And I'm honestly not sure if any operator can make a profit on 50 percent capacity. And even if you can break even at 50 percent capacity will people feel safe enough to ride it, and purchase tickets. I'm not quite sure on that.

3. West Virginia's Covid situation is still increasing day after day. So will people from out of state want to risk traveling to a high risk state?

4. The refund policy in the Covid Era is not progressive enough to entice people to book. If I was willing to bet there are several people who are on the fence on going but they don't want to lose their money if they have to cancel due to concerns about Covid-19. Currently the policy is a 75 percent refund if requested two months before departure, 50 percent if between two months and a month, and anything after a month has no refund. Now while the Covid-19 information page says you can roll your ticket over into 2021 are we really sure Covid will be gone next year? I read somewhere recently Americans will be banned from Europe for the next five years if the current rates go unabated. And for that matter with the Amtrak charter train situation in the last few years are we really sure the Autumn Colors Express will come back in 2021?

I wish them all the best of luck but I really don't see it being able to get off the ground with the Covid situation. Hopefully they sold a large percentage of tickets before the Covid Situation was known to be as bad as it is. But even then I think the chances are extremely long. But I wish them the best of luck because the train provides millions in economic activity to Huntington, WV, and Hinton, WV. By having any event they are greatly helping fund scholarships in West Virginia, and small business. Especially in a year where city budgets, and small businesses struggle to make any income due to Covid-19.
Stay safe everyone!
- Coby
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,892
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
Hi all! I will start by clarifying that I'm not actually back (sorry!). I'm just here to post on behalf of a friend who occasionally browses the site but didn't feel comfortable signing up or posting himself.

But before that, I will say that I'm doing well, having graduated and turned 18 last month (though t'was a little overshadowed by...the world). We're incredibly grateful not to have been hit too hard by the pandemic. I of course really really hope you're all doing OK in these trying times.

Now, onto my pal's message:


Stay safe everyone!
- Coby
Great to hear from you!
 

PVD

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,967
Location
NYC/Queens
Congratulations, let us know what the future holds. Glad all is well, I know that everyone in this area, if not directly affected, has certainly been indirectly. Stay safe....
 

WWW

Train Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
63
Location
MSP
It is now official the ACE rail trips for 2020 are CANCELLED !
All the reservation data is being moved till next year 2021 -
Including the Cincinnati Daylight Express trip -

Just too darn many complications with satisfying the virus safety procedures !
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
I'm not surprised it was cancelled. I predicted that a few weeks ago when the Europeans closed the border to and from Europe. Then inferring on the fact they think the virus won't be out of the USA for the foreseeable future. Hopefully they won't have to refund too many people, and haven't lost any money cancelling this far in advance.
 
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