|On the last two Saturdays in October, New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR) will offer train rides and family fun in the rail yard during Track or Treat Halloween Express.|
|This year, marks the 20th year of the family-friendly event, which takes place on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31, with Ghost Train excursions departing at 4, 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. An additional 2:30 p.m.train departure time is being added on Oct. 31.
Tickets are $13 for adults and children (2 and under free) and should be purchased in advance at www.TriangleTrain.com. Visitors are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to their train departure time.
The first Halloween Train departed Bonsal on Oct. 26, 1996 with 184 riders and was organized by NHVR member Walt Williams and his wife Brenda. Along with others on the all-volunteer railroad staff, they planned and carried out the annual Halloween activities for 11 years.
“Someone suggested a Halloween ride and we jumped on the opportunity to organize it and invite the community out to our rail yard to ride the trains,” said Walt Williams. “Each year, we were looking for ways to make it more fun by adding little details and more to see.”
Today, Track or Treat Halloween Express has grown into a two-Saturday event during the end of October. Along the 8-mileround trip train route, riders will see interactive Halloween scenes. The decorated haunted rail yard will include a 20-foot black cat and pumpkins atop the North Carolina Railroad Museum store train car singing Monster Mash, Ghostbusters and Michael Jackson’sThriller.
Visitors to a stationary train caboose in the rail yard will meet palm reader Iseemore the Magnificent and Dr. CO2, the creator of magical boo bubbles. Children and adults are encouraged to wear their costumes and each child will receive a small gift before the train ride, while supplies last. The earlier train ride times are recommended for younger riders who may be frightened by the Halloween characters.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream of Apex will serve cups of homemade ice cream in a variety of flavors including pumpkin patch, pumpkin cheesecake, orange sherbet, chocolate cookie dough and Oreo. Attendees can add sprinkles, M&Ms, gummi worms and whipping cream as toppings. Ice cream is not included in the ticket price.
“We strive to make our Track or Treat Halloween Expressevent suitable for all ages to enjoy. It’s a fun event for both children and those who are still children at heart,” said Dave Chasco, NHVR marketing director.
More info: http://www.triangletrain.com/
Who knew that there was such a cool, little train ride down in High Point, NC? Neither did I until we were invited to the American Express company picnic. We were thrilled to find the 24 guage ride that meanders past the lake, around 2 loops and through a tunnel. The park also has a Merry-Go-Round, a huge playground, bathroom facilities and much more. However, the train was the star of the show for us. The colors and steam engine style is very similar to the Burlington City Park Train. Still, it was great fun on a beautiful day.
Update: Received an email from a reader who sent 2 awesome photos of what this train looked like in the 1960’s…
(Bonsal, NC, September 16, 2014) – New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR) is opening its rail yard for an evening fundraiser with activities that adults can enjoy. Brew ‘n’ Choo http://www.triangletrain.com/brewnchoo/ scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 4, from 4 – 9 p.m., will feature one-hour train excursions departing throughout the evening along with local craft beer, food trucks and live music at the rail yard located in Bonsal, N.C., 30 minutes southwest of downtown Raleigh.
The fundraiser will benefit restoration of the historic Cliffside 110, a steam locomotive acquired by the non-profit railway museum last year. The steam engine is being repaired by NHVR volunteers so it can operate on the four-mile main line used by the railway for public ride days. The estimated restoration cost is between $350,000 and $600,000.
“As an all-volunteer railroad staffed by train enthusiasts, we’re always looking for ways to share our rail yard with the public,” says NHVR President Mike MacLean. “Brew ‘n’ Choo gives folks an evening to ride our trains, eat some good food, listen to music and sample craft beers all while supporting the restoration of the Cliffside 110 historic steam engine,” he adds.
Fortnight Brewing Company www.fortnightbrewing.com will be pouring its most popular beers for tastings and $5 pints. Manna Concessions www.mannaconcessions.com will sell a variety of special menu items including fried pimento cheese sliders, shrimp po’ boy sandwiches, smoked chicken and apple sausage, and barbeque pork sandwiches. Each meal is served with a side and non-alcoholic drink. Specialty cobblers, brownies, cakes and other sweet treats will be sold by LadyBug’s Treats www.ladybugstreats.org.
