The railroad has been such a part of American history. It changed society and economics during the building of the Transcontinental Railroad,
And riding on them is fun!
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is especially fun. It definitely has a restored vintage feel, and makes you feel like you are living a tiny bit of American History. It is also a definite “must do” when visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex!
The railroad is serviced by two locomotives – “Puffy” the 1896 steam locomotive (which is the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South) and a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive known as “Vinny”. Known for years as the “Tarantula Train,” the train normally travels between Grapevine and the Fort Worth Stockyards station on the historic Cotton Belt line. I have to assume that the current name has more appeal to children.
Speaking of appeal to children, the Friday Fun Ride is great for a first train experience. For a smaller ticket price than the usual Grapevine to Stockyards ride, you get an hour train ride around Grapevine.
The kids had a lot of fun, but because the route was mainly in a suburban type area, the kids got a little bored. The Lil’ Engineer Kits were great help with this. They got to dress up as an engineer, and there were train whistles included. The whistles had codes printed on the back of the package that we were able to practice. So much fun! But I think next time we’ll try to maximize the educational opportunities by activities about trains and railroad history before hand and I’ll take a train book or two on board.
Accessible from State Highway 114 or 121, exit on to Main Street and head north. The Depot will be on the right, at 705 S. Main, just north of Dallas Road. Parking is available next to the Cotton Belt Depot, along with additional lots located just a short walk from the Depot.
You can also start your trip at the Fort Worth Stockyards, and buy your tickets in the center of Stockyard Station.
More information can be found at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad website.
The children and I were guests of Visit Grapevine while we rode the rails. All opinions and the jaunty way my children wore their engineer caps are all ours.