Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Excursion train will run to Versailles, not Midway

By Nini Edwards
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Midway's track will remain single.
The highly anticipated idea of an excursion train running from Lexington to Midway has stopped in its tracks.

The plans have changed for the excursion train to run to Versailles rather Midway.

Originally, RJ Corman Railroad Group and CSX Corp. wanted to add a sidetrack to the existing track running through downtown Midway. The new track could have provided a place for a dinner train that would run from Lexington, bringing more business and people to the town.

The Midway Messenger first reported a disagreement between CSX and Corman in December 2011. At the time, Corman Group Chairman Fred Mudge said the issues were minor and he expected the project to be completed in 2012. 

The idea fell through with CSX last fall, according to Noel Rush, vice president of strategic planning and development for Corman.

“We have shifted our planning to an excursion train from Lexington to Versailles in a track that we own,” Rush said. “Between Lexington and Versailles would be just as desirable as Lexington and Midway.”

CSX owns the track running from Lexington to Louisville, through Midway.

“Corman leases the line [from CSX] so they do not have ownership,” Mayor Tom Bozarth said. “They weren’t going to allow them to use this line to haul passengers on it because it is a freight line.”

Rush said he believes the Versailles excursion is planned to be operational sometime this summer.

Rush declined to comment on possible liability issues on the project between Corman and CSX.

“This has happened because our company and CSX have issues over the operating lease agreement that have yet to be resolved,” he said.

A long glass building was built behind Rupp Arena in Lexington to board and unload passengers for excursion trains. The building still stands idle today, but nNow it will be for passengers going to Versailles.

Bozarth remained positive about the train not coming to Midway.

“Everybody was kind of excited about it,” he said. “But it is not going to happen. This means we do not have to tear down any walls and do a lot of things we were going to have to do before.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Corman's glass building is not empty. It being used as a storage building for his steam locomotive. It keeps the locomotive out of the weather and allows the public to view it.