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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for the ‘trains’ Category

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Announces Seasonal Service to North Pole

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

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.

The one and half 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.

‘Peanuts Pumpkin Patch’ Returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Monday, September 28th, 2009

BRYSON CITY, NC – PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for 2009. As the leaves are turning in October and pumpkins are ready to be carved, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy return to the GSMR Pumpkin Patch October 2, 2009. The excursions, which are themed after Charles M. Schulz’s classic story “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” will be departing from the Bryson City Depot October 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25. Friday departures will be at 3:00pm. Saturday and Sunday departures will be at 11:30am and 3:00pm.

Guests will hear a narration of Schulz’s “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” as the train travels to the Pumpkin Patch. Upon arrival, passengers will be greeted and have a photo opportunity with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy. Activities to enjoy at The Great Pumpkin Patch will include: campfire marshmallows, a coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick or treating, and a bouncy train. The children can also navigate through a giant hay bale maze. Other activities include hay rides, bobbing for apples, apple cider or apple juice, and treats. There will be plenty of PEANUTS™ merchandise at the Smoky Mountain Trains gift shop! Each child will also select their own small pumpkin from The Great Pumpkin Patch to take home.

For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681.

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.

‘Railfest 2009’ Comes to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in September

Monday, September 14th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Railfest 2009, a Great Smoky Mountains Railroad festival, will return to the Bryson City Depot, September 18th through 20th.

This three day gathering for railroad enthusiasts and history buffs from around the world provides an opportunity to ride special excursions, see railroad memorabilia and experience music of the rails. Thousands return each year along with first time visitors to enjoy a taste of railroad food, storytelling, dancing, live music, special excursions and events unavailable any other time of the year.

The 28th Annual Fireman’s Day highlights Railfest on Saturday. Festivities will include rides on the 1939 Dodge American La France Fire Truck, the Firecracker 5-K Run, All-Male Miss Flame Beauty Pageant, and their famous Bar-b-que. Remember to purchase a Bryson City Firemen’s Tee Shirt.

Saturday festivities include special train rides, motorcars on display, seventh annual mountain craft fair with over fifty vendors, a children’s talent contest along with the winner’s jamboree, and a bouncy train for children to enjoy. The popular Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot Band will be the headliner of the event’s musical entertainment.

Sunday features a Nantahala Gorge “Photo Special” Excursion. This eight-hour roundtrip excursion takes passengers from Bryson City to Andrews, and includes two photo run-by opportunities, as well as a picnic lunch. Visitors to Bryson City will enjoy gospel music throughout the day.

For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.

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.

Cradle of Forestry Hosts Train History Day

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

PISGAH FOREST, NC – Come learn about the 1915 Climax logging train on display at the Cradle of Forestry, and how it wound its way through the forest coves of western North Carolina for over 40 years during the Nation’s pioneering era of forestry and timber harvesting. Enjoy a slide program at 10:30am and again at 2:00pm presented by Western North Carolina train historian Jerry Ledford. After each program walk the Forest Festival Trail to see the Cradle’s historic Climax locomotive. Climb on board, ring the bell and hear the sound of a steam whistle.

This event takes place on Saturday, June 25 from 9am-4pm.

The Asheville chapter of the National Railway Historical Society members will display a hands-on railroad yard and HO scale switching layout. Learn how to move railroad cars within the yard, how to switch tracks and set up an entire train from engine to caboose. Enjoy seeing pictures from Southern Railway in the 1950’s, old railroad lanterns and other memorabilia.

Murder Mystery on the Rails in Bryson City NC

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad presents dinner theatre – on rail. The Mystery Theatre Dinner Train puts passengers in the midst of suspense and intrigue. Passengers participate in solving the "mystery" presented by Nightshade Mystery Theatre, a professional group of actors from Asheville, NC lead by local theatre veteran Deborah Austin.

Passengers board the train in Bryson City, NC for a three-course gourmet prime rib dinner. Seating is in one of three elegant, restored dining cars. The meal is prepared by the talented Deborah Douthit. Dinner includes Prime Rib of Beef tastefully complimented with Au jus and horseradish sauce, Caesar salad, Fire Roasted Vegetables, Marble Cheese Cake, and tea or coffee. A vegetarian selection of a Portabella Mushroom Tower is available upon request. Cocktail and wine service is available for purchase on board the train.

2009 Mystery Theatre Dinner Train Schedule

May 16, 23, 30 – RIGHT UNDER THE DEVIL’S NOSE brings together modern day treasure hunters to mount an expedition to Lake Titimama. Is fearless leader Johnny Lonne another Indiana Jones, or is he the con artist of the century? All the investors in the audience must find the answer to solve a mystery.

June 6,13, 20, 27 – A FINAL HOMECOMING features a mysterious gem mine, an amazing tattoo, and a scheme to develop the mountain ridges – just some of the secrets spilled when the Higbee Clan meet the real estate developer. Who’s going to buy the farm?

July 4, 11,18, 25 – MY FATAL VALENTINE by Eileen Moushey, returns as Heartthrob Books brings its most popular romance novelists together to compete for the coveted Love Knot Award. Hilarious readings from the nominated works and then the publishers are one writer down. Was it a poisoned pen?

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – A NEW MYSTERY premieres on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad with colorful characters, a story filled with twists and turns, and the promise of an evening of laughs. Train cars become detective agencies as guests question suspects and solve a mystery.

September 5,12,19,26 – IMPORTED SPIRITS is set at the 1922 convention of SSPAM, Society of Supernaturalists, Psychics, & American Mentalists, but moonshiners have seized upon this meeting to spirit their spirits out of town. A hilarious romp with séances, secret recipes, and white lighting.

All Mystery Theatre Dining Trains operate ever Saturday evening with 7 PM departures and run May 16- September 26, 2009. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at www.GSMR.com.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Announces Peanuts Easter Beagle Express

Friday, March 20th, 2009

BRYSON CITY, NC – The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is pleased to announce our Peanuts™ Easter Beagle Express on Friday, April 10th, and Saturday, April 11th, 2009. Trains will depart the historic Bryson City depot at 10:30am. The train will travel along the Tuckasegee River, cross over the Fontana Lake Trestle and into the Nantahala River Gorge for a 4 ½ hour journey. Celebrate springtime aboard this festive Holiday event.

Passengers will join Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown and our Easter Bunnies for old fashioned Easter fun during the 1 hour layover at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Festivities include an Easter egg hunt with special prizes, egg decorating, storytelling, coloring sheets, temporary tattoos, snacks with Snoopy and more. There will also be plenty of opportunities for pictures, so do not forget your camera!

Advance tickets are required, as seating is limited. Adult tickets are $ 49.00 and children two and up are $29.00. Limited Crown Coach upgrades are available.

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.

For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or WWW.GSMR.COM.

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.