Great Smoky Mountain Railroad?

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October 3, 2011 3:26 PM

Has anyone ridden this tourist line?

I think we're going to be in the area in late November or early December and are looking for something railroad related to do. I think we'll also visit the Biltmore Estate and we'll be able to spend 2 days in the area.

Any other suggestions?


Thanks for any help.
 

Pat Marinari

www.hodgsonvalleyrr.com

 

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October 3, 2011 4:41 PM

The GMSR is owned and operated by the same folk that run the Durango and Silverton. Steam locomotve 1722 is down but there where talks bout them buying another Steam locomotive to fill in.
I took the trip from Bryson City to Dillsboro and had a hour and a half layover there. The trip is nice with most of it hugging the banks of the Tuckasegee River. You can also vist the Smoky Mountain Train Musuem in Bryson City. They have a large collection of Lionel Trains on display plus a large O scale operating layout.
 

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October 3, 2011 4:58 PM

I recommend it, even my wife enjoyed it!
 
 
 
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October 3, 2011 5:06 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Pat Marinari:
Has anyone ridden this tourist line?

I think we're going to be in the area in late November or early December and are looking for something railroad related to do. I think we'll also visit the Biltmore Estate and we'll be able to spend 2 days in the area.

Any other suggestions?


Thanks for any help.


I did 18 years ago. Really can't say how it is today.
 

Regards,

 

Gary

Long live the Boston & Albany.

I don't start rumors, I only verify them.

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October 4, 2011 6:44 AM

Thank you all for the help.
 

Pat Marinari

www.hodgsonvalleyrr.com

 

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October 4, 2011 10:02 AM

Pat

I've speedered the entire line, very nice the south end is really nice hunging the river and the stone tunnels. Ride the open car for that. If the fall folliage is there it will be even better.

You know the Fugative was filmed there. The loco is still laying in the ditch.

Jamie
 
 
 
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October 4, 2011 12:23 PM

Pat,
I haven't been there recently, but spent a lot of time about ten years ago when the steam engine was running.

The Bryson City to Nantahala trip is by FAR the more scenic trip of the two they are currently operating. After climbing the grade out of Bryson City, the railroad follows and crosses Fontana Lake until it gets to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, then runs beside the river through the gorge. It was great with steam working upgrade through the gorge, but even with diesel, the scenery on that part of the line is spectacular.

The Dillsboro excursion has Cowee Tunnel and passes the Fugitive wreck site, but is more open valleys between the mountains as opposed to the Nantahala trip cutting through the mountains.

Either way, there is some beautiful scenery up there.
Kevin
 
 
 
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October 4, 2011 3:14 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Pat Marinari:
Any other suggestions?
If you can drive a little farther east, you can visit the New Hope Valley Railway. Steam won't be running, unless you want to operate the engine yourself! An experience that's definitely worth the drive!

Operate-a-loco
 

Steve

 
 
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October 6, 2011 12:14 AM

When we rode the SMSRR seven years ago,the steam loco was being used on the shorter trips and Diesels on the long one.We took the long trip and my wife even enjoyed it.I don't remember the exact mopnth we were there but it was spring.The train had some singers and story tellers, who were very enjoyable.

If you are a Lionel fan,the museum is worth the time.I remember a nicely detailed layout.
 
 
 
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October 6, 2011 11:50 AM

Thanks for all the input.

The GSMR website shows that their last run for the season is November 27 and I'm afraid our trip might be later than that. If I can't make it this year, it looks like a worthwhile trip next spring or summer.
 

Pat Marinari

www.hodgsonvalleyrr.com

 

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October 6, 2011 3:57 PM

I rode the train last weekend to Nantahala Gorge and it was crowded with just about every coach seat filled.The ride is very scenic and outbound the left hand side of train is the one with most all of the scenery,they ask passengers to swap sides of the aisle for the return trip.If going with only two people my biggest gripe is the coach seats are mostly configured face to face instead of in one direction,I don't care for being knee to knee with strangers who are more interested in conversation than the ride itself.
 
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October 6, 2011 5:56 PM

My recommendation would be to go in the fall. You'll also very much enjoy the Biltmore Estate if your adventure leads you there. A beautiful area of the country.
 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
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October 6, 2011 7:47 PM

If you go next year it might be worth checking out the Craggy Mountain Line in Asheville if they are open for business yet.They did not open this year. http://craggymountainline.com/
 
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October 10, 2011 11:56 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Winkler:
I rode the train last weekend to Nantahala Gorge and it was crowded with just about every coach seat filled.The ride is very scenic and outbound the left hand side of train is the one with most all of the scenery,they ask passengers to swap sides of the aisle for the return trip.If going with only two people my biggest gripe is the coach seats are mostly configured face to face instead of in one direction,I don't care for being knee to knee with strangers who are more interested in conversation than the ride itself.


You can say that again! I did the same trip a few years ago with my wife,2 small sons and my father which is in his 80's. There was a big church group on our car and they split up and scattered all over the car and just took up one seat here and one seat there and then me and my family couldnt sit together in one set of coach seats so they thought but when I got through with that church group they were willing to give me any seat my family wanted. My advise is to get on the train as early as possible or they will try to split you up to fill the odd seats. You have good scenery on one side then you swap sides on the return trip and all you can do is stair at rock faces and weeds. I wouldnt go back and ride that line if they paid me and I just live 40 minutes from it.
Thomas
 
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October 10, 2011 11:13 PM

Pat you should contact C.SAM of the forum. He lives in the Ashville area I do believe. Good Luck.
 

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April 5, 2012 10:58 PM

Hey Pat,

I'm sorry I didn't see this post back then as we would have invited you to our home layout an club too!

Did you make the trip?

This whole area is beautiful especially this time of year with all the flowering trees, wildflower and the 437 shades of green on the mountains.

 

 

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April 7, 2012 3:41 AM

You've reminded me of my lone visit back in the summer of 1996 as a guest during a shake-down run atop 1702 when she was still running. I was spoiled that day with my perch on the engine and a couple of private runbys thrown in. The line is a great trip regardless of what the motive power is.

 

 

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April 7, 2012 6:35 AM

Sam:

 

Thanks for the invite.  Our plans changed and we're going to be taking this trip in May, so I'll contact you by email to see if we can arrange a time.

 

 

Thanks again!

 

Pat Marinari

www.hodgsonvalleyrr.com

 

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April 7, 2012 7:49 AM

Other points of interest. Great Smokey Mountain National Park Map  Bryson City accesses Deep Creek Camp ground a very beautiful part of the park with water falls and trails into the heart of the park. Not far from Bryson is Newfound Gap (5046 ft) on the road to Gatlinburg, TN. You can accesses the Applachian trail at Newfound Gap. You can quickly get over 6000ft on the trail. Some of the highest spots east of the Mississippi.  Probably the premier spot in the park is Cades Cove, a very isolated area keep much as it was in the 1800's.  This area is restricted at certain times to bicycle only. The access roads to this area can be dangerous, use caution.

 

This National Park ranks with the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone for number of visitors, a lot of people.

 

Our Tennessee/North Caroline experience was very friendly.  Have fun, I believe there is a model railroad museum of sorts in Bryson City N.C.

 

Tennessee on the Applachian trail, Charlie's Bunion.

 

North Carolina at Newfound Gap

 

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Last edited by Mike CT April 7, 2012 8:10 AM
 
 
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