By Eugenia Jones
According to a report presented at the McCreary County Heritage Foundation’s November meeting, the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) repair work on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway should be completed no later than January, 2021. The repair work became necessary when a massive earth slide forced the closure of part of the line preventing the Big South Fork Scenic Railway from carrying passengers to Blue Heron. After the slide is repaired, Queen City Rail will complete ongoing track work and upgrading of rail. All work is scheduled to be completed by April, 2021 when the passenger season will open again with the railway capable of transporting passengers to Barthell and/or the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area at Blue Heron.
In other business, Director Rachel Hinkle reported a Christmas train is scheduled to run on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Due to COVID-19, there is a limit of twenty-five passengers per train car during the Christmas event. Debbie Trammell reported for the Museum and noted donor levels have been approved with two more donor levels added. The additional donor levels are for $1,000 and $2,500. The museum committee hopes to offer fundraising events such as a fishing tournament, paintball tournament, and Fall Gala to raise funds for the McCreary County Museum.
Michael Sandidge reported on the finances. Sandidge noted revenue for the Stearns Golf Course for the year to date stands at $103,000 versus $66,000 last year. Sandidge stated the passenger count for the train is down with 8,000 passengers year to date (November) versus 12,000 passengers last year.
The McCreary County Heritage Foundation meets on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 in the OVC Conference Room.