Grapevine Vintage Railroad – Grapevine, Texas
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad (GVRR) is an excursion and special event railroad in Grapevine, Texas, USA, that runs from the Main Street station in Grapevine to Fort Worth Stockyards. GVRR is owned and operated by the City of Grapevine.
The railroad operates passenger excursion trains using GVRR 2248, 4-6-0, (CLW 1896) steam locomotive and sometimes engine GVRR 2199 (EMD GP7) to pull its 1920s-era Victorian coaches. Since early 2016 GVRR 2248 has been out of service, it is currently planned to return to service in the summer of 2022. Passengers board at Grapevine’s historic Main Street Station and the train operates over a 21-mile (34-kilometer) route to the Fort Worth Stockyards on former trackage that was owned by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (aka the “Cotton Belt”).
The main run starts in Grapevine and goes to the Fort Worth Stockyards. From its stop in the stockyards, the train then runs a separate excursion along the Trinity River to the 8th Ave Yard of the Fort Worth and Western Railroad, then returns to the stockyards. Upon return to the stockyards, the engine turns around via a turntable and runs around the train on a siding, then it departs back toward Grapevine.
The route was formerly operated by the FWWR and was known as the Tarantula train. In 1999 and for a short period of time the FWWR contracted with Coe Rail, Inc. for the operation of the Tarantula train. An accident with a freight train in 2000 caused Fort Worth & Western to sever the relationship and took back control of passenger operations. Later that year the City of Grapevine expressed interest to FWWR owner William Davis in owning and operating the Tarantula train. After receiving an offer, the purchase was complete around 2005.
The city named its new operation the Grapevine Vintage Railroad (GVRR) with the FRA reporting mark: GVRX. Grapevine operated the train under trackage agreements with FWWR. When Trinity Metro began operating their TEXRail commuter line, GVRR made arrangements for trackage rights on their right-of-way to Haltom City. From that point on GVRR uses FWWR trackage under the original agreement.
Day Out With Thomas
Although it is a short 25-30 minute trip, it is popular for families with small children. For one weekend each year, a replica of Thomas the Tank Engine comes to Grapevine and leads the train for a short out-and-back excursion. At the station, riders will find photo opportunities with Thomas and other characters from the show, as well as activities that vary from year to year. These activities can include but are not limited to the Thomas and Friends Imagination Station, magic shows, live performances, and storytelling.
Kiss Me I’m Irish Express
Another out-and-back excursion, this ride is offered one Saturday in March and offers riders 21 and older a souvenir Kiss Me I’m Irish mug, two free glasses of beer, and Irish-style hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
Jazz Wine Train
On this out-and-back excursion in mid-March, riders 21 and older experience live jazz music in each coach. Guests receive meals and wine tastings provided by local Grapevine businesses, as well as bottled water and a souvenir wine glass.
Witches Brew Train
Another 21 and older out-and-back trip, this excursion offers guests Halloween-themed food and entertainment, as well as two free glasses of craft beer in a souvenir stein. Costumes are highly encouraged on this run but not required.
Trick ‘r’ Treat Trains
A Halloween-themed excursion geared for the whole family.
Additional Seasonal Excursions
Although less popular, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad offers these themed excursions throughout the year: Christmas Wine Trains, After Christmas Trains, Spring Break Trains, Easter Bunny Train, Mother’s Day Train, Memorial Day Train, Father’s Day Train, Fourth of July Train, and Labor Day Train.