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Date: 07/13/10 13:56
Greenbrier train
Author: MEKoch

*From Trains.com...* Diesel-powered trips to Greenbrier Resort planned

*By Jim Wrinn, editor*
Published: Friday, July 09, 2010

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The company that wants to build and operate a luxury train to the famed Greenbrier Resort will open a restoration shop in Pottstown, Pa., Aug. 1 and expects to renovate the 16-car consist with a July 2, 2012, target date for the first run. But, says Greenbrier Express Co. President and CEO Ross Rowland, don't expect to see steam on the point of the luxury special.

"At the moment, steam has no role," Rowland said in an exclusive interview with TRAINS, citing CSX's longstanding policy against operating steam
locomotives on its rails. The Greenbrier Express would run on CSX tracks for most of its planned route between Washington, D.C., and White Sulphur
Springs, W.Va.

Late last month, Jim Justice, the owner of the luxury resort he bought from CSX, said he would invest $15 million in the train and have Chesapeake & Ohio 4-8-4 No. 614 pull it. The engine is currently stored out of service on the Reading & Northern. But Rowland, who organized the successful steam-powered American Freedom Train and Chessie Steam Specials in the 1970s and 1980s, downplayed steam in the Thursday interview. "We're not trying to push it," Rowland said. "We're hoping that at some point, CSX will relax
that policy and steam can be incorporated into the train, but it's not part of the plan."

Greenbrier Express, which is a majority-owned subsidiary of the James C. Justice Co. Inc. of Beaver, W.Va., is negotiating with Amtrak for an operating contract so that the Greenbrier Express will be operated as an Amtrak train. Trains will leave Washington on Tuesdays for a daylight run to
White Sulphur Springs and return on Sundays. Trips out of White Sulphur Springs during the week are a possibility as well. Capacity is 210 and fares
would be $750 per person.

Greenbrier Express leased 40,000-square feet of space in a former Bethlehem Steel bridge erection shop in Pottstown. The shop has a 65-ton overhead crane and capacity for five cars indoors and storage for others outside. Rowland expects work on cars to begin this fall.

The company purchased three Norfolk Southern C39-8s, which are en route to Pennsylvania freight and tourist carrier New Hope & Ivyland for repairs, and
will ultimately go to Pottstown for paint.

Rowland said the train will consist of two of the diesels, two baggage-HEP cars, a casino instruction car made from a baggage car, a VIP car with valet
and nurse, an open-air car, two dining cars with 60 seats each, a kitchen car, seven parlor cars, and a rear observation-lounge with a deep platform for 10 passengers.

All of the cars will see extensive overhauls and new interiors. "Almost all of the work is tunneling the cars down to the frame and starting over," Rowland said. The cars will be named for prominent Americans from throughout the nation's history, Rowland said.

The rebuild will include new floors, ceilings, windows, and wiring with the objective, Rowland said, of "ending up with a train that lives up to its billing: 'World's Finest Train.'"



Date: 07/13/10 13:57
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: MEKoch

I wish them well. Somebody must have a very DEEP pocket to even think about this plan.



Date: 07/13/10 13:58
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: toledopatch

Three C39-8s for a roster, huh? That'll be interesting to see.



Date: 07/13/10 14:00
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: andersonb109

AEE couldn't make it on this route although that train continued to Chicago overnight. So what will make this different and profitable? They have a ways to go to be "the worlds finest train." Rovos Rail and the Royal Canadian Pacific come to mind as something to reach up to.



Date: 07/13/10 14:44
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Narr8rdanny

Rowland is smart to blow off the steam idea.
Too costly and really doesn't make any difference to the passengers riding behind. At $750, very few will be railfans anyway.

Danny Harmon
Tampa



Date: 07/13/10 14:50
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Lackawanna484

The route has a lot of attraction, and the Greenbrier runs a lot of corporate meetings, executive workshops, etc. Since the other end of the line is lobbyist central in DC, moving clients, politicians, their staff, lobbyists, etc to Greenbrier is pretty good.



