‘Murder Mystery Train’ departs Nashville on Valentine’s Day

Get ready to don that Sherlock Holmes attire the Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s “Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery” is rolling out of Nashville.

“Each murder mystery train has a different plot and a different ending,” says Terry Bebout, the museum’s president. The play is conducted by a group of actors based in Franklin, Tenn.

The museum operates trains across the former Tennessee Central Railway, now owned by the Nashville and Eastern Railroad. The “Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery” train departs Nashville and takes passengers to Watertown.

“The excursion is a 90-mile round trip and each way lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes,” Bebout says. “There is a layover in Watertown to enjoy the square and local restaurants.”

The Tennessee Central Railway Museum offers excursions year round from Nashville to various Middle and East Tennessee cities, including Watertown and Cookeville.

The museum is located at the former Tennessee Central Railway’s Master Mechanic’s office on Willow Street. The museum’s fleet includes numerous museum- and privately-owned passenger cars, cabooses and diesel engines, including ones formerly used by Amtrak.

A string of E8 diesel engines, which pulled passenger and freight trains for years before being delegated to excursion service, serve as the power for the museum’s trains. The Tennessee Central Railway, at its heyday, operated a line between Harriman and Hopkinsville, Ky.

Like other railroads in the latter half of the 19th century, the Tennessee Central grew after combining a slew of smaller short lines, many of which bore the name ‘Tennessee Central.”

All would later come under Jere Baxter, who organized the the control of former Memphis Tennessee Central Railroad on & Charleston Railroad president Aug. 23, 1893.

In 1905, the railroad leased its western section to Southern Railway and its eastern section to Illinois Central, which finished laying tracks to Clarksville and later Hopkinsville. However, by June 30, 1908, both Southern and the Illinois Central ended their leases.

The Tennessee Central Railway was later reorganized and remained a freight line until it ceased operations on Aug. 31, 1968. At that time, a court-appointed trustee divided the railroad and sold its property to three competing railroads: the Illinois Central, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and Southern Railway.

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About Todd DeFeo 1317 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.