VISIT www.gsmr.com for more info!
VISIT www.gsmr.com for more info!
The New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR) presents its annual Holiday Santa Trains the first two weekends in December departing from its rail yard located in Bonsal, N.C., just 10-minutes south of Apex off of U.S. Highway 1, Exit 89.
|Santa and his helper will visit each open-air passenger car pulled by either a diesel or steam locomotive. Children will get a treat and the opportunity to talk with Santa. The train, along with other areas of the railroad, will be decorated for the holidays during the hour-long excursion.“Riding a real train with Santa Claus is a fun and memorable way to celebrate the holidays,” says NHVR President Mike MacLean. “It’s a special time for families as well as our volunteers who help bring smiles to children’s faces.”|
Purchase tickets online at www.TriangleTrain.com or at the train yard the day of the ride. Holiday Santa Trains will be operating on Saturday, Dec. 1; Sunday, Dec. 2; Saturday, Dec. 8; and Sunday, Dec. 9.
Diesel train rides will be departing at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and steam train rides at 12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children, ages 2-12. NHVR recommends arriving at the train yard 30 minutes before the listed departure time.
For more info, visit: www.sbmrr.org
By Shavonne Potts
SPENCER — The Robert Julian Roundhouse and Turntable are probably the most popular attractions at the N.C. Transportation Museum and on Saturday they were designated a historic mechanical engineering landmark.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) presented the distinction to the museum at a ceremony during the Spring Kick Off event.
The Spring Kick Off featured a host of activities such as rides on the Flagg 75 Steam Engine, live music, the museum’s regular passenger train, miniature golf and others.
The Spencer facility is one of the few remaining early 20th century railroad locomotive repair shops in the U.S. It was built by Southern Railway in 1924 to repair steam locomotives.
The roundhouse and turntable were modified and expanded from 1948 to 1950 to accommodate Southern Railways diesel engines.
In 1979, the complex was donated to the state. In 1996, the roundhouse and turntable were refurbished and opened to the public.
The designation is to recognize the contribution of the roundhouse and turntable to the “progress of American railroading and evolution of mechanical engineering,” said Mark Brown, the museum’s information and communication specialist.
Tweetsie Railroad is proud to operate two vintage steam locomotives: the #12 “Tweetsie” and the #190 “Yukon Queen”. When you visit Tweetsie Railroad during the operating season, the train will be pulled by one of these historic engines.
Locomotive #12 is the last surviving narrow-gauge steam locomotive of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC), which ran train service from Johnson City TN to Boone NC from 1919 to 1940. When the Tweetsie Railroad theme park opened in 1957, this was our sole locomotive.
In 1960, Tweetsie Railroad acquired another steam locomotive, the #190 “Yukon Queen” from Alaska’s White Pass & Yukon Railway.
Both locomotives are coal-fired narrow-gauge engines, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. #12 was completed in 1917, and #190 in 1943. Before entering service at Tweetsie Railroad, the locomotives were put into operating condition by veteran engineer Frank Coffey, who trained new generations in Tweetsie’s on-site steam train repair shop.
For more info, visit: http://www.tweetsie.com
The Flagg 75 steam engine spits, coughs, breathes heavily and blows off a lot of steam before it finally moves.
In other words, I can relate.
I hopped into the cab of the 1930 workhorse locomotive Saturday morning as Engineer John Barnett of Raleigh backed it onto the roundtable at the N.C. Transportation Museum.
We took about a quarter turn before locking in and heading south on our warm-up run. The white steam we released made us a moving cloud at first.
On the right side of the cab, Barnett manned the throttle. Also within reach were the reverse gear, the locomotive and train brakes, injectors for water and even levers to release sand for more traction on the tracks.
“It’s easy to operate, but they can be temperamental,” Barnett said of these coal-fired beasts.
Going forward, Barnett can watch the tracks ahead through a small window. Or in forward or reverse, he can poke his head out the side opening, much like a happy dog hanging out the window of his master’s car.
Also on board was Fireman Gil Williams of Lexington, S.C., and Mike Stovall of Greensboro, a fireman in training. All three men are regular transportation museum volunteers who love anything to do with trains and their operation.
Day Out With Thomas™ is a family event that offers aspiring engineers and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the classic storybook engine, Thomas the Tank Engine™ at regional heritage railroads across the country.