Bluegrass and folk music will be played throughout the evening by local musicians India Cain and Keith Allen. http://www.indiacainmusic.com/p/about-us.html
One-hour, round-trip steam train excursions will depart at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the diesel train departs at 6:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
Admission to the Brew ‘n’ Choo fundraiser costs $14/adult for the steam train excursion and entertainment. Diesel train excursion tickets are $12/adult. Tickets should be purchased online prior to the event at www.TriangleTrain.com. Tickets will also be sold at the rail yard ticket booth the day of the event.
Beer and food will be sold separately at the event and are not included in the train excursion fee; however, guests will have the option to select and purchase their meal in advance when buying tickets online. No outside drinks or food will be allowed inside the rail yard during the event.
Designated drivers can request a special wristband upon entry at the ticket booth for free soda and water all night. Children may attend the family-friendly event but must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
About New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR)
New Hope Valley Railway, the Triangle’s Train, straddles the historic towns of Bonsal and New Hill, North Carolina, 30-minutes southwest of Raleigh, off of U.S. Highway 1, Exit 89. The organization was chartered in 1983 by the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and soon began its all-volunteer operated public train ride days. In 2014, trains operate the second Saturday and fourth Friday of each month, April-November
There are also special event ride days and the popular Track or Treat Halloween Express and Holiday Santa Trains. Also available are opportunities to operate a train, host a birthday party in an historic caboose, and visit the North Carolina Railroad Museum, G Scale model garden railroad and gift shop.
Learn more at www.TriangleTrain.com or connect on social media:
To view the full operating schedule for 2014, please visit www.TriangleTrain.com/schedule
New Hope Valley Railway will host Track or Treat – a Spooky Ride on the Halloween Express on Saturdays, October 19 and 26, at the rail yard in Bonsal, located off of U.S. Highway 1, just 30 minutes southwest of downtown Raleigh.
Children and adults of all ages will enjoy riding a real locomotive decorated with cob webs and jack-o-lanterns as they encounter witches, goblins and a mysterious ghost train during the hour-long train ride. Riders receive a sweet treat as they exit the train after the 4 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. rides through the haunted woods.
Visitors can also see the G-Scale garden railroad, visit the North Carolina Railroad Museum and get up close to real railroad cars and equipment in the yard. Riders may visit the gift shop to take home their own Triangle Train whistles, engineer hats and other train memorabilia.
Visit http://www.nctrans.org/ for more info!
All aboard! Climb aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway for an old-time train ride through the Museum grounds. The 10-minute train ride makes two laps through our Nature Park on the beloved scaled replica C. P. Huntington locomotive, made possible by a generous donation from the Teer family.
The train runs daily (weather permitting) beginning at 10:30 a.m. every 30 minutes in the morning, and every hour in the afternoon until 4 p.m.
Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis daily. Rides cost $3.00 per person. Children under 3 years of age ride free on an adult’s lap. Refunds are provided for cancelled runs only.
The Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top attractions. Situated on 84-acres, our interactive science park includes a science center, a butterfly conservatory which is one of the largest in the world and beautifully-landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves.
For more information about the train, please call:
(919) 220-5429 x339
VISIT www.gsmr.com for more info!
Over 42,000 passengers rode The Polar Express™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2011 and we hope to see you this year! The 1 ¼ 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.
Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, 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 begins November 9th and operates through December 30th. View the 2012 departure schedule here!
For more information, visit: http://www.gsmr.com/create-content/event/polar-express/polar-express-0
N.C. Transportation Museum & Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum Autumn Train Excursion Tickets Are On Sale Now, Rolling Out Nov. 3 and 4
SPENCER – An extremely popular offering from the N.C.TransportationMuseum and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum is just a few months from rolling down the tracks. This year’s Autumn Train Excursions will travel to Appomattox, Va. Saturday, Nov. 3 and Toccoa, Ga. Sunday, Nov. 4.
These excursions provide the rare opportunity to take a daylight train trip on vintage rail cars through beautiful countryside during the autumn leaf-peeping season. Passengers can enjoy the romance of riding the rails and with great destinations. Tickets for the museum’s Autumn Train Excursions typically sell out and some options are already unavailable. Those wishing to purchase are urged to act quickly.
These one-day trips are presented by the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and act as fundraisers for both organizations.
