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Thunder Mountain Line closes down

Thunder Mountain Line train. Photo from KBOI.

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - The historic train ride experience Thunder Mountain Line is closing.

The rides had been in operation since 1998, first starting up in Cascade, then moving to Horseshoe Bend.

No explanation has been given as to the reason why the company is shutting down.

Company Vice President Chris Bertel posted the following message to the ride's website.

"To our valued Customer and Employees:

It is with great sadness and disappointment that the Thunder Mountain Line has suspended its 2016 excursion operations. We began our inaugural operation in 1998 with a modest start up out of Cascade with Idaho Historical Railroads ("IHR"). IHR vision and goal was to help preserve the state's rail transportation history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations. IHR was very successful in marketing and operating the Thunder Mountain Line from 1998 - 2000. When the Idaho Northern and Pacific Railroad took over full control of the operations for the 2001 season, we expanded our operation to Horseshoe Bend along with the number of themed train rides for our customers. During our journey we developed a top notched operation with beauty that would compete with any tourist train in the country. We frequently visited other operations around the country and met many great people within our industry. Many ideas and suggestions were readily shared amongst tourist train operators in the preservation, marketing and public experience of our train operations. We expanded and renovated our facilities and equipment that allowed us to offer our customer a top level experience while celebrating Idaho's unique history and beauty. Our employees through the years took great pride in our operation and were an integral part for our customers creating memories and reconnecting to the past. Without our employees we would just be a collection of museum railcars with no story.

We offered a piece of history and an amazing product to the state in Southwest Idaho. We were able to provide a unique experience for our younger generation and a glimpse back to the past. We provided an environment for families to reconnect and create lasting memories for years to come. I experienced this first hand with the trips I took with my children on the train. Our customers also celebrated Idaho's beauty from a different perspective of leisurely traveling along the river and mountains on a train. The sounds and motions of riding on a train are unique in itself and only enhance the experience.

We are very thankful for the many years of support from the communities, State of Idaho, tourist train industry, suppliers, sponsors, employees and general public.

Sincerely,

Chris Bertel

Vice President

Thunder Mountain Line"

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