Elgin excursion train cancels summer rides

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Jul. 21—ELGIN — The Eagle Cap Excursion Train, which recently returned from a COVID-19 restriction hiatus, will no longer be offering rides this summer.

The train rides scheduled for July 21, 24, 31 and August 3 have been canceled.

"Our concern for the health and safety of the passengers and our all-volunteer crew made this choice necessary," said Ed Spaulding, president of Friends of the Joseph Branch, the nonprofit group that operates the train. "In addition to safety, the heavy smoke from this and other active fires severely compromises the scenic quality of the train rides."

The train will resume operation on Sept. 4, according to a press release. The organization will finalize the fall schedule at its Aug. 4 meeting.

All tickets that have been sold will be honored at future rides or refunded, if the buyer chooses.

"An excursion train ticket agent will be in contact with you as soon as possible," the release said. "Please allow them time to work down their list in the order of the dates of the rides. Thank you for understanding the seriousness of the situation. We thank the firefighters as they work to get the fires under control."

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