Monday, March 15, 2010
Evansville Needs a Dinner Train
Evansville has a deep history with the railroads. If you ever have any free time, visit the EMTRAC ( Evansville Museum TRAnsportation Center) building on the grounds of the museum and you will see just how important the railroad was to building Evansville.
Granted I am a devout believer in railroads, but I just can't understand why Evansville doesn't even have the basics left over. I'm thrilled to death that President Eisenhower's old train car is here on display, but wouldn't it be nice to have a dinner train that took real trips around the tri-state?
Dinner trains are quite popular. I am aware of one in Bardstown, Ky, one in Seattle, Wa, and three in Indiana, but there are none in southern Indiana. There is also a train in French Lick, Indiana where passengers can witness an old train robbery reenactment.
On a dinner train, passengers are given a four course prepared meal as they site-see various areas. Games, reenactments, and ghost tours are also possibilities depending on which train you take. They have been quite successful and are very inexpensive to implement.
In fact, Evansville has the infrastructure for a train like this. CSX tracks run parallel to Pigeon Creek, parallel to the Old Wabash & Erie Canal, parallel next to 41, and all across western Kentucky. Unfortunately, the closest I have ever heard of a group of people trying to bring an active dinner train to Evansville was when I saw a sign at the Fall Festival last year that said, " Help Bring the SG&I Railroad to Evansville." I thought is was a Westside Nutclub project but it is unlisted on their site and I haven't heard anything about it since.
If Evansville is truly serious about boosting tourism, preserving and enriching its past, and creating jobs, it should strongly consider a dinner train.