Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum

ALL ABOARD!

SPRING BLOSSOM SPECIAL
Train Excursion through
the Great Smoky Mountains!

Saturday, May 4th, 2024


ENJOY A TRAIN RIDE THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL SMOKY MOUNTAINS DURING THE SPRING TIME!


TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!
CLICK TO PURCHASE!

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has become a favorite of film producers over the years. The railroad was used in the filming of the 1996 comedy, My Fellow Americans, starring Jack Lemmon and James Garner, 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, also were filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

On Saturday, May 4th, 2024, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum will sponsor a Spring Blossom Train Excursion - a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the majestic mountains and beautiful countryside of western North Carolina from Bryson City, NC and on to the Nantahala Gorge, NC and return back to Bryson City, NC. This trip covers a lot of the current operating trackage of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Patrons will have two choices in getting to the Bryson City, NC Train Station. They can either drive directly to Bryson City, NC, or board a motor coach out of Johnson City, TN. For many passengers, it's closer to just drive from their location to Bryson City. Check to see which is closer from your location. Please make your selection on the order form when purchasing your tickets. All locations have free parking. Maps to parking locations in Bryson City and for motor coach pick-up in Johnson City, TN will be sent with your confirmation form, along with lodging information.

Our scenic rail excursion covers a lot of the current operating trackage of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The track follows the route of the former Southern Railway's "Murphy Branch Line". The line was established in 1891, with a maximum 5.8 percent grade and many bridges. From Bryson City we rise to Fontana Lake as we follow the Little Tennessee River and cross the Fontana Lake Trestle. We pass the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and enter the breathtaking Nantahala Gorge, following the shoreline of the exciting Nantahala River. At the end of the gorge, we trace the tracks back to Bryson City, stopping for a short break at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.


Click Below to Watch Sample Footage of Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum Excursions

Located 10 miles from the famous Cherokee Indian Reservation, Bryson City is a laid-back, non-touristy easily stroll-able town of 1,300 with many shops, a surprising variety of restaurants, and more stop signs than stoplights. There are local bookstores and arts and crafts galleries with working artisans, a bike shop, two fly fishing shops, a historical museum, a fly-fishing museum, an aquarium, a scenic train, and two breweries. All excursion ticket holders receive complimentary admission to the Smoky Mountain Lionel Train Museum, which boasts a collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout, and children's activity center.

These trips are handicap accessible. Please note special needs on order form.

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TICKETS

All classes offer seating in vintage, restored passenger cars. There are restrooms throughout the train. Tickets and pre-purchased meals may be ordered online only!

[IMPORTANT NOTE: THOSE ORDERING TICKETS SEPARATELY, BUT WISHING TO BE SEATED TOGETHER, MUST SPECIFY THIS ON THE ORDER FORM]


FIRST CLASS

Ticket price is $175/adult [ADULTS 21 AND OVER ONLY]

FIRST CLASS passengers will enjoy club car (lounge car) seating in climate-controlled comfort, where large windows provide wonderful viewing [windows do not open]. A FIRST CLASS ticket includes a meal with drink and dessert.

FIRST CLASS ENTREES: [make selection on Meal Order Form]

Grilled Chicken Lunch - Grilled chicken served with two seasonal sides, dinner roll, and dessert.

Southern Pork Lunch - Southern-style pork served with two seasonal sides, dinner roll, and dessert.

Roast Beef Lunch - Roast beef served with two seasonal sides, dinner roll, and dessert.

Vegetarian Salad Lunch - A colorful symphony of farm-fresh veggies in a delightful medley.

Salad with Grilled Chicken Lunch - A colorful symphony of farm-fresh veggies in a delightful medley topped with grilled chicken.


Grilled Chicken Lunch

Southern Pork Lunch

Roast Beef Lunch

Vegetarian Salad Lunch



Your Choice Included with First Class Ticket Purchase!

Salad with Grilled Chicken Lunch

CROWN CLASS

Ticket price is $120/adult and $95/child [2 -12].

CROWN CLASS cars offer climate control for passenger comfort and large windows for great viewing [windows do not open].


TOURIST COACH CLASS

Ticket price is $105/adult and $86/child [2-12].

TOURIST COACH CLASS cars feature ceiling fans and windows that open and close for fresh–air viewing.


OPEN AIR COACH CLASS

Ticket price is $107/adult and $88/child [2-12].

OPEN COACH CLASS is great for taking pictures and seeing the beautiful scenery.


Boxed Lunches - $14.00

Save money by planning ahead and dining onboard by pre-purchasing one of our boxed lunches! Great food for a great value! You can purchase these lunches during your reservation process online. Packaged picnic-style, boxed, and ready to enjoy on the train. The boxed lunches are available for pick up with proof of purchase on the depot deck at the Cafe at the depot. (NOTE: All box lunches must be pre-purchased.)

BOX LUNCH OPTIONS: [make selection on Meal Order Form]

Ham Sandwich. Hearty portion of sliced ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a soft brioche bun. Mayonnaise and mustard on the side. Chips, cookie, and a 24 ounce bottle of water included. No substitutions.

Turkey Sandwich. Thinly sliced roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a soft brioche bun. Mayonnaise and mustard on the side. Kettle style chips, cookie, and a 24 ounce bottle of water included. No substitutions.

Chicken Salad Sandwich. Tender chunks of all-natural white meat chicken mixed with mayonnaise and a touch of olive oil, hint of sweet honey, cranberry and pecan pieces on light ciabatta bun. Kettle style chips, cookie, and a 24 ounce bottle of water included.

Vegetarian Wrap. A thick layer of roasted red pepper hummus topped with a vibrant blend of Arcadian blend spring mix, kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, red onion, diced tomatoes, and creamy vinaigrette dressing wrapped in a tomato basil tortilla. Kettle style chips, cookie, and a 24 ounce bottle of water included.

Adult Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Two grape Smucker's Uncrustable® chips, cookie, and a 24 ounce bottle of water. *Peanut Allergy Warning. No substitutions. Speak to Agent about allergens.


Ham Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Vegetarian Wrap

Available for
Pre-Purchase
$14.00

Adult Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

CONCESSIONS CAR – sandwiches, drinks, chips, etc., will be available for purchase on the train.


A small cooler is acceptable if you wish to bring food with you on the train.


Schedule

For passengers driving directly to Bryson City:
Arrive in Bryson City by 10:00 a.m. Come to the Ticket Tent in front of the depot and exchange your final confirmation form for train tickets. Ticket tent at the depot will open around 10:30 a.m.
For passengers riding touring coaches from Johnson City, TN:
Please exchange your final confirmation form as you enter the motor coach in Johnson City for your tickets.
7:00 – 7:25 a.m. - board bus at Liberty Bell Middle School
7:30 a.m. - depart Johnson City
10:00 a.m. - arrive in Bryson City

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.: Visit shops, Lionel Train Museum, and/or restaurants
11:00 - 11:35 a.m.: Board train at Bryson City Depot
12:01 p.m.: Train departs
2:00 p.m.: Reach top of line
Return trip includes a short stop at Nantahala Outdoor Recreation Center
4:15 – 4:45 p.m.: De-board in Bryson City

Upon return arrival in Bryson City, bus riders from Johnson City will board motor coaches at 4:45 p.m. and depart Bryson City at 5:00 p.m., with arrival in Johnson City at 7:30 p.m.