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News Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 17, 2020
Contact: Scott Hippert, Executive Director, 612-743-6634

VINTAGE TOURIST RAILWAY CANCELS 2020 OPERATIONS DUE TO PANDEMIC

(Osceola, Wisconsin) The worldwide pandemic (COVID-19) has forced a decision to cancel operations of the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway for the remainder of 2020. The decision was made on July 17, 2020 by the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM), which operates the railway along the St. Croix River, with departures from Osceola.

“It was with extremely heavy hearts, after considering many factors and having honest discussion, that our Board made this decision,” said Brian Voss, MTM Chair. “Many of our members and volunteers have spent nearly every summer for decades working on the railway, and they love doing it,” he said. “The pandemic is unprecedented, and overwhelmingly we felt that we must put the health and safety of our passengers and volunteers first and foremost.”

MTM considers itself a partner with the Village of Osceola, the Osceola Chamber of Commerce, and the Osceola Historical Society which owns the historic Soo Line Depot. “We will work together with our community partners to make the 2021 season a success for businesses in the region as well as the railway itself,” said Voss.

While the railway season has been cancelled, MTM has reopened the railway museum at the historic Jackson Street Roundhouse in Saint Paul, Minnesota. “That decision was due to the large open areas that allow for considerable social distancing,” said Chairperson Voss. Considerable safety precautions have been put in place, including a temperature check at the entrance and a mandatory face mask requirement. Visitors are invited and encouraged to visit the museum to experience a vintage railway experience on Wednesdays and Saturdays. More information can be found at www.trainride.org.

The Minnesota Transportation Museum is a nonprofit community organization that has been offering interpretations, education, historic restorations, and vintage railway experiences for the past 57 years. Those experiences include operations of the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway. The organization is almost entirely volunteer led and relies on ticket sales and charitable contributions to support its operations. Under the current situation, MTM is requesting increased community contributions in order to maintain operations and ensure a successful railway season in 2021. Donations can be made through
www.trainride.org.

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