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Jim Thorpe prepares for train passengers ahead of holiday weekend

A highly anticipated train ride from Pittston to Jim Thorpe will make its inaugural trip this weekend.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — Trains filled with passengers roll in and out of the train station in Jim Thorpe just about every weekend. 

The only difference this weekend is a new excursion that's bringing in more than 800 people, as the first train ride from Pittston to Jim Thorpe is sold out.

"The test run is always important. That's where we even learn a lot. Things we may have missed, we'll pick up on. I'm hoping we have everything together. I'm pretty sure we do, and the customers and passengers they're all going to enjoy it themselves," said Marie Knadler Cunningham, Reading and Northern Railroad.

Ed Humphreys is the owner of Jim Thorpe Trolley Tours, which is located just steps away from where the hundreds of passengers will disembark.

He hopes many stop by to take a tour.

"They're coming on a train, so hopefully, they're going to want to ride the trolley and were looking forward to that. To show them all the things around the area, there is to do and see," said Ed Humphreys, Jim Thorpe Trolley Tours owner.

Over on Race Street the owner of Everything Nice Gift Shop believes the new excursion will be beneficial to both counties.

"I'm excited about the expansion of town. I'm excited about how, as far as the economy goes, it will not only impact up here but also it will also impact the area up there," said Beth Beers, Everything Nice Gift Shop owner.

Business owners say there is no question that they'll be able to handle the 800-plus visitors getting off the rail, but what they might not be able to handle is if those visitors were coming in their cars.

"No cars. No traffic. No hassles of parking. You know you're getting your train ride in, and then you have the day just to shop and dine and explore," said Beers.

"The county lot is probably going to be full by 10 o'clock in the morning, so if you're going to be coming to town this weekend, I strongly suggest you get here early to get a parking spot. A lot of people will park out at the Lehigh Gorge and walk in or bike in, which is only two miles," said Humphreys.

The train departs at 9 a.m. from Pittston to Jim Thorpe and returns around 6 p.m.

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