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Spring Blossom Train Excursion

May 20, 2023


OnSaturday, May 20, 2023 the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society andMuseum will sponsor a train excursion on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrateand enjoy the beauty of the spring season while riding the rails in vintagepassenger railroad cars through the Great Smoky Mountains  


The scenic rail excursion travels from thehistoric depot in Bryson City, North Carolina, through the beautifulcountryside of Western North Carolina, into the breathtaking Nantahala Gorgesurrounded by the majestic Smoky Mountains, and back to Bryson City.  Much of theroute hugs the banks of the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers.  It crosses Fontana Lake on a trestle spanning780 feet 100 feet above the lake.  Videoclip 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 antiquerestored passenger cars. There are restrooms throughout the train.


First Class cars areclimate-controlled and feature large windows and lounge-car seating.

CrownClass cars offer large windows andclimate control for passenger comfort. 

Open-Air cars are great forpicture-taking and “experiencing” the ride and scenery. 

TouristCoach Classcars have ceiling fans and windows that open and close for fresh-air viewing.


The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad hasbecome a favorite of film producers over the years. The train wreck scene inthe 1993 movie, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy LeeJones, was filmed along the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.  The railroad was used in the filming of the1996 comedy, My Fellow Americans, starring Jack Lemmon and JamesGardner, when they stumble onto a charter train full of UNC-Chapel Hill fansheaded for the NCAA Final Four.  Trainscenes in the 1998 movie, Forces of Nature, starring Ben Affleck andSandra Bullock, were also filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.  


Passengers have three options for arrival at the Bryson City TrainDepot:  they may either ride a charteredtour bus out of Kingsport or Johnson City, TN, or drive directly to BrysonCity, NC, if that is more convenient.  Please select point ofdeparture location on the order form when purchasing tickets.  NOTE:  Free parking is provided both in Kingsport, Johnson Cityand BrysonCity. 


First class ticketprice is $170 and includes a meal.  Nopassengers under age 21


Crown class ticket price is $110 adultand $87child 2 -12.


Tourist Coach or Open-Air Coach Class ticket price is $94 adultand $77 child 2-12.


Open-Air Coach Classticket price is $96 adult $76 child 2-12

All classes of excursion tickets include free admission to theSmoky Mountain Lionel Train Museum before boarding the train. The museum boastsa collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, and an impressiveoperating layout and children’s activity center.



Crown, Tourist and Open-Air classes can purchase a box lunch whichincludes sandwich, chips, cookie, and drink. [Make selectionon ticket order form. Box lunches must be pre-purchased with ticketorder and will be available track-side for pick-up before boarding . There is also aconcession car on the train with  sandwiches,drinks, chips, and snacks available for purchase on board train.              

Passengers are also welcome to bringtheir own lunch in a small cooler only.



Tickets and pre-purchased meals mustbe ordered online by credit card at http://www.wataugavalleynrhs.org/.  Click on the EXCURSIONS link.  For additional  information please email wataugavalley@gmail.com