|Sunset Dinner Train
It features 4-star food for regular folks, spectacular California landscapes,
and it's all aboard a locomotive steeped in Heartland history, welcome
to the Sunset Dinner Train.
You'll find the Sunset Dinner Train in the historic Northern California
town of McCloud, where for a hundred years the town's economy has hinged
on trees and trains. "This line was the McCloud River Railroad, was
built in 1897. It was built specifically to be a freight business to haul
logs," says Sunset VP Jalene Forbis.
When the timber industry soured, tourism took over top billing and the
historic railway lived on. But if you ride the Sunset you'll quickly notice,
the nostalgia of the great railroad era hasn't been forgotten.
Says Jalene, "What we like to create for our customers is a sense
of going back into time, back when there was fine dining and the rail
was a unique experience and something that people would look forward to."
Fares for an evening aboard the Sunset average around 80 dollars per-person,
but remember; here you're dining in style. Ivory linens, fine china, polished
silver all housed in a restored 1916 Illinois Central dining car. It's
an experience that often brings back fond memories.
Sunset passenger Greg White says, "Oh this is great
I was a
locomotive engineer for twelve years of my life. And that's been some
time ago, but getting back on a train like this and enjoying the sounds
and the ambiance of, the whole railroad experience has just been wonderful."
If nostalgia and the scenery of Mt. Shasta weren't enough, remember this
is a dinner train, and the cuisine here is in a league of its own. "Our
signature dish is the Beef Wellington, which is a choice Fillet Mignon.
And instead of using a goose liver pate, we use a mushroom pate. And then
we serve it with a merlot sauce on the bottom and a bernet sauce on top,"
says Edward Hines, executive chef aboard the Sunset. But just because
it's gourmet, don't expect pint-sized portions. Says Edward, "Our
plates are usually fuller than you'll find in most four-star restaurants.
And that's pretty much what we like to do, is make sure everybody's happy
when they leave here."
And you'll also be happy to know, the food used in this kitchen is market
and California grown. "We have a local produce market
in Mt. Shasta. And we like to go over and pick out produce ourselves,
so that we know it's fresh and hasn't been sitting on the shelf for any
length of time," says Edward.
When the plates are cleared, the entertainment begins. And on this night
passengers tackled the challenge of figuring out whodunit, as a whimsical
murder mystery unfolded. "Oh, that was totally entertaining. Everybody
in the whole cast, was all light-hearted, and just allowed the time to
go by so easily. Just, added that much more entertainment to the whole
evening," said Greg.
Today there's a lot less timber rolling through historic McCloud. By
day the owners of the Sunset still haul some lumber products for companies
like Sierra Pacific, but what McCloud's lost in timber they've gained
in tourists. And here on the Sunset Dinner Train you'll find the history
of the rails preserved
with new memories being built along the way.
For more information on the Sunset Dinner Train visit: www.shastasunset.com