Down in Fort Myers, Florida they know how to entertain on trains.
The town is home to the Seminole Gulf Railway Company, one of America’s short line railway companies.
The SGLR, which is its reporting mark, normally transports goods such as cement, forest products, metals, minerals and chemicals along its 105-mile track which runs from Arcadia to through Fort Myers to North Naples along the Southwest Florida coast.
As well as carrying freight, the SGLR also carries passengers on theme-based trips which prove that railways can entertain as well as providing a reliable transportation service.
For over twenty years the SGLR has been running their Murder Mystery Trains. These trains run each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and guests are seated at tables of four in true railway dining tradition.
Each journey departs, and returns to, the Colonial Station depot at Fort Myers for a three and a half hour trip during which dinner is served and the murder mystery played out.
There is a lot of fun as a team of actors unravel a comical mystery before passengers’ eyes. Each passenger is given the opportunity to decide just who the killer is and why they would do such a dastardly deed. Passengers are allocated clue sheets in order to write down all the clues they discover. Clue sheets are then collected before the final act, when everyone will discover why the perfect murder just can’t be pulled off… or can it? Prizes are awarded to one super sleuth in each dining car.
On most occasions, the Murder Mystery Dinner Train travels north from Colonial Station to an area known as Tucker’s Grade (which is about a 20 mile journey). The train then heads back south to the Colonial Station along the same route, for a 40 mile round trip.
There are a number of different shows and special event programmes that are presented as well, including variations on the Nutcracker Suite and Dickens’ `A Christmas Carol’.
The SGLR also offers vacation packages for those who wish to stay a little longer in Fort Myers. As well as the train, Lee County has many good beaches and the Six Mile Cypress Slough a large wetlands ecosystem that is open to the public, and which is now home to a great variety of animals including otters, alligators, turtles and wading birds.
The Murder Mystery trains run right throughout the year and are popular with families and groups.