Since Thomas the Tank Engine left the depot more than 60 years ago, this Really Useful Engine and his Island of Sodor friends have chugged their way into the hearts of preschoolers and grownups worldwide.
Based on The Railway Series of classic stories authored by a father who loved trains and wanted a shared experience with his son, Thomas & Friends™ is a rite of passage that inspires the imagination while teaching the life lessons of friendship, exploration and cooperation.
By Mike Conley | The McDowell News
Old Fort will again celebrate its railroad heritage with exhibits, music and fun-filled activities for young and old alike.
The Third Annual Railroad Day in Old Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Depot, which for many years was a station for the Southern Railway. The event is free to the public.
At Railroad Day, folks will be able to enjoy trackless train rides around the streets of Old Fort. There will be face painting for the kids and the local band Rewind will provide music.
Larry Weed will have two model railroad layouts set up inside the Depot. One will be a Z-scale layout, which is a very small scale, and another will be an HO-scale Thomas the Tank Engine layout. These exhibits have been set up through Old Fort Model Trains.
Local resident Karen Allison will have her custom T-shirts and other items that feature the railroad track and tunnels that wind through the Swannanoa Gap between Old Fort and Ridgecrest. The Western North Carolina Model Railroaders will have a display at Saturday’s event. Representatives of the McDowell Quilt Trail will be on hand with interesting quilt block items for sale.
The Depot’s visitors center and railroad museum will be open, along with the former Southern Railway bay window caboose.
The event is hosted by the Old Fort Mountain Heritage Alliance. The alliance is a committee working in corporation with the town of Old Fort, HandMade in America’s Small Towns Program and the N.C. Rural Center’s STEP program to increase economic development opportunities in Old Fort.
The alliance’s Web site is http://www.downtownoldfort.org/.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is excited to introduce its All-Inclusive First Class Seating with dining and exclusive souvenirs. First Class passengers ride in comfort and style in 1940’s era bar, lounge and dining cars that feature seating at well-appointed tables and lounge/restaurant style chairs. First Class passengers receive a delicious lunch served by the car’s private attendant, a souvenir tumbler with unlimited fountain sodas and an embroidered tote bag gift from GSMR.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s First Class Cars include the Dixie Flyer, Silver Meteor, Champion and MacNeill. These unique cars have colorful stories and heritage that date back to the 1940’s. Great care and attention have been taken to restore and preserve this history. The MacNeill was built as the Pohatan Arrow for the Norfolk & Western Railway (present day Norfolk-Southern) to run on their Premier Passenger Line, and the Dixie Flyer Dining Car was built in 1949 as a bar and lounge for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Silver Meteor and Champion cars were built in 1940 for the Seaboard Airline Railway, with the Silver Meteor serving as a dinner car and the Champion as a lightweight lounge car. These First Class Cars have been used in filming movies such as My Fellow Americans and Forces of Nature.
First Class Passengers may choose one of several hearty lunch options including a 100% Black Angus Steakburger, Slow Cooked Southern BBQ sandwich, Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich and a Garden Salad. Sandwiches are served on a toasted sourdough bun with lettuce, tomato and onions, plus potato wedges and dessert. Cocktail and bar service is available for purchase, and First Class cars are limited to those ages 21 and over.
Family First Class is available in the summer months of June, July and August. Adults and children can ride and dine First Class! Adults receive the same First Class amenities, and children receive a tasty kid’s meal, souvenir tumbler and special amenity.
Join the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a First Class journey you’ll always remember. For more information please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.
Admission to the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum is included with ticket purchase. Without tickets, admission to the museum is $9 for adults and $5 for children.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a proud member of the American Heritage Railways family. Visit our sister railroads in southwest Colorado at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and in east Texas at the Texas State Railroad.
By Hugh Fisher
SPENCER — Roy Johnson, president of the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation, is looking ahead to a bright new year.
Under his leadership, the organization is making changes to protect itself, and is thriving despite a down economy.
“We’re trying to tell the full story of how transportation developed North Carolina,” he said.
The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation provides fundraising and political advocacy for the 57-acre museum.
In particular, the foundation has helped acquire millions of dollars in historic artifacts for the museum.
Johnson, a Charlotte-based architect, has been president of the foundation since June.
Under his tenure, the museum has weathered continued fiscal belt-tightening by the state of North Carolina, and has seen visitors to the Spencer museum it supports increase by 15 percent.