Inland Lakes Railway
150 West Third Avenue, Mt. Dora 32757
Cost: Varies with ride from $12 to $60
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: In Mt. Dora: At the corner of Third and Alexander in downtown Mt. Dora, across from the Lakeside Inn In Eustis: 51 West Magnolia Avenue, near Ferran Park Drive
The grandly named Inland Lakes Railway runs a numbers of excursions on vintage railway cars that will appeal to railway buffs and run of the mill tourists alike.
The Southern Heritage Dinner Train departs on Saturday and Sunday evenings for a leisurely two-and-a-half-hour meal on wheels cooked right on the train. Your mobile restaurant is a glistening, restored 1948-vintage stainless steel dining car, The Silver Spur. The cost is $55 on Friday, $60 on Saturday. A less expensive ($40) lunch excursion is also available on Saturday. These trips depart from Eustis.
The other major outing is the Herbie Express, a one hour 15 minute excursion to Tavares on vintage railway cars pulled by “Herbie,” a 1942 locomotive. Along the way, a narrator tells the history of the line and fills you in on other locomotive lore. The line runs right down the middle of the road in Tavares where the train is turned around on a “wye,” a triangle-shaped switching mechanism. These trips have two departures in the afternoon Wednesday through Sunday, with an additional morning departure on Saturday. The fare is $12 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under. These trips depart from Mt. Dora.
There are other, themed outings such as the “Pizza Express” and seasonal jaunts like “The Great Pumpkin Express.” Schedules, of course, are subject to change.
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