Heber Valley Railroad, a historical Halloween treat


More than 100 years ago, the Heber Valley Railroad carried sheep, produce and dairy products down the canyon into Provo, today the rustic railway carries passengers in their Halloween best, looking for a fun fall time.

The Heber Valley Railroad is hosting the Pumpkin Festival that runs through the end of October. At this event, passengers ride the train, enjoy the beautiful scenery and catch the Halloween spirit in a family oriented atmosphere.

Mark Nelson, general manager of the Heber Valley Railroad, said the train is a great fall activity and a fun way to experience the historic train.

“The main thing we want to accomplish is for people to have a good experience,” Nelson said. “We want people to have gone away and say, ‘You know what, that was a great value and we really had fun’, and we want people to like trains.”

During the 40 minute train ride, on board entertainers travel from car to car performing skits and singing songs while passengers relax, enjoy pumpkin cookies and the fall scenery. When the train creeps back into the station, passengers can pick a pumpkin and decorate it, walk through the haunted train car, and travel through a maze.

Nelson said so far the festival has been very well received by the community. He attributes the success to the family-oriented atmosphere which has proven more successful than previous years’ haunted train cars aimed at young adults.

“Our sweet spot are young kids and families,” Nelson said. “It’s what we know how to do well.”

Suzie Greep, from Haramon, took her family to see what the festival was all about, and was not disappointed.

“The family decorated pumpkins, went through the haunted train car, and had a good time on the train,” Greep said. “It was a lot of fun, it was fun to be with the family, nice weather, nice day.”

Josh Jurgensen, from Heber, who has attended the event twice this year, said his favorite part is seeing his children happy. It’s a good thing to do as a family and the kids love the train and decorating the pumpkin.

“It’s fairly cheap and they get to spend two hours and get their own pumpkin and go on a train ride,” Jurgensen said.

Although the pumpkin festival is family oriented, the Heber Valley Railroad has other fall events geared more for college students.

“Friday night trains are date trains,” Nelson said. “They are very affordable, $20 – $25 per couple. Each couple gets two facing seats so you can put your feet up, snuggle, you know, have fun.”

In the past, date night trains have been themed as magic trains with a magician on board, cheese lovers’ train for cheese tasting, and on Nov. 2 the chocolate lovers’ train will run. For more information on upcoming events, visit http://hebervalleyrr.org.

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