Dubois County Tourism Announces New Train Excursions

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Located in Southern Indiana, the Spirit of Jasper Train has first-class vintage train cars and excursions for all to enjoy. The 2014 scheduled excursions are fast approaching with some new adventures available.

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New this year, adrenaline will kick in on the Cowboy Ride & Dine Excursion when the Spirit of Jasper is robbed by rogue cowboys on horseback!

The Spirit of Jasper Train welcomes all to climb aboard a first class excursion and experience the past in a time when traveling by rail was an exciting, elegant experience. The 2014 Spirit of Jasper Train schedule is now available to pick an excursion and sit back and enjoy the rhythm of the rails on the artfully restored passenger train cars. This tourist train runs through the Indiana countryside on multiple different excursions, from dinner and drinks, to fall foliage rides, to an exciting French Lick journey, or a trip on the Cowboy Ride & Dine. The choice of adventure one wishes to partake lies with the individual.

One excursion is a scenic tour of Dubois County on the climate-controlled Spirit of Jasper Train for a Ride & Dine excursion. This pleasure trip includes a meal and beverage catered by Schnitzelbank Restaurant, southern Indiana’s highly renowned German restaurant. Enhance the ride with a plated meal and table-side service in the stylish Monon Car, including a meal and souvenir glass. The scenery on the Fall Foliage Ride & Dine trips that take place in the month of October and November is a beauty that everyone would enjoy.

Travel through the scenic countryside of southern Indiana on the French Lick Excursion and pass through the second longest railroad tunnel in Indiana on the two-hour trip to the historic town of French Lick, Indiana. While in French Lick, step back in time and follow the footsteps of the rich and famous at the West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Resort & Casino. Enjoy over three wonderful hours of free time touring, gambling, and experiencing this historic town before you get back on the train at the historic French Lick Depot to head back to Jasper.

New this year, adrenaline will kick in on the Cowboy Ride & Dine Excursion when the Spirit of Jasper is robbed by rogue cowboys on horseback! No worries—this is a fake robbery! Popular with adults and kids, the trip is catered by the Schnitzelbank. The opportunity to upgrade to the Monon car is also available on this trip.

Group and charter excursions are also other options to create a memory on this first-class train. The Spirit of Jasper is perfect for a change of pace to host family reunions, corporate parties, wedding celebrations, and much more! Leave the driving to the conductor as your group enjoys beautiful scenery, good conversation and the rare experience of traveling on this extraordinary vintage train.

This one-of-a-kind passenger train has three different cars available that were restored by the City of Jasper employees and generous local corporations and businesses as well as one car leased from the Monon Railroad. These cars include the Club Car #200, the Lounge Car #300, the Parlour Car #400, and the Monon Car.

The Club Car #200 was originally built for the Milwaukee Railroad in the 1940s and used as an overnight coach car. It was rebuilt as a passenger car with club-seating for 40 passengers.

The Lounge Car #300 was built between 1917 and 1922 and was originally equipped with shelving and used as a “coffin car” to transport deceased World War I soldiers back to their home towns. It was rebuilt in a dining car seating configuration and seats 48 passengers.

The Parlour Car #400 was believed to have been built in the 1940s and used for a military hospital car. It was renovated and is set up in a modern contemporary seating configuration with leather couches and LCD flat screens and a 19-foot long bar. It holds 26 passengers but is not used for dining purposes.

The Monon Car is leased from its owners “The Monon Railroad Historical – Technical Society, Inc.” It was built in 1924 for the Great Northern Railroad and name the “Great Spirit.” In 1954, the Monon Railroad purchased it and modernized for the use of Warren Brown, President of the Monon Railroad. This car provides seating for 30 passengers who will experience luxurious dining with table side service and plated meals.

The Jasper Train Depot, built to replicate the original depot, is also available to rent for parties, meetings, and other public events.

For more information on cost, availability, and ticket purchasing, call 812-482-5959 or visit http://spiritofjasper.com/.

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Kevin Manley
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