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|All Aboard The Mystery Train
by Marie Duvall
YOU may have passed by the railroad tracks off Colonial & Metro Blvds. in Fort Myers and wondered about the Seminole Gulf Railway. That is, if you havent had the pleasure of riding the train yet. Is is a dinner train? An excursion train? A freight train? A great way to spend an afternoon with the family? Actually, its all of the above.
The Sem Gulf (as it is commonly referred to) offers many different ways to enjoy the experience of a train ridefrom Murder Mystery Dinner Trains to Holiday and Daily Excursionsall aboard one of the vintage dining cars that date from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The four reconditioned railcars are called Sanibel, Marco, Gasparilla and Captiva. The vintage cars and the accompanying tracks were brought to life again by the Fay family, who has owned the Seminole Gulf Railway for a couple of generations.
Robert F. Fay is Vice President, and along with his brother G. Bruce Fay, manages the daily operations. Their parents, Gordon and Susan Fay, are the principal owners, and have been in the railroading and logistics business for more than 40 years.
This November is actually Seminole Gulf Railways 20 year anniversary, says Robert F. Fay, adding that five new Murder Mysteries will be starting in 2008. 30,000 people a year enjoy the ride. And our staff has as much fun as our passengersand it shows in everything we do.
The Seminole Gulf is known for its exciting Murder Mysteries, where as many as 200 passengers enjoy watching a crime unfold before their eyes as they dine on a five-course meal freshly-prepared onboard. Meals include a fruit and cheese platter, soup du jour, fresh rolls, garden salad, and a selection of entrees such as prime rib and fresh Atlantic salmonand dessert. All food is prepared on board the train in the Marco kitchen. A full bar and wine menu is available.
While enjoying the trip and dining, passengers take notes on the action, and write down clues as they try to guess Who did it? Many of our passengers come year after year to see our new murder mysteries. Its a chance to getaway for the evening, says Robert. We also offer hotel packages for passengers coming in from out-of-town.
For those who want to enjoy an excursion only, there is that option. Seminole Gulf offers a variety of excursion trains, including holiday-themed rides that run during the day and are great for the whole family. It is truly a unique and memorable excursionany way you go, says Robert.
In addition to the passenger train rides, Seminole Gulf Railway has been the only provider of rail freight in Southwest Florida since 1987. The train hauls much of the regions building materials, newsprint, food products, beer, LP gas, plastics, stone and other commodities,says Robert, who explains that the Railroad owns and operates almost 100 miles of tracks from a connection with the national rail system at Arcadia to North Naples, while a separate 24-mile line of Seminole Gulf Railway serves the Sarasota area. Both lines contain segments of the former Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line railroad systems.
Travel back in time to 1973, when big lapels and even bigger bells were the fashion statement. On board the train is Gabe Parker, self-help guru who guarantees that you will become a millionaire in just 6 short weeks. He offers a seminar based on a "pyramid theory"where you get 2 friends to join, who in turn get 2 friends to join, and you become rich beyond your wildest imagination. But in order to make money, you have to spend money. Your hard earned money is given to Gabe Parker, who promises to turn your money into champagne and caviar dreams. Find out what happens as four very gullible but determined disciples of Gabe Parker uncover his unscrupulous "pyramid theory" and take matters into their own hands.
Till Murder Do Us Part
Its the star studded spectacular wedding of Loralee LaBellington, star of the silent screen and her betrothed (number 6), Jay Schmidt. However the upcoming nuptials are not met with joy and bliss by all, which is no surprise considering the guest list includes husband number 1, the best friend, and the mother-in-law to be. And let us not forget the un-invited guests.
from the November-December 2007 issue
More than 350,000 passengers have enjoyed the Seminole Gulf Railway in 20 years.
2805 Colonial Blvd. at Metro Pkwy.
All Aboard for Thanksgiving
A Holly Jolly Murder
Explorer Boat Train Ride
Jingle Bell Special Train Ride
New Years Eve Train Ride
Courtesy Health & Harmony Center