Posts Tagged ‘train rides’

By Denis Cuff
Contra Costa Times

George and Georgia Schumann needed to get across America to spend Christmas with their daughter in Fayetteville, N.C., but they weren’t keen about the rigors of a drive or the hustle and bustle and sardine-can packing of an airline flight.

“My husband likes to “… stretch in his seat. It’s not easy to do in a plane,” Georgia Schumann said. “And we both like the window seat.”

So, the retired couple from San Pablo rode the train, an option that more Americans are choosing this year for the holidays.

Amtrak train ridership nationwide rose 4 percent to a record 659,184 passengers during Thanksgiving week, while airline ridership declined slightly and auto holiday travel was up.

All three types of travel are expected to increase over the next two weeks with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays as travel rebounds along with a partial recovery of consumer confidence, according to a poll commissioned by the American Automobile Association.

“We’re starting to see a rebound after some dismal years for travel,” said Cynthia Harris, a AAA spokeswoman in Northern California. “Train travel is a strong part of that rebound trend.”

Some train users said the rail’s relaxed pace draws them into the coaches. Others say they appreciate the nostalgia of a travel mode that helped settle and develop the nation before losing ground to cars and planes.

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 The Polar Express at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Departs Bryson City

“All Aboard” says the conductor, as your train ride begins. Families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with cocoa and cookies served on board the train, followed by a reading of The Polar Express™ by Chris Van Allsburg.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own jingle bell, just like in the story. There will be caroling on board the train as your trip returns to the depot. This is a holiday ride the entire family will enjoy.

Ticket prices start at $38.00 for adults and $26.00 for children ages 2-12.

Children under two years old ride complimentary, but must be seated in an adult’s lap. Premium rates may apply to select dates. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.
 
First Class seating upgrades are available. Each first class guest will receive a deluxe serving of hot chocolate in a souvenir Polar Express mug, and enjoy short breads and other treats in addition to the standard offerings. First Class fares are $57.00 for adults and $40.00 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old are $10.00.

Call for reservations and details:
1-800-872-4681
www.gsmr.com
www.polarexpressride.com

 
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arra_nc4Source:
http://ncgogreen.myncblogs.com

Posted by Jennifer Wig
October 27, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Several years ago, cities and towns in the foothills and mountains of western North Carolina were anxiously awaiting the return of passenger rail service.

In March 2001, the N.C. Department of Transportation adopted a phased plan to extend passenger rail service to Asheville and western North Carolina. Travelers have often listed Asheville as the No. 1 most requested destination in the United States that does not have Amtrak service. The plan called for passenger trains to run between Salisbury and Asheville with stops in Statesville, Hickory, Valdese, Morganton, Marion, Old Fort and Black Mountain.

The plan also included the renovating or building of train stations that would also have other community uses. Both Marion and Old Fort had their depots extensively renovated and these buildings have since become community centers for special events.

However, state budget constraints prompted the state DOT to delay the return of passenger rail service to the mountains. In the meantime, the department will continue to work with communities on stations and rail safety improvements, according to the N.C. Rail Division’s Web site.

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The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s Seasonal Service to the North Pole!

Bryson City, NC – In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. “The Polar Express,” published by Houghton Mifflin Company, has become a contemporary holiday classic, with over 6 million copies sold worldwide. In 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. reunited the Academy Award-winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis in an inspiring animated version. That same year GSMR began operating The Polar Express based on the storybook version. Over 40,000 passengers rode The Polar Express with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2008.
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The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. 

The Polar Express 2009 schedule is November 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, & 19 departs at 6:30pm. November 7, 14, 22, 24, 25, & 29 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. November 20, 21, 27, & 28 departs at 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 2, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17 departs at 5:00pm & 6:30pm. December 3, 4, 10, & 11 departs at 11:00am, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 5, 12, & 19 departs at 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm. December 18, 20, 21, 22, & 23 departs 5:00pm, 6:30pm, & 8:00pm.

Ticket prices are $38.00 for adults and $26.00 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old ride complimentary. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.

First Class seating upgrades are available. Each guest will receive a deluxe serving of hot cocoa in a souvenir Polar Express mug, and enjoy short breads and other treats in addition to the standard offerings. Ticket prices for First Class are $53.00 for adults and $36.00 for children. Children under two years old are $10.00.

Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission is included with all train excursion tickets. Without train excursion admission is $9.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Children.

About the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad:
With 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels and 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions that explore the amazing landscape of western North Carolina. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on-board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy scenic train journeys across fertile valleys and through river gorges in a spectacular region near The Great Smoky Mountains. 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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Train Mountain Railroad Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of our railroad heritage. It is located in Southern Oregon on over 2000 acres of Ponderosa Pine forest in Klamath County, the home of Crater Lake National Park.

Train Mountain currently has 69,900 feet (13¼ miles) of 7½″ gauge mainline track and 133,250 feet (25¼ miles) of total trackage, which includes yards, sidings, and connector tracks. In the 2004 Guinness World Records™ Train Mountain is recognized as the “Longest Miniature Hobby Railroad”.

Visit TrainMountain.org!

Triad Live Steamer’s very own Bill Matson took some amazing photos when he recently visited Train Mountain. To ciew them CLICK HERE!

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Extreme Trains DVD cover

This in-depth and informational look at trains of all shapes & sizes is a must-have for any train fan.

The series is hosted by real-life Maine train conductor Matt Brown. He’s intense, but fun and has no problem getting his hands dirty in order to become fully involved in the show.

This first season looks at eight of America’s most fascinating locomotives. These include: Coal Trains, Freight Trains, High Speed Trains, the Ice Cold Express, Steam Trains, Overnight Travelers, Circus Trains, and the Transcontinental Railroad.

Each episode brings the viewer inside the world of the men and women who make train travel and transport possible, whether on or off the rails. You also learn about how the industry has evolved over the years and how hi-tech the industry has become since its inception over a century ago.

Each disc contains bonus footage that gives even more insight into the world of trains.

CLICK HERE to purchase this DVD from Amazon.com.

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