New Hope Valley Railway has implemented a number of protocols and best practices during the coronavirus pandemic. The health and safety of the visitors/guests to our rail yard and aboard our trains as well as our volunteers who work here, are our top priorities. Here are the many safety measures we have implemented:
- Our four passenger cars are “open-air”. Normal capacity of one of our cars is 60 riders, but we will be limiting capacity to an average of 18 riders to allow for social distancing. Our caboose on the train is enclosed and may be booked by a single family group at a price of $100 for private use to enable social distancing.
- All guests are required to wear face coverings while riding the New Hope Valley Railway. Currently these require guests over four years old to wear face coverings, unless there are medical reasons which prevent this. Our volunteers will be wearing face coverings. Although there have been recent changes in the North Carolina face covering requirements to limit the spread of COVID19, Federal Railway Administration and TSA rules require passengers and volunteers on our trains to continue to wear face coverings.
- One person per reservation party should check-in at our ticket office upon arrival. We will have our ticket printer outside our ticket office so that you may pick up your tickets in a “touchless” manner.
- Social Distancing of six feet or more should be practiced throughout the entire property. This includes the Garden Railway area (which WILL be operating), Gift Shop, rail yard area and other high-traffic areas.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the property and at each boarding platform for guests and volunteer use.
- To further encourage personal hygiene and social distancing, we will be providing clear and frequent reminders via signage, announcements and volunteer instruction both onboard and while on New Hope Valley Railway property.
- To further implement the most effective touchless and low-touch solution, only cashless transactions will be available at our Gift Shop. Occupancy of this small area will be limited to one family group at a time.
- We will be frequently cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout our property.
- Our volunteers will disinfect each train car prior to each ride.
- A face covering is required for participants in our Operate-a-Loco activity. The engineer wear a face covering. The participant/purchaser of our Operate-a-Loco activity and one guest will be allowed in the cab with the engineer.
- Our birthday party caboose will be unavailable for rental until further notice.
Additional Information for Our Passengers
- Stay home if you are ill or exhibiting symptoms of flu or COVID-19. We will work with you to cancel or reschedule your reservations without penalty when done in advance. We will ask you several health screening questions when you check in.
- Please arrive 30 minutes before your ride time as our boarding process will be a little longer to allow proper social distancing.
- Follow proper hand-washing practices.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissue in trash.
- Be courteous in enclosed spaces and walkways and allow ample space for passing and social distancing.
- Follow directional signs and staff instructions.
- Remain seated in your assigned passenger coach during your round trip and follow the car host’s instruction during boarding and at the end of the train ride.
- All volunteers will receive daily health screenings with temperature and symptom checks and when signing in and must certify that they are symptom-free.
- Any volunteer exhibiting symptoms will be asked to return/stay home.
- All volunteers will be required to wear face coverings except for those in solitary, non-contact roles such as the loco engineer on a ride day or our dispatcher while in the office.
REMEMBER THE 3 W’s: Wear, Wait & Wash
- Wear a face covering
- Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.