I saw this covered in today's News and Observer, which even featured a front page story and a photo of a little boy from Sanford riding the train:
We had a similar train/park up in the Santa Cruz mountains, and it was always a popular destination for families as kids always seem to like trains... especially true steam engines.
But what caught my interest was that this seems right up Sanford's alley. Sanford of course is based upon its early founding around the railroad(which seems to share some history with the New Hope line), and we are surrounded by some amazing landscapes. I have to wonder how many abandoned rail lines still exist, as I know I've seen plenty of empty and overgrown rail-beds and trestles in the area.
Certainly running a railroad like the one at New Hope would be very expensive, but then again, somehow they make it work. But on the other... other hand, maybe the region couldn't really support two such attractions. I have no idea.
But with the coming park around the Endor Furnace, our proximity to the rivers, the fact that many old rail lines often run near areas of historic interest, and some dramatic geography, wouldn't it be a perfect fit if Sanford had such an attraction?
Well, obviously I'm in a dreaming mood today, what with this post and the preceding one about a baseball team. But what's so bad about dreaming? :)