The worldwide pandemic (COVID-19) has forced a decision to cancel operations of the Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway for the remainder of 2020. The decision was made July 17, by the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM), which operates the railway along the St. Croix River, with departures from Osceola.
“It was with extremely heavy hearts, after considering many factors and having honest discussion, that our Board made this decision,” said Brian Voss, MTM Chair. “Many of our members and volunteers have spent nearly every summer for decades working on the railway, and they love doing it,” he said. “The pandemic is unprecedented, and overwhelmingly we felt that we must put the health and safety of our passengers and volunteers first and foremost.”
MTM considers itself a partner with the Village of Osceola, the Osceola Chamber of Commerce, and the Osceola Historical Society, which owns the historic Soo Line Depot. “We will work together with our community partners to make the 2021 season a success for businesses in the region as well as the railway itself,” said Voss.
While the railway season has been cancelled, MTM has reopened the railway museum at the historic Jackson Street Roundhouse in Saint Paul, Minnesota. “That decision was due to the large open areas that allow for considerable social distancing,” said Chairperson Voss. Considerable safety precautions have been put in place, including a temperature check at the entrance and a mandatory facemask requirement. Visitors are invited and encouraged to visit the museum to experience a vintage railway experience on Wednesdays and Saturdays. More information can be found at www.trainride.org.