Fayette County

Dinner train will stop running at the end of December

The train and dining cars were ready for the inaugural run of the R.J. Corman Lexington Dinner Train on August 14, 2013.
The train and dining cars were ready for the inaugural run of the R.J. Corman Lexington Dinner Train on August 14, 2013. cbertram@herald-leader.com

R.J. Corman Railroad Co.’s Lexington Dinner Train will stop running at the end of the year, a company spokesman confirmed Friday.

Noel Rush, vice president of finance and administration for Corman, said the lease the company had with Lexington Center Corp. expires at the end of this month. Corman will tear down the structure that houses the locomotive.

“The lease that we have with Lexington Center was not successfully renegotiated,” Rush said. “The result is that the depot will be removed, and once you do that, it’s difficult to put people to board and come off the train.

“Without a lease there, we can’t run a train and have a place to protect you from weather,” Rush added.

In 2014, as part of a court settlement, Corman agreed to remove within two years the glass-walled structure with red Churchill Downs-like spires that sits on Lexington Center property.

The dinner train made its first trip to Versailles on Aug. 14, 2013. R.J. “Rick” Corman, 58, the Jessamine County entrepreneur who started the railroad company, died nine days later of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer.

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