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“Big Disapointment”

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is a 501c3 non-profit organization operated entirely by volunteer members. It operates historic train rides from Nelsonville, Ohio, a close drive to the Hocking Hills. The track was originally built in 1869 and the HVSR has been providing family-friendly train rides since 1972. In addition to weekend trains between May and October, there are several theme trains including Easter Bunny Train, Robbery Train, All-Caboose Train, October Fall Foliage, Santa Trains, and New Year's Eve Train.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

We paid close to $150 for 7 of my family members to ride the Polar Express last Christmas. All of us including the children were VERY disappointed and felt that we were ripped off big time. It was dark so we did not have to see the "less than scenic" view that the other reviewers described. The kids were promised a visit with Santa and we assumed Santa would be on the train, but turns out we would have had to exit the train and walk up the street if we wanted to see him. It was drizzling freezing rain that night so we opted to stay on the train. The kids were given a bell, there was no entertainment, no singing, no cookies on the train. What a huge rip-off. Wouldn't do that again.

4  Thank Mobby123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Marketing Director at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

I'm sorry to hear of your poor experience. However, I should point out that the North Pole Express trains haven't operated since 2011. In 2012, we removed the North Pole Express from our schedule due to poor experience feedback. We have since focused solely on the long-standing Santa Trains that have been offered for over three decades.

I'd like to know when you actually rode the train, as the train you describe is from no later than December 2011. And again, our apologies for your poor experience.

-Chris Burchett
Marketing Director
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
Twitter: @HVSRChris

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 144 reviews

Reviewed June 15, 2013

I thought it was a little silly when my husband made reservations for us to board the Hocking Valley Railroad "Robbery Train" which runs only twice a year. I guess 499 people thought otherwise, because the train was filled to capacity with adults and children. Everybody was in an excited and chatty mood, and I couldn't understand a word that was being said about the sights we passed.

The "real action" took place halfway on the trip back. We had been warned beforehand and received counterfeit banknotes to hand out to the robbers. The children had also be armed with - small - water pistols for protection.

When the "robbers" finally attacked it was on a big scale. I counted 15-20 horses and riders). Everything went according to plan, and a good time was had by all.

One caveat: We were told to be there 30 minutes early, but that was not enough if you wanted to make sure you could sit together with 10 family members or so.

5  Thank Reiselust1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had a nice ride with the the children last fall. The crew was friendly. The cars are old, but thats ok. I wasn't expecting AmTrack. You had the pioneer village to go thru before the end of the ride.

4  Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Goes through wonderful scenery. Crew was very knowledgeable on the history and natural environment of the region.

1  Thank TjDzik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

This was the worst trip ever!!!! My wife seen this on the internet and we scheduled it and took my 4 year old son thinking it would be a very nice family experience. I was wrong. In The Athens Messenger newspaper aticle that was printed the next day a Mr. Burchett is quoted “..well organized”. In contrast this was the worst organized event I have ever seen. The layout of the egg hunt area was seriously flawed. They obviously had a ticket count so they could have estimated the number of children that would be there and adjusted the layout accordingly. The layout was such that it was too small to accommodate the number of children. For the 3-5 age range there was a square approximately 20-25 foot on each side and from my pictures I was able to count about 100 children. They were only allowed to line up on one side of the square, causing them to bottleneck just to get into the area when the whistle sounded. Creating a situation where a few got all the eggs and many did not get any at all, basically creating a situation that subjects children to a bad experience that Mr. Lewis even admits to in the article. I definitely did not enjoy driving 2 hours and paying $34.00 to see an event organized to make children cry and have a bad memory of Easter. To the organizers.....Truly not classy to hurt children then try to justify your actions by giving them a tootsie roll.

4  Thank tm55701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Marketing Director at Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

I'm sorry to hear of your poor experience. We had many good reports from our 2013 Easter Trains so to receive yours was a shock. However, we try make sure everyone has a good time, so that you did not is a disappointment.

We are always trying to make improvements as best we can from year to year with our theme trains. I should point out that we are 501c3 non-profit operated entirely by volunteer members. We would be more than happy to have you a part of the organization to help make the event that much better! We are always looking for new people to help out and we'd love to have you a part of it!

Again, our apologies for your poor experience.

-Chris Burchett
Marketing Director
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
Twitter: @HVSRChris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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