By Chris Bavender
Nickel Plate’s Valentine’s Express will roll out of Noblesville’s Forest Park Feb. 12 and 13 for special excursions for families and adults. The excursions will take place at the same time in three different 1956 vintage Hi-Level Santa Fe Budd train cars.
“The adult excursion will feature an afternoon Valentine mimosa and a little treat box of sweet and savory snacks along with romantic music,” said Toni Dickover, a Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad Board of Directors member. “The family ride will include a sweet treat, along with a Valentine’s card activity for the kids to do on the train or take home to work on.
“Parents can also order the Valentine mimosa or (a) beer pour in the family car.”
The first Valentine Expresses were in 2019 and 2020. The trips weren’t offered last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The excursions pay tribute to the romantic nature of trains as often portrayed in movies.
“Even a daytime train ride spending some quiet time talking together is romantic. There’s just something kind of magical about settling into the train, being served and gazing out over the countryside while the train gently rocks and the scenery passes by,” Dickover said. “We see couples of all ages enjoy our drink and food experiences because it provides a moment to relax, listen to the music, talk and be present. Others prefer to come with their (friends) or another couple.”
Dickover said she enjoys seeing passengers relaxing and having a good time.
“We also welcome their questions about the history of the train and are always amazed to (find out) that they are traveling on rail lines that were laid in the early 1850s,” she said.
The 65-minute ride will take passengers to the town of Arcadia, where it will reverse course and return to Forest Park.
“The ride allows people to see such diverse scenery,” Dickover said. “They will travel past sports fields, farm fields, neighborhoods as we approach and leave Cicero and Arcadia, and travel over the train bridge at the north end of Morse Reservoir.”
Tickets are $47 per person for the adults-only excursion, and $28 per person for the family excursion. They are available at NickelPlateExpress.com.