Scenic railway plans April opening; new general manager hired
MCHF Chairperson Buddy Wilson announced the Big South Fork Scenic Railway (BSFSRY) will operate this year with a planned opening on April 8. The railway will open under the ownership of the McCreary County Heritage Foundation with Mike Gresham as the new general manager of the railroad. Gresham brings extensive train and scenic railway experience with him to the BSFSRY. In addition, Don Powell will continue as railroad superintendent.
Wilson also announced the following work assignments: Shane Gilreath with the McCreary County Museum and Heritage Hall, Greg Collins with food service, and Becki Egnew, with twenty years of BSFSRY experience, as a part-time consultant. Wilson said the Foundation plans to continue its lease with Sweet Kreations, a popular local gift shop and fudgery located within the Depot.
During the Foundation’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Chairperson Wilson noted he had met earlier in the day with representatives of the Park Service in regard to telephone calls received by them from tourists asking if the train will be available to tourists this season. MCHF will send information regarding this year’s scenic railway schedule, tickets, etc. to the Park Service for inclusion in the Park’s Big South Fork Newspaper.
Wilson also noted track repair and train car restoration are continuing. These projects were initiated by DSRR, LLC, based on an early Memorandum of Understanding, before negotiations for sale of the train were terminated. In their letter of termination of negotiations, MCHF expressed their willingness to discuss reimbursement of those expenses incurred by DSRR that provided a measurable benefit to the Foundation. According to DSRR, a comprehensive summary of their work thus far has been submitted to MCHF.