Date: 07/13/10 16:08
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: CCMF

Quite a turnaround from "three steam engines" touted here maybe a month ago ?



Date: 07/13/10 16:27
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: CPRR

M-636 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Quite a turnaround from "three steam engines"
> touted here maybe a month ago ?


I agree....



Date: 07/13/10 17:03
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Lackawanna484

CPRR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> M-636 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Quite a turnaround from "three steam engines"
> > touted here maybe a month ago ?
>
>
> I agree....

You get the route running, get dollars in the door, and build some credibility with CSX. Then you slide a 4-8-4 ahead of the C39-8 units...



Date: 07/13/10 17:21
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: 576

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> *From Trains.com...* Diesel-powered trips to
> Greenbrier Resort planned
>
> locomotives on its rails. The Greenbrier Express
> would run on CSX tracks for most of its planned
> route between Washington, D.C., and White Sulphur
> Springs, W.Va.
>


Wait a minute, which route is the GBX taking? I would think that the train would follow the route of the Cardinal, via NS and the Buckingham Branch. That way, CSX's involvment would be reduced to about 7/8 of the entire route.



Date: 07/13/10 17:29
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: stone23

As a young boy I really believed in the "tooth fairy".

However I have since seen that the New Jersey "Aces" train really operates!



Date: 07/13/10 18:25
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: glendale

Lackawanna484 Wrote:

> You get the route running, get dollars in the
> door, and build some credibility with CSX. Then
> you slide a 4-8-4 ahead of the C39-8 units...


I agree. Sounds like a better plan. If the train is running, profitable, and has some support behind it, I think the steam idea has a better chance of ultimate survival.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/10 18:27 by glendale.



Date: 07/13/10 19:00
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Mgoldman

glendale Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
>
> > You get the route running, get dollars in the
> > door, and build some credibility with CSX. Then
> > you slide a 4-8-4 ahead of the C39-8 units...
>
>
> I agree. Sounds like a better plan. If the train
> is running, profitable, and has some support
> behind it, I think the steam idea has a better
> chance of ultimate survival.


If the train runs, is profitable and has some support
behing it... there will be no need for 3 extra maintanance
intensive steam engines.

Yellow Ribbon anyone?

/Mitch



Date: 07/13/10 20:05
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: wmbrakeman

jim justice has brought life and energy back to greenbrier , the employees are excited , and i hope he pulls this off , there even talk to run to lexington ky probably derby in louisville ,



Date: 07/13/10 21:09
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: bnsfsd70

OK, there might not be steam as of now, but aren't we at all excited about someone coming up with an ultra-luxury NEW passenger train? I mean, if this thing ever turns a wheel, it will be SWEET, no matter what is on the point.

Kudos to Ross and crew!

- Jeff Carlson
Topeka, KS



Date: 07/13/10 22:01
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Panamerican99

What would you have said in 1970 if someone had told you that within six years a Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive would run to Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, West Palm Beach and Miami, FL within six years? Or that within eleven years a C&O 4-8-4 would also be resurrected and run not only to Miami but also Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando? Well, guess who made those things possible.

-JH



Date: 07/14/10 14:12
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: PumpkinHogger

Only one thing wrong with this - people will not spend $$$ GETTING to the casino, they spend it AT the casino.



Date: 07/14/10 14:39
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: Lackawanna484

PumpkinHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Only one thing wrong with this - people will not
> spend $$$ GETTING to the casino, they spend it AT
> the casino.


Maybe. I suspect the real market is VIP travel to Greenbrier, though. People who are lobbyists or staff to congress, non-profits, and government agencies, paid for by lobbyists, unions, corporations, etc

Even though you can take a "free" bus to Atlantic City from NYC, there's a good market for $500 executive helicopter travel between those points. Sounds illogical, but it's been that way for several decades. No reason why people who want luxury travel won't get it...



Date: 07/14/10 23:36
Re: Greenbrier train
Author: scottp

In other words, most of the passengers will be from groups which have about a 12% approval rating in national opinion polls, but we'll wave at them if we go to photograph the nice train.



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