NYLE RR fall train rides begin Saturday in Gowanda

Fall train rides with the New York & Lake Erie railroad kick off Saturday, Oct. 17 with a special birthday train celebrating 42 years in operation.

GOWANDA — The train wheels are finally turning as the New York & Lake Erie railroad is kicking off a season of train rides with a special “Birthday Train” on Saturday.

Two train rides are scheduled to depart at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Gowanda, traveling to the village of South Dayton.

The NYLE station is located at 50 Commercial St., a quarter-mile east of Route 62 in Gowanda.

The scenic train ride will be an approximately 2½-hour round trip including a layover at the village of South Dayton where passengers may de-board the train.

Following coronavirus safety guidelines, the railroad will provide sanitizer and face masks for those who do not bring their own.

Guests who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms such as a fever will not be permitted to ride. Those who have underlying health conditions or are concerned about contracting the virus should not ride.

“Routine cleaning and disinfecting will be done frequently on all non-porous surfaces at the station and rail cars on a daily basis,” the railroad wrote on its website. “The rail cars will be cleaned before and after every trip. This includes counters, benches, handrails, door handles, bathrooms or any surface that visitors/passengers may have touched.”

Under the social distance plan, maximum seat capacity is reduced to 77 passengers. Reservations will be the primary ticket contact in order to not exceed capacity.

Passengers may purchase tickets by booking online at nylerailroad.com. Passengers are asked to print off their tickets and bring the day of the trip.

For in-person purchases, the ticket window is located at the train station and will be open at 10 a.m. on the day of the trip.

Fares are $19 for adults, $17 for senior citizens 63 and older and $15 for children ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger may ride free.

The rest of the 2020 schedule is as follows:

• Oct. 24, “Fall Foliage,” two trips departing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

• Oct. 31, “Happy Halloween Costume Ride,” two trips departing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

• Nov. 7, “Harvest Fest,” two trips departing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

• Nov. 28 and 29, “Santa Express Train,” four trips departing each day at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 for all riders. Children 2 and younger may ride free.

• Dec. 5 and 6, “Santa Express Train,” four trips departing each day at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 for all riders. Children 2 and younger may ride free.

• Dec. 12 and 13, “Santa Express Train,” four trips departing each day at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $19 for all riders. Children 2 and younger may ride free.

“The recent challenges have been difficult and the challenges could never have been anticipated,” the railroad wrote. “We at the New York & Lake Erie Railroad are happy to see our riders return. With your cooperation along with our staff we are ecstatic to start passenger season for this year.”

For questions or more information, visit nylerrailroad.com, call (716) 532-5242 or visit the “NYLERR train rides” Facebook page.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)