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Monday October 26th 2020

Wild West Express Train Rides in St. Marys

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ST. MARYS, GA— On October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang tried to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Citizens armed themselves with weapons from nearby hardware stores.  When the bandits, with nearly $25,000, emerged from the Condon and First National Banks, they were fired upon.  In the ensuring gun battle, eight men died.  Four more were wounded.

This historic event will be re-enacted by members of the nationally renowned Single Action Shooting Society when the Wild West Express rides again in St. Marys on February 13 and 20.

The dramatic action at the Midway is preceded by Old West entertainment all along the rail trail through scenic woodlands and marshlands.

Before and after the train rides, passengers will be able to tour the St. Marys Railroad Museum, have photos taken in an authentic 1800s U. S. Marshall prison wagon, and even take a hay ride through the beautiful downtown area of St. Marys—all included in the price of the train ticket.

Railroad officials expect the town of St. Marys to turn into a yesteryear scene, requesting residents and retail personnel to dress up in pioneer fashion on the days of the train rides.

The Wild West Steam Express is the first St. Marys Express excursions of 2016 , and entertainment director Barbara Ryan said the Wild West theme was brought back by popular demand.

“This is our third year running the Wild West Express, and every year, tickets sell out earlier,” said Barbara Ryan, entertainment director for St. Marys Express. “All ages enjoy the excitement of the Wild West. It’s a real adventure and a great escape from the stresses of modern day life.”

About the entertainment she said. “We’ve found that our passengers love to be a part of all the excitement, so period-dressed characters will engage them on many levels. Some of our cowboys  performing in the shootout (with blanks, of course) are champion sharpshooters who have won competitions all over the country.”

“It feels like you’ve really left the area as you go back in time,” Ryan said. “Everybody yearns for simpler times of yesteryear. The Wild West Express is a nostalgic experience and a novelty for many who have never ridden a train. But for everyone, being on a train is simply a time to relax and just live in the moment.”

For the February 13th  and 20th events, St. Marys Express has added the “AT THE THROTTLE” experience whereby people (16 or older) get to actually run a 1930s steam locomotive.

“The response to our December AT THE THROTTLE experiences was overwhelming, so we’ve brought it back with a reduced rate of $149.95 per person. To ride the WILD WEST EXPRESS open air cars, tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under. Children 2 and under ride free on laps. For each of the four excursions per day, rides in the diesel locomotive are available for $50 per person.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time at www.stmarysrailroad.com or by calling 912-200-5235. Groups of ten or more can get a discount code by calling 912-729-1103.

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