The Historic Jefferson Railway crew has been working very long hours for the last two weeks to get the steam train back into operation to open our Rail of Lights Christmas Train, tomorrow November 27. As with all antiques (the train if more than 50 years old), you never know what will go wrong. We fired the boiler today in preparation for a practice run this afternoon. Because the train sat dormant for over two years, we are experiencing a problem with the pistons – it steams, but won’t go. We will be running the antique gas-powered locomotive this weekend. If all goes well, the steam train should be running by December 4th. We will keep you updated.
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.