DRONEVIEW7: Napa Valley Wine Train turns 30 with big upgrades planned

NAPA COUNTY (KGO) -- Those who hop on Napa Valley's Wine Train aren't looking to get somewhere in a hurry.

The round-trip ride between Downtown Napa and St. Helena is 36 miles, and it takes about three hours to complete. The train rarely hits its top speed of 25 miles per hour.

But in that time, passengers are treated to delicious food and world-class views paired with some legendary California wines.

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The Wine Train celebrated its 30th anniversary Monday, and it has big plans in store to upgrade its facilities and its fleet of Pullman rail cars, many of which are a century old.

"This year, we're going to spend more than $3 million on renovating our cars," said Rick Evanich, Managing Director of the Napa Valley Wine Train. "Three cars have been completely renovated already, and another four cars are scheduled for the rest of the year."

Evanich, who spent his career in restaurants, said there are about 25 local wines served on the train. Passengers can bring their own bottles or pick one up from the wine train station store that can be served onboard for a corkage fee.

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He said it's the food that has most guests talking.

"People are surprised by the quality," Evanich said. "They say, 'this was tremendous.'"

It's not just wine that draws big crowds. There's also a Monday evening Hop Train featuring local beer, a Santa Train, a Tequila Train and a Murder Mystery Train where many of the guests get into character.

Find out more about the Napa Valley Wine Train here.

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