HILLSDALE, MICHIGAN – For the first time in 70 years, two steam-powered passenger trains will meet in Hillsdale, Michigan. On August 27th and 28th, the Little River Railroad will operate steam-powered train rides out of downtown Hillsdale in a partnership with the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company. The collaboration is an extension of the Indiana Rail Experience, a new and popular rail tourism program based in Northeast Indiana.
These 25-minute rides will depart from the southwest side of Hillsdale Street and the railroad crossing during the layover of the Fort Wayne Railroad’s popular Tri-State Scenic Steam Excursion. Tickets for the Hillsdale Train Rides are on sale now at indianarailexperience.org and space is limited.
“Our Tri-State excursions will deliver 800 passengers to Hillsdale over two days in August and we wanted to give area residents an opportunity to enjoy a train ride of their own. The Little River Railroad will also give our guests another great amenity to enjoy while they shop and dine in Hillsdale,” explained Chris Homco, co-event manager for the Indiana Rail Experience.
Based out of Coldwater, Michigan, the non-profit Little River Railroad has operated in rail tourist excursion service since 1975 and routinely offers rides and events in Southeastern Michigan with Little River steam locomotives no. 110 and no. 1.
“We’re looking forward to seeing our attractions operating side by side,” stated Travis Bloom, Vice President of Little River. “Teamwork between members and organizations like this is key to sustaining historic preservation and help bring added value to the communities we serve.”
The town of Hillsdale once linked the New York Central’s original east-west route between Toledo and Elkhart and a north-south route between Fort Wayne and Jackson, Michigan. The Indiana Northeastern, through an association with the Michigan Department of Transportation and nearly Branch County Rail Users Association, has revitalized the railroad line and now serves over 25 customers and supports over 500 regional jobs.