Posts Tagged ‘nc trains’

old fort train depot

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.old fort train

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

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great smoky mountains railroad

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

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.

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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.


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