I wanted to make this event its own post since there was quite a bit to tell about it. On Friday night my friend and I went to the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. The train ride took us over a wooden trestle that still survives from the Civil War and we passed a house that Jesse James used as a hideout.
The Bardstown railroad branch was originally constructed by The Bardstown and Louisville Railroad in 1860. Subsequently, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad purchased the line at a foreclosure sale in 1864.
R. J. Corman Railroad Company purchased the twenty-mile branch from CSX Transportation in 1987 and developed the Dinner Train which had its inaugural run in 1988. In addition to the Dinner Train, the railroad provides freight service to local industries.
The depot was constructed in 1860 and was used as a freight and passenger depot until 1953, when passenger service was discontinued on this portion of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The depot is constructed of native limestone and is the last remaining "dry-laid" limestone depot in the state of Kentucky. Because of its historical significance, the depot is listed on the "National Register of Historic Places." The original freight portion of the depot has been preserved intact as much as possible, while the passenger portion was demolished in 1953. A new waiting room addition was constructed in 1992.
Dining Car History
The three cars of the dinner train are all steel skirted cars built by the Budd Company in the late 1940's after World War II. They have been refurbished extensively by R. J. Corman Railroad Company, far exceeding the original interior design. The RJC-007 was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1941 as a fifty-four seat day coach. The RJC-021, built in 1948, was used on the El Capitan train by the Santa Fe Railroad and has been outfitted with the most up-to-date equipment to serve as our kitchen car. The RJC-777 was refurbished and added to the dinner train in May of 1992.
Upon arriving and checking in to get your ticket, their was a main room and a bar area with low lighting and music from the 30's and 40's playing. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was a place to sit and relax and one that you just don't find anymore in a nice restaurant.
The food was incredible. We had a Pumpkin Crepe that contained pumpkin, sage, cream cheese and smoked bacon and was drizzled with a honey chipotle.
We had ordered Bruschetta as an appetizer to share but they changed to their fall menu after our tickets were purchased so we changed to the Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus and it was served with grilled naan and crostini.
There was a choice of a Classic Caesar or a Golden Spike salad and we both chose the Golden Spike. It was tender spring greens, crunchy romaine, grape tomoatoes, mandarin orages, dried cranberries, and their signature Golden Spike dresing. The dressing was their own twist on honey mustard dressing.
I had the Prime rib with baked potato and steamed vegetables and I have never seen a piece of prime rib as large and thick as the cut of this one.
My friend Denita had the Pan Seared Chicken seasoned with fig, orange and mint and served with herb mashed potatoes and she said it was great.
And then last but not least, was the dessert. I chose the Apple Dumpling that was smothered in homemade cinnamon sauce.
Denita chose the chocolate mousse.
We had unlimited tea, soft drinks, water and coffee. The coffee was perhaps the best coffee I have ever tasted.
If there are only two people in your party, you will be seated with another couple. We had a lovely couple from Ohio that had heard about the dinner train and just came to Bardstown for the weekend to take the train ride and see the town's sites for the weekend. I would definitely recommend this for a great couple's special occassion or just a nice night out. Be sure and follow the link at the top of the post for more details.