As of Thursday, October 12, 2017
UPDATE: Though Polar Express has been canceled, a similar trip is planned at Mt. Hood Railroad.
After several months of ongoing negotiations, Rail Events Inc. has announced several U.S. locations of The Polar Express Train Ride, previously operated by Iowa Pacific Holdings, will not return for the 2017 season, including Mt. Hood Railroad in Hood River.
The November-December family-oriented excursion has been a mainstay of Mt. Hood Railroad offerings for the past 10 years.
A total of 45 licensed Polar Express Train Ride locations will operate across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. in 2017.
During the course of the 2016 events season, Iowa Pacific failed to make agreed upon royalty payments under the license agreements and ultimately failed to make final payment on the balance due on royalties in excess of $3 million dollars, said a press release. Rail Events Inc. filed default notices on Jan. 4 seeking payment of the outstanding debt, and ultimately filed suit on Jan. 11 to collect the royalty payments. Rail Events Inc. spent the last nine months seeking to reach an agreement that would have allowed Iowa Pacific to continue offering The Polar Express Train Ride at limited host railroad locations.
In addition, Rail Events Inc. offered numerous deferred payment options to pay the 2016 royalty debt. In recognition of its obligation for the 2016 royalty debt, Iowa Pacific signed a Consent to and Confession of Judgment in the lawsuit for the amount due to Rail Events Inc. Due to the breakdown in settlement discussions, Iowa Pacific will not operate The Polar Express Train Ride going forward, and Rail Events Inc. is proceeding to seek recovery of its judgment.