The Virginia Autumn Special will depart from Spencer, N.C., with additional passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station. The train will travel through the northern portion of the North Carolina Piedmont before crossing into central Virginia. Passengers will be treated to spectacular views as the train crests the WhiteOakMountain and crosses the Dan and RoanokeRivers on its way to Lynchburg, where it will turn east toward Appomattox.
Passengers will disembark at the restored Appomattox Station, once a stop for the South Side Railroad in the late 1800s and now home to the AppomattoxVisitorInformationCenter. This charming small town holds claim to one of the most significant moments in U.S. history—the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to end the Civil War and reunited a divided nation.
Virginia Autumn Special passengers can enjoy the historic shops and restaurants of Appomattox’s quaint downtown, or, for a nominal additional fee, explore either the AppomattoxCourtHouseNationalHistoricalPark, or the Museum of the Confederacy’s newly-opened Appomattox site. Shuttle buses will provide transportation to both sites. We strongly recommend that passengers planning to visit either of these sites pack a lunch, pre-purchase a box lunch, or plan to purchase lunch on the café car, due to time limitations at the destination.
The Georgia Autumn Special will depart from Spencer, N.C., with additional passenger pick up at the Spartanburg Amtrak Station before traversing what was once Southern Railway’s main line, running from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Ga. Passengers will enjoy the gala fall colors of Carolinas’ rolling foothills, before crossing the 100-foot Seneca River trestle spanning Lake Hartwell to arrive at Toccoa.
Nestled into the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the historic town will be bustling with activity during the 30th annual Harvest Festival. Passengers will have approximately three hours to enjoy the festival, which features handmade, handcrafted and home-grown items from more than 200 vendors, as well as delicious regional foods, great entertainment on two stages, children and youth activities, buggy rides and much more.
ToccoaFalls, named for the Cherokee word “Toccoah” meaning beautiful, is a must see. Located on the campus of ToccoaCollege, the 186-foot falls are 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls. Shuttle buses will be making a continuous loop between downtown Toccoa and ToccoaFalls.
Several seating options and pricing are available for excursion passengers. Prices are the same for each destination.
Tourist Class features the convenience and comforts of modern Amtrak cars. Each car has a center aisle with two adjustable seats and a wide window on each side. This seating area provides convenient access to the Souvenir and Cafe cars. Tourist class seating is $150 per person.
Deluxe Coach Class passenger cars feature spacious seating with adjustable seat backs and leg rests, as well as large windows for better viewing. Lunch will be served in vintage lounge and dining cars. Light snacks and beverages are also provided. Deluxe Coach Class seating is $185 per person. This option is already sold out for our Appomattox trip.
Premium First Class passengers will be seated in restored, vintage lounge or parlor cars. Each car is configured differently with a variety of seating options. Compartment seating is also available for small groups (only available with phone orders. Fare includes continental breakfast, newspapers, light snacks and dinner. Premium first Class seating is $260 per person Compartment seating is also available for groups of two, three or four at a reduced price. Compartment seating is only available with phone orders.
Featuring two levels, Dome cars offer the best views of the passing scenery. Windows stretch
across the walls and ceiling on the second level, providing a panoramic view of the entire ride.
Tickets include a continental breakfast and newspapers on the journey plus dinner on the return trip served in vintage lounge and dining cars. Dome tickets are $295 per person. This option is already sold out for our Appomattox trip.
Passengers that do not have lunch included in their ticket package have the option of a gourmet box lunch. Delivered to your seat, passengers can save time for shopping and sightseeing. Served in a souvenir tote, the meal includes chicken salad on a croissant, pasta salad, fresh fruit, homemade pound cake and a drink. Box lunches, available for $15 per person, should be ordered in advance with your ticket purchase. Those taking advantage of Saturday’s visit to the Appomattox Court House and Museum of the Confederacy are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this option.
The North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum are non-profit organizations.
By Shavonne Potts
SPENCER — Rail fans from as far as Japan and England will descend upon the N.C. Transportation Museum today and Wednesday for what has been hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
To commemorate Norfolk Southern Corp.’s 30th anniversary, the Norfolk Southern Heritage Locomotive fleet is on display for a couple of days at the museum.
View amazing photos and videos from The Norfolk Southern Corp.’s 30th Anniversary, please visit the NC Transportation Museum’s FACEBOOK PAGE.