The Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum will sponsor a train excursion on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on Saturday, May 20.
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of the spring season while riding the rails in vintage passenger railroad cars through the Great Smoky Mountains.
The scenic rail excursion travels from the historic depot in Bryson City, NC, through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina, into the breathtaking Nantahala Gorge surrounded by the majestic Smoky Mountains, and back to Bryson City.
Much of the route hugs the banks of the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers. It crosses Fontana Lake on a trestle spanning 780 feet 100 feet above the lake. Video clip online at http://www.wataugavalleynrhs.org/.
Passengers ride in comfort in FIRST CLASS, CROWN CLASS, TOURIST COACH, or OPEN-AIR cars. All classes offer seating in classic antique restored passenger cars. There are restrooms throughout the train.
• First Class cars are climate-controlled and feature large windows and lounge-car seating.
• CROWN CLASS cars offer large windows and climate control for passenger comfort.
• Open-Air cars are great for picture-taking and “experiencing” the ride and scenery.
• TOURIST COACH CLASS cars have ceiling fans and windows that open and close for fresh-air viewing.
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has become a favorite of film producers over the years. The train wreck scene in the 1993 movie, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, was filmed along the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
The railroad was used in the filming of the 1996 comedy, My Fellow Americans, starring Jack Lemmon and James Gardner, when they stumble onto a charter train full of UNC-Chapel Hill fans headed for the NCAA Final Four.
Train scenes in the 1998 movie, Forces of Nature, starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, were also filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.
Passengers have three options for arrival at the Bryson City Train Depot: they may either ride a chartered tour bus out of Kingsport or Johnson City, TN, or drive directly to Bryson City, NC, if that is more convenient.
Please select point of departure location on the order form when purchasing tickets. NOTE: Free parking is provided both in Kingsport, Johnson City and Bryson City.
• FIRST CLASS ticket price is $170 and includes a meal. No passengers under age 21
• CROWN CLASS ticket price is $110 adult and $87 for children 2-12.
• TOURIST COACH or OPEN-AIR COACH CLASS ticket price is $94 adult and $77 for children 2-12.
• OPEN-AIR COACH CLASS ticket price is $96 adult $76 children 2-12
All classes of excursion tickets include free admission to the Smoky Mountain Lionel Train Museum before boarding the train. The museum boasts a collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, and an impressive operating layout and children’s activity center.
Crown, Tourist and Open-Air classes can purchase a box lunch which includes sandwich, chips, cookie, and drink. There is also a concession car on the train with sandwiches, drinks, chips, and snacks available for purchase on board train.
Passengers are also welcome to bring their own lunch in a small cooler only.
Tickets and pre-purchased meals must be ordered online by credit card at: http://www.wataugavalleynrhs.org/
Click on the EXCURSIONS link. For additional information please email wataugavalley@gmail. com