The Zombie train rolled into Oakdale earlier this year and is now reaching a fever pitch, as we near the conclusion of the Halloween season.
Sierra Dinner Train and Sacramento River Train General Manager Randy McTaggart explained that they have been running a Zombie train in Sacramento for about a year and after some feedback they made some changes and decided to bring the experience to Oakdale as well.
Each person when they board the train will have a choice to be a gunner or a spotter or to just kick back and enjoy the ride. The gunner will go through the armory and select the laser weapon of their choice, which comes in a few different sizes. The two hour train ride will take you through a route that has been inhabited by hungry zombies that want to feast on the train passengers.
There are approximately 45 guns to help ward off the zombies and at times there are extra guns added, however for the most part McTaggart stated that the guns sell out fairly quickly. The guns can be shared with friends and family.
“These are old military exercise laser guns so they are pretty heavy,” said McTaggart. “These laser guns are different than what you find in the indoor laser tag places because those are more the lighter plastic guns but these are heavy duty metal.”
The zombie train does not have an age limit and boarding the train for the adventure is left up to the parent’s discretion.
“The smaller the kid, the bigger the gun he wants,” said McTaggart. “We let them know that there can be some (fake) blood and it can be scary so it is up to the parent to decide if they want to bring their child or not.”
The experience is best when you bring your imagination and put yourself into a world where the valley has been taken over by zombies, he said. Guests can join the militia which is trying to find the zombie camp so an antidote can be created to save the world. All passengers will be checked by the ‘doctor’ on the train to make sure they do not have the virus before the adventure begins.
Expect to see some zombie action on the train as well as multiple places along the route. The doctor captured a zombie that will be on a leash and led through the cars so it can be used for tests to find a cure for the virus.
One of the main characters is the Sarge who is in charge of the militia and makes sure people are alert and ready.
The route is about seven miles out to camp and an hour to get back to the station with screams along the way, shooting opportunities, and gory scenes, all in the spirit of Halloween.
“It (Zombie Train) is more for families bringing out their kids and doing this with their parents and even grandparents,” stated McTaggart. “You have to imagine when the zombies do fall, that you are the one that did it.”
Next year the goal for the Zombie train is to purchase another 50 guns and possibly upgrade the weaponry to the next level of technology so the ‘hits’ would be recorded.
There are two more dates available to participate in an exclusive experience on the Zombie Train, with departures on Saturdays, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 with select times to choose from.
“I think it (Zombie train) has gone great,” said McTaggart. “I think we have had a lot of people that have been really enthusiastic about it and have had a great time.
“There are people coming long distances to do this like from Bakersfield and the Bay Area.”
The human resistance seems to be winning the battle against the undead, McTaggart added, but said there are reports that more zombies are heading this way and will be in the area around March – which will be the start of the new season of the Zombie Train.
For more information, visit sierrarailroad.com and select Sierra Dinner Train.