2013 Rail Excursions
Scenic and Historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Excursion
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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 17th, 2013, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum will sponsor its “Summer 2013 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.
Passengers can choose to ride in comfort in Coach Class, Crown Class or First Class coaches. All classes offer seating in vintage, restored passenger cars. Coach Class features windows that open and close for fresh-air viewing and ceiling fans. Crown Class offers larger windows for better viewing (windows do not open) and climate control for passenger comfort. First Class passengers will travel in luxury and style in restored 1940s-era bar / lounge cars that feature seating at well-appointed tables and lounge / restaurant style chairs. First Class passengers will also enjoy lunch (included with ticket purchase) at their seat.
The trip will begin in downtown Johnson City, TN, where passengers will board a motor coach departing 9:15 a.m. from the Legion Street (Big Burley) parking lot across the street from the Johnson City Recreation Center. Upon arriving Bryson City, NC, passengers will have time to shop, snack, and visit the Smoky Mountain Train 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 Johnson City is 8:30 p.m.
Ticket prices for adult Coach Class seats are $79 and $58 for children (2 to 12 years). Adult Crown Class seats are $92 and $71 for children (2 to 12 years). First Class service Club Car seats are $139 for anyone 21 years and older.
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Passengers will have several options for lunch:
- Bring your lunch (small coolers only).
- The following box lunch meals will be available for purchase at $9.00 per meal and must be pre-ordered with your train ticket.
- TURKEY & CHEESE ON CROISSANT
- BAKED CHICKEN BREAST ON CROISSANT
- A meal is included with a First Class ticket but menu selection must be made at time of ticket purchase.
- We’re excited to offer our Coach and Crown Class passengers a truly unique, on board
dining experience in the grand tradition of dining cars. 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
$13.00 per person and must be pre-purchased when ordering train ticket.
Southern Pulled Pork Eight ounces of pulled pork oven roasted in Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce served with mashed Yukon potatoes and coleslaw that’s homemade daily. Beef Tips Seasonal 8 ounces of Choice Cut beef tips in rich gravy atop mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with steamed seasonal vegetables on the side. Mediterranean Salad Baked chicken breast atop mixed salad green and spinach with Kalamata olives, Roma tomatoes, shaved red onions and feta cheese served with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. Mediterranean Salad – Vegetarian-style Mixed salad green and spinach with Kalamata olives, Roma tomatoes, shaved red onions and feta cheese served with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
- Purchase food from the concession car.
To order tickets (and purchase lunch for Coach and Crown Classes, if desired), send your check or money order along with the number of tickets, the class of car you choose and lunch choices to Summer 2013 Excursions, Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN, 37605-0432. A printable ticket / lunch 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.
If you have questions or need additional information about the trip, phone (423) 753-5797; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or write us at Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN 37605-0432.