The Waterloo Central Railway operates a train that runs between the city and the market district in and around the town of St. Jacobs. On market day, tourists can purchase a return trip ticket and be dropped off to shop for a couple of hours. The train has special runs from time to time and this weekend marked the premiere Murder Mystery Train Ride.
My daughters and I love Agatha Christie's novels and have read most of them. We enjoy Miss Marple, Poirot, and Tommy and Tuppence in their small screen versions. (I don't care for the latest Marple movies from ITV. Too many liberties are taken in the stories.)We could not resist the opportunity of a train ride with food and a staged play in the style of a classic Christie mystery.
Passengers were encouraged to dress up for the event and some came decked out in the elegant fashions of the Art Deco period. The train left near dusk and travelled out of the city and into the countryside, through fields and Old Order Mennonite farms, over trestles and ravines.
There were about 100 passengers and we were a lively bunch, waving out the windows and singing along with the musicians who could play any request on the violin and accordion.
Every so often, actors would pass through the cars. We used our printed hand outs to follow clues that would identify possible suspects in the murder of Miss Body on this very train.
Intermission was on the platform at St. Jacobs and more food was set out along with hot drinks for our enjoyment. By the time we started back home, an almost full harvest moon rose above the horizon. The police were waiting for the suspect back at the Waterloo station and the night ended two and a half hours after we started.
Commuter trains run through communities in southern Ontario into Toronto. Business travellers of today are plugged into their own electronic gadgetry or have their faces buried in a newspaper. This train ride was a social experience that few people today enjoy. I took the train several times as a teenager and young adult, but passenger trains are no longer in fashion.
The Becka is wanting to go across Canada by train now. My mother did that trip with her family in the 1940's and it would be fun to retrace her journey.
Do you have train ride memories? This month the regular diesel engine is being replaced by a steam engine for some runs. I am sure none of my readers are old enough to remember steam!