The Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) boasted revenues of $1.19 million in 2016, up from $1.1 million the previous year, despite a slight drop in total riders to 38,743, due to closure of excursions on the Phoenicia line in June and July after expiration of the railroad’s lease on the tracks. Both the Kingston and Phoenicia lines were in operation for the rest of the season, with the Kingston ridership reaching 29,148.
The CMRR plans to have a variety of theme trains return in 2017, including Steam Engine Viscose No. 6, Polar Express, Easter Bunny Express, Halloween Trains and others. The railroad also expects to extend its Kingston run further west towards the Ashokan Reservoir during 2017, enabling it to eventually add themed trains targeted at adults, who require a longer ride and a scenic destination.
CMRR stated that of the Polar Express riders, 21,397 or 88% came from outside Ulster County. Their press release added, “The CMRR delivered large numbers of riders directly to the doors of Kingston area restaurants, hotels, and shops last year. Additionally, the CMRR purchased more than $280,000 in goods from over 25 different Ulster County businesses, paid nearly $70,000 in rent to Ulster County, increased its annual payroll to over $50,000 (employing 45 high school students and others to perform at its events), and purchased another $120,000 in goods from other Hudson Valley businesses.”