“Murder Mystery” Excursion
Murder mysteries are designated steam-powered excursions and involve a unique form of theatre where the audience takes part in the action. The vintage locomotive used is close to 100 years old.Alberta Prairie is delighted to have the outstanding Calgary theatre company Smoking Gun Productions produce and present “Murder Mysteries” for us.
2:00 p.m. – Passengers arrive and train available for boarding
2:30 p.m. – Train departs Stettler station
– Passengers will be served by a full complement of Alberta Prairie hosts, hostesses and train operating crew.
– Typically the train features two concession and souvenir areas, open air observation car, children’s play area, two beverage service areas, a special coach designated and decorated as the Lone Star Saloon. A company of professional actors are hired to present the performance. As we pull out of Stettler, the actors begin to introduce themselves and set up a scenario. The first task for passengers is to identify just who are the actors and who are the passengers like themselves.
– During your journey, we pass through some of the best farm lands in Alberta rich with various kinds of animals, birds and plant life. Sightings of deer and coyotes are common.
– On route points of interest include the Fenn-Big Valley oilfields, Fenn General Store, Warden Jct. rail yards and locomotive shelter, and Caprona siding.
– Passengers will be encouraged to wander, visit and re-discover the sights, sounds and smells of turn-of-the-century train travel.
3:55 p.m. – Train arrives at Big Valley
– Passengers are met by the good people of Big Valley and are directed to community hall, or a large special events tent, for supper and the continuation of the mystery.
Again the actors are mixed in among the passengers. At some point on the train trip, the walk over to the hall or during supper someone is killed mysteriously. A visiting detective who just happens to be in the building takes charge and offers assistance to the passengers in their quest to solve the mystery. Each passenger has a ballot and at the end of the evening these ballots are collected and those with the correct answer have a chance to win prizes.
– Menu usually consists of a full home cooked country meal including roast hip of beef, vegetables, salads, baked potatoes, dinner rolls, dessert and beverages.
– Following supper and the conclusion of the mystery, passengers are encouraged to explore Big Valley and visit its many interesting attractions.
– During your stop at this typical rural Alberta town, passengers will have approximately one hour to visit a fully restored 1912 Canadian Northern Railway station which also doubles as the community’s museum, historic St. Edmund’s church (the blue church on the hill), Jimmy Jock Boardwalk (an old time Western town within a town) the railway roundhouse interpretive centre and wander through this community’s shops and stores as they meet the people of Big Valley.
7:00 p.m. – Depart Big Valley bound for Stettler
– On-board public address system keeps passengers abreast of features along route, history of the area and things to see and do at destinations.
8:25 p.m. – Train arrives at Stettler station