FRENCH LICK — The Indiana Railway Museum recently received $250,000 in grant money to restore and refurbish two historic passenger cars.
The Destination Development Grant, which is awarded through the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, will allow the museum to increase its train services between French Lick and Jasper. The City of Jeffersonville was also a recipient of the grant.
“This will allow French Lick Scenic Railway additional opportunities to provide upscale train cars for the various train excursions that already exist,” said Kristal Painter, executive director of Visit French Lick West Baden. “More importantly, it will allow for additional excursions to be created, adding to their already extensive schedule of events that are being offered from March through December.”
The project will allow expansion of certain events, such as the Polar Express Train, as well as dinners on the train.
“French Lick Scenic Railway is an amazing asset for southern Indiana,” Painter said. “Trains in general appeal to a broad spectrum of the public. … The special events draw people in (who) might not normally consider a train ride.”
In a news release, the Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who oversees IOTD and is the chair of the Indiana Tourism Council, said the grant program rewards “large unique projects” that further the appeal of communities and regions in Indiana.
“I am inspired by the collaboration and commitment (of) the recipients of this year’s grants that help take tourism and economic development in the state to the next level,” Crouch said in the news release.