What an exciting season it’s been on the Bel-Del. Easter, the regular season, mine and corn maze all set new ridership records. Thomas came back to thrilled crowds. Polar Express again sold out and was bigger and better than ever. Equipment was bought, repaired and modified. Our dedicated crew of volunteers has performed miracles at every turn. Even our gift car sales increased by 30%, thanks to the hard work of Gary and Bev Shea. And the usable track is now a mile longer than it was in the spring, leaving us only 1.5 miles from Riegelsville. Picking up where we left off last issue, Thomas came back this year. With our crews busy getting the third bilevel and 533 done and ready, we had even more room this year for riders. While the Thomas trains did not completely sell out, we had a nice increase in ridership on the 142/Mine trains. The weather cooperated again this year, with hot, muggy days and no rain. We added a new 40 foot long inflatable obstacle course to the various activity stations. On a safety note, Dave Hutsabaut provided lime and a liner to make a safety line along the platform to keep people back from the train, which worked so well, we even heard children telling their parents to stay behind the line. So many people contributed to the success of this event, but a shout out needs to go to Chris Cotty, Helene Meissner and Phillipsburg Mayor Harry Wyant. The Ol’ Susquehanna Mine received a new attraction this year, thanks to the imaginings of Chris Cotty. He designed and built an exploding mine shaft to supplement the 2 sluices. Now our visitors come in to the mine shaft area and our guides explain the mine history and other general mine info. Then he has one person push on the TNT plunger, and the mine starts to rumble, shake and explode, with the roof rattling and smoke coming out the door. It has raised many An aerial view of this years Corn Maze. The maze is thirteen acres and is cut by a GPS enabled tractor. There are two mazes in total in the design with over 8 miles of trails! 10

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