Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

I’ve heard of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad since I was a kid. I have always loved trains and always wanted just one Lionel engine model of my own (maybe one day). I used to only hear of one route for the GSMRR, the one to