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Ask Mark: Murder Mystery Train

Mark Orwoll, seasoned traveler and Travel + Leisure's Managing Editor, is here to help you with your travel questions. To ask a question, send an email to AskMark@amexpub.com

** Please note: Mark can answer questions in his column only; the volume of mail he receives makes it impossible for him to send personal replies. Check back here daily to see if your question was answered, or search the Ask Mark archives to see if a similar question was previously answered.

Q. I'm looking for information on the "Mystery Train." It's somewhere in Washington State, and it features an evening dinner trip with an enactment of a "mystery" (usually a murder mystery) by passengers and crew. I've heard a lot about it over the years. What is it like and how do you book?

A. You're referring to the "Spirit of Washington" dinner train, whose tracks wind along the shores of Lake Washington from its base in Renton, about 15 miles southeast of Seattle. Pulled by twin diesel-electric locomotives built in the 1950’s, the train includes seven historic cars built between 1937 and 1952. The route leads past the Boeing plant, Mercer Island, the 1891 Wilburton Trestle, and Columbia Winery. Many of the excursions are indeed murder-mystery trips, with actors portraying characters in a "whodunit." The mystery train runs on selected weekdays throughout the year. There are also special holiday trips as well, including New Year's Eve and Fourth of July. Other trips simply include either lunch or dinner but have no special theme. Prices range from $49.99 for a luncheon trip to $74.99 for dinner on a mystery train. For details, call 800/876-7245 or go to the train's Web site at www.spiritofwashingtondinnertrain.com.

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