By Kelly Young

The notion of a romantic, evening train ride through the Pineywoods of East Texas seems to be a winning idea for the Texas State Railroad, as tickets have already nearly sold out for the upcoming Valentine’s Day Dinner special event, despite a price tag of $150 per couple.

John Garbutt, program administrator for the trains, said the event will be entitled, “Our love is on the line.”

“The event is on Valentine’s Day, and the departure time for the train is at 7 p.m. from the Rusk Depot. It will be a romantic evening with a formal dinner, with candlelight and with romantic music playing,” Garbutt said. “The ambiance will be great for a Valentine’s meal, and it should be a very memorable ride.”

Interest in the excursion has been high since it was announced, and Garbutt said only 16 more tickets, room for eight couples, remain available.

“We are very happy with the interest this event has generated, hopefully we will have a sold-out train by the 14th. The decision hasn’t been made yet whether the dinner ride will become an annual event, but due to the number of people who have purchased tickets I personally assume it will,” he said.

In addition to dinner tickets for $150 per couple, non-dinner seating at the regular train fare of $34 per ticket are available for the unique evening ride. According to Garbutt, plenty of non-dinner tickets are still available. He said reservations can be made right up to the event.

The train will leave Rusk at 7 p.m., travel to Jarvis, turn around and is expected back at the Rusk Depot at 9:30 p.m.

Dinner includes a choice of USDA Choice prime rib or shredded parmesan chicken breast, spring mix with strawberries and raspberry vinaigrette, twice-baked potatoes, fresh asparagus with toasted almonds and a choice of either cheesecake or German chocolate cake.

Entree and dessert choices must be made at the time reservations are made. To purchase tickets call 1-888-987-2461.