|Historic Jefferson Railway|
The Great Locomotive Chase - The Andrews Raid
The Historic Jefferson Railway captures the spirit of the Civil War during Pilgrimage & Civil War Weekend in Jefferson, May 4 and 5, 2013, by telling the story of the Great Locomotive Chase and reenacting the event with soldiers from the North and South. The living history camps along the Big Cypress Bayou come alive as the cannons fire and the battle rages to gain possession of the train. The gripping tale of The Andrews Raid is the Civil War’s most fascinating railroad story.
During the Civil War, famous campaigns were planned and conducted for the primary purpose of capturing or destroying railroad lines of value to the enemy. On the morning of April 12, 1862, the most famous locomotive of the Civil War, the General, was hijacked by the Union civilian spy, James J. Andrews, and his men. After a nail-biting eight hours and 87 miles, the Southerners captured the General, James Andrews and several of his men.
Take a step back in time as the Historic Jefferson Railway takes you on an excursion that circles the Piney Woods along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou. You’ll view a Confederate Powder Magazine from the Civil War era and remains of many sites from the 1880’s still visible along the track. The antique train is a restored gas-powered Plymouth Locomotive built in 1964. The open-canopied observation cars provide an excellent view of this exciting event along the river.
The Great Locomotive Chase will be held on Saturday, May 4, with trains departing from the Historic Jefferson Railway in downtown Jefferson at 12:30, 2:30 and 6:30 and Sunday, May 5 at 11:30.
On Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, Civil-War themed Ghost Stories will take place at the Historic “haunted” Depot. And best of all, it is FREE. Then jump on the Civil War Ghost Train at 9:00 p.m. to discover the haunts of the Civil War and enjoy the living history camps along the track. The trip takes you deep into the dark and scary Piney Woods of East Texas. Listen to the narrator tell Civil War ghost stories while you keep an eye out for paranormal activity.
Historic Jefferson Railway
The Robert E Lee, our steam locomotive, is almost 50 years old and is currently undergoing extensive repairs. We have commissioned an antique gas-powered locomotive, the Critter, into service. This train was built in 1964. The train ride takes you through the beautiful woods and wetlands along the Big Cypress Bayou and lasts about 40 minutes.
The steam locomotive was built in 1964 for Six Guns Territory in Florida and moved to Jefferson in 1986. It is a Crown Metal reproduction of the 1870's American Class 4-4-0 steam locomotive christened the Robert E. Lee and known as Engine #7. The open car coach seats still carry the custom medallions cast into them and designed especially for the Six Guns amusement park.
The Critter is a gas-powered Plymouth Locomotive. Plymouth locomotives were first built in 1910. Plymouth was one of the world's most productive builders of small industrial locomotives. They built over 7,500 units of which 1,700 are believed to still be in active service.
The Railway has become a part of the thriving community of Jefferson sponsoring major events throughout the year that bring over 20,000 visitors to Jefferson. Patrons look forward all year to the Terror on the Bayou Runaway Fright Train, Trammel's Trace Rendezvous, Rail of Lights Christmas & New Year's Train, Diamond Don's National Vintage Motocross, The Great Locomotive Chase and Route 49 Biker Rally.
The train rolls right by the home of the Boggy Creek monster as depicted in the upcoming feature horror movie, "Boggy Creek", filmed in Jefferson and Uncertain. The movie is loosely based on the old Big Foot or Sasquatch legends, says Brian T. Jaynes, director and producer.
|Access for Physically Challenged Persons|
There are two steps leading into the front lobby of our depot. There are also three steps leading to the upper area and to the bathrooms. We do have a ramp that can be accessed at the back of the depot which gives entry to the upper depot level and the bathrooms. We do have handicapped parking for vehiclex on the street near the train. There are several steps up to our First Class coach. Some physically challenged persons may have difficulty accessing this coach. As we are a narrow gauge train, the width of our First Class coach will not accommodate handicapped conveyances. Some seats in this car face forward and some face backward. If you have a problem with motion sickness, please call to advise a depot agent so that we can re-arrange the assigned seating to meet your needs. We can accommodate a wheelchair or similar conveyance in the handicapped area of our open coach. However, this area must be reserved ahead of time, so please contact a Depot Agent if you need special accommodations.