Walkers at the Grand Central Mall soon will be able to ride in style on the area's first trackless train.
Aaron and Leann Lindley will unveil the Grand Central Express Sunday at the mall. The cost is $3 a person for the 8-minute ride, with children younger than 2 riding for free with a paying adult.
Aaron Lindley said the idea came to the couple while they were in Daytona, Fla.
Special to the Times
A trackless train soon will be running through the Grand Central Mall as a new permanent attraction. The train uses tires instead of tracks, allowing it to run throughout the inside of the mall.
"Down south these are everywhere," he said. "You can't go to a mall without seeing a trackless train."
In an interesting twist the trackless train will share the name of an old tracked train that was part of the mall in the 1970s, Aaron Lindley said.
The new Grand Central Express will feature crew in costume and music, he said. The train will operate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
"It gives people coming to the mall something else to do," he said. "The people at the mall were looking for something new for customers and they were very excited about the idea."
The train uses regular tires instead of tracks, so it is able to roll around the mall's walking paths at a steady pace.
"It's a walking pace, so it's not scary for the kids or the adults," Aaron Lindley said. "It is a unique way to see a mall. It beats walking, that's for sure."
Aaron Lindley said the couple hopes to expand the parent business, Damascus Road Express, to include up to 10 trains throughout the state. Grand Central Express is the first train being unveiled under the new business.
"We're not seasonal," he said. "This is year-round."