My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Trip Report by Mike Harpe
I took a trip on My Old Kentucky Dinner Train in early January of 1998. This train is operated by the R.J. Corman Railroad in Bardstown, KY. The occasion was an anniversary party. To sum it up, a good time was had by all. The train is nice.
We arrived with plenty of time to look around. The trainset was already at the restored depot located in downtown Bardstown on Third Street. The power was a pair of ex-Southern FP-7's in very nice looking RJ Corman railroad livery. I do not know the lineage of the cars, but I can say they are in wonderful condition and very comfortable. This trip marked my first meal on a train so it was a treat!
We departed on time at 6 PM local time. My brother-in-law had brought his new Garmin GPS III along and we used it to track our trip. The train leaves the station and proceeds on the ex-L&N main to distillery country. We averaged about 15 MPH the whole way. The trip parallels KY 245, the route from I-65 to Bardstown. The countryside was nice. Even though it was nighttime, the train is equipped with side floodlights to light things up a bit. We wandered through the Kentucky countryside, passing two old depots and one old L&N caboose sitting on a siding. I am going to try to go back to find this caboose and get a picture. Alas, we forgot to mark the location in the GPS.
When we arrived at the Jim Beam distillery, just a few hundred yards from I-65, we came to a stop. The crew got off, cut the power off and moved it around to the front for the trip back. This was done quickly and quietly, the passengers not noticing anything other than the two FP-7's gliding by the window.
The trip back was a little faster, about 20 MPH. The arrival at the station required another power switch to shove us back into the station. This was also done expertly and quickly.
All in all, it was a very nice trip. They sell RJ Corman Railroad calendars in the gift shop although they don't have 1998 yet. I like their bold red paint scheme. This is a short line that I plan to learn more about and report on. I did manage to get a digital picture of one of the FP-7's. I am going to go back and re-shoot these. I'll post a URL when they are ready.
By the way, if you go, get the prime rib and the strawberry shortcake dessert!
Copyright 1998 - Mike Harpe, RailroadInfo.Com
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