Historic Jefferson Railway and Diamond Don RV Park are sponsoring the Great Locomotive Chase, May 20-21, 2023.
There will be an officer’s meeting at the Diamond Don RV Park, 1602 State Hwy 49 East, at 3:30 on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Pavillion. All weapons will be inspected before the first gun fires. Obviously, no live rounds are allowed on the premises.
Big guns will receive a business check or cash equivalent to allotment of 20lbs. of cannon powder, smaller guns will receive 10 lbs. Muskets will receive 1 lb. of powder. Please contact us to let us know you are participating in the battles so that we can arrange to have the right amount of food and powder. Click here to send us an email.
Francene Rainey, 903-445-9796, and Melissa Moit, 903-742-2041 are the logistics coordinators for the event. General questions about the event, registration, food, etc. can be directed to Francene or Melissa via phone, text or email.
The battles will take place as the train stops along the river in the RV Park. The train will depart the depot in downtown Jefferson on Saturday, May 20 at 11:00, 12:30, and 2:30 and on Sunday, May 21 at 12:30. The train will stop on its way out to the RV Park at the Battlefield for about 5-7 minutes for a skirmish. Then the train will continue out of the RV park, turn around and come back. It will stop again at the Battlefield for another 5-7 minutes for a skirmish. Reenactors can engage for a longer period at their discretion. The Virginia, a replica ironclad with five working cannons, joins the skirmish as it fires its cannons from the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou River.
You receive all of the following for $15 per person (for each member of the family) as long as you participate in the train skirmishes:
- Military camping in the period area of the RV Park. Modern RV sites with water/electric are available for $35 for registered reenactors. Fee to the public for RV sites is $40 per night. RV sites are limited, reservations are required.
- Wood, water, hay for animals, restrooms, showers, dump station, WIFI.
- Suttlers will also be located at the RV Park.
- Lunch on Friday for registered reenactors in period dress that participate in Living History
- Saturday and Sunday lunch for registered reenactors that participate in the train skirmishes.
- Saturday evening Potluck Dinner and Social at the Diamond Don Event Center.
- You will receive the meal tickets with your registration fee.
- Powder bounty for each gun, small/large cannon, and wagons – you must participate in the train skirmishes to receive the powder bounty. The powder bounty will be awarded on Sunday after the lunch by the Commander. If you participate in Living History on Friday, extra bounty will be awarded.
- Saturday evening fireworks at 9:30, followed by night cannon fire at the RV Park.
- Registration will be at the Diamond Don RV Park, 1602 State Hwy 49 East, Jefferson.
- Friday Living History and train rides will also be at the RV Park.
- Saturday/Sunday train rides will depart from depot downtown Jefferson
City of Jefferson has instituted new regulations for golf carts and side x sides on public streets. Golf carts are allowed downtown as long as you have proof of insurance. However, side x sides are not allowed. You can use levee road to get to the train depot and park behind the train and walk to town.
All reenactors welcome
All reenactors are welcome to this event: civilians, military individuals and units, both land and sea. There is a registration fee of $10.00 for reenactors – which will include a lot of extras..
Free Camping and Amenities – participation in train battles on Saturday and Sunday is required.
Reenactors participating in the Great Train Chase camp free in the period section of the Diamond Don RV Park with lots of space, trees and plenty of amenities including free WIFI, water, hay, split wood, restrooms, showers and RV dump station. Registration includes noon day meals and Saturday evening dinner and ball.
RV sites with water and electric are available to participants in Great Train Chase on a first come, first served basis, for $35 night. Reservations are recommended. Click here to send an email requesting an RV site.
Day of Learning for School Groups
We are actively seeking individuals and groups to participate in our Day of Learning, on Friday, May 19, 2023 for school groups. Living History is sponsored by the Historic Jefferson Railway, to draw attention to the history and romance of the Civil War way of life. The Living History Camps will demonstrate Camp Life and Military Activities and includes a train ride aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway as the story of The Andrews Raid unfolds alongside the Big Cypress Bayou. If you are interested in participating, send us an email. Last year, we had almost 300 students attend.
Click here for RV Park Map showing period, sutler and modern areas