Train appreciation day in the Black Hills

HILL CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The 1880 train is ending it's season Sunday and to show it's appreciation for years of local support and active military the ride was free.

1880 train getting ready to leave the station.

Holli Edwards is a Business Development Manager for 1880.

"We offer free train rides all day today," said Edwards. "We have two departures out of Hill City and one out of Keystone and the first one that just left was all full and they've actually all been full for a couple of months now, close to 350 people enjoying each of those departures today which is awesome."

The free rides were open to any resident of South Dakota or Wyoming and active duty military.

"We hear it so often we've lived here forever and never had the opportunity to enjoy the train. We always say we are going to do it. So we hear that so often," said Edwards. "This is hopefully a way that people will take that opportunity to come and try it out, what a beautiful time of year to do that. The ride right now is really beautiful so we hope everyone is able to enjoy that."

Thursdays storm closed down the train, but Edwards said the snow created a beautiful landscape for Sunday's rides.

Even though the trains were booked, don't worry because this coming holiday season there will be some brand new opportunities for you to ride the train.

"We've always stopped on December twenty third in past years. This year is the first year we're running on Christmas Eve as well as the twenty seventh and twenty eighth," said Edwards.

A new first class option will also be available this holiday season with a private Santa, but the seats go fast.