2017 Rail Excursions
Scenic and Historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Excursion
|| Trip Description |||Purchase Tickets |||Meal Options |||Additional Information ||
If you’re experiencing the Summer Doldrums, we have the cure for you – getting out of the house and taking a great train ride! Escape the Dog Days of Summer with a cool, refreshing and scenic train trip through the mountains of the Southern Appalachian region.
On Saturday, August 12th, 2017, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum will sponsor its “Summer 2017 Excursion” – a train ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the majestic Smoky Mountains and the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina. The train follows the route of the former Southern Railway’s Murphy Branch line, established in 1891, with its five percent grade, many bridges, and the beautiful whitewater Nantahala Gorge. Much of the route hugs the banks of the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers and crosses Fontana Lake Trestle, standing 100 feet above the lake and spanning 780 feet. After crossing the lake, the train will enter the breathtaking Nantahala Gorge – a natural wonder. Play the video clip at left to see the fun, history and natural beauty that awaits you!
Passengers can choose to ride in comfort in Coach, Crown or First Class. All classes offer seating in vintage, restored passenger cars. Coach Class cars feature windows that open and close for fresh-air viewing and ceiling fans. Crown Class cars offer larger windows for better viewing (windows do not open) and climate control for passenger comfort. First Class passengers will enjoy club car (lounge car) seating, where large windows offer wonderful viewing (windows do not open) and climate control ensures passenger comfort. First Class passengers will be served dinner (included with a First Class ticket) at their seat and an opportunity to order drinks (age 21 and over). Restrooms are located on all motor coaches and throughout the train.
The trip will begin in Johnson City, TN, where passengers will board a motor coach at Liberty Bell Middle School parking lot, 718 Morningside Drive (near Freedom Hall), departing 9:15 a.m. We will also pick up passengers in the Asheville area at the Weaverville, NC Walmart Supercenter, 25 Northridge Commons Parkway, Weaverville at approximately 10 a.m. Upon arriving Bryson City, NC, passengers will have time to shop, snack, and visit the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum before boarding the excursion train at 1:45 p.m. for the 4.5-hour roundtrip to the Nantahala Gorge and return. There will be a layover at the Gorge for sightseeing. Expected arrival back to Weaverville is 7:30 p.m. and Johnson City at 8:30 p.m.
Ticket prices for adult Coach Class seats are $83 and $69 for children (2 to 12 years). Adult Crown Class seats are $96 and $79 for children (2 to 12 years). First Class seats are $152.00 (you must be 21 years of age or over) and includes a dinner at your seat.
|The Train||Coach Class||Crown Class||First Class (watch video)|
Passengers will have several options for dining:
- Bring your meal (small coolers only).
- We will stop enroute to Bryson City at Ryan's Restaurant in Asheville for passengers to have lunch on their own.
- The following box meals will be available for purchase at $11.00 per meal and must be pre-ordered with your train ticket.
- TURKEY & CHEESE WRAP
- SMOKED CHICKEN SALAD WRAP
- We’re excited to offer our passengers a truly unique, on board
dining experience in the grand tradition of railroading. Coach and Crown Class
passengers will enjoy a fine meal while
seated in a
classic railroad dining car.
(First Class passengers will dine at their table in the club car.)
A choice of meal (see menu below) will be available for selection. These dinners
include a choice of
drink (unlimited coffee, tea or soft drink) in a Souvenir
Tumbler and a special dessert. The cost is
$15.00 per person
(included in First Class ticket)
and must be pre-purchased when ordering train ticket.
Passengers have the choice of making this meal either their lunch or dinner choice.
Pulled Pork BBQ Plate Fire Braised Chicken Salad Veggie Lover Delight Pot Roast Pulled Pork BBQ Plate Boston roast rubbed with our special spices then slow-roasted to perfection served with slaw and cinnamon apples. Fire Braised Chicken Salad Our freshly made gourmet salad of cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, edamame, red onion, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, napa cabbage, and kale tossed with a light pomegranate blueberry dressing then topped with fire-braised chicken, seasoned and sliced. Veggie Lover Delight Our freshly made gourmet salad of cashews, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, edamame, red onion, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, napa cabbage, and kale tossed with a light pomegranate blueberry dressing. Pot Roast Slow roasted, melt in your mouth, seasoned pot roast in gravy, served with carrot soufflé and rosemary roasted red skin potatoes.
- Purchase food from the concession car.
To order tickets by mail only (and purchase meal options, if desired), send your check or money order (no cash or credit cards) along with the number of tickets, the class of car you choose and meal choices to Summer 2017 Excursions, Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN, 37605-0432. A printable ticket / meal order form is available here. Please specify if you will accept an alternate class of service if your choice is sold out; you will be refunded the difference. Money will be refunded if you do not wish an alternate service. Also specify if you wish to be picked up in the Asheville area.
Nearby Attractions include the City of Asheville, the Biltmore Estate, the North Carolina Arboretum, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Nantahala River whitewater rafting.
If you have questions or need additional information about the trip, phone (423) 753-5797 9 am - 4 pm daily Monday - Saturday; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or write us at Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN 37605-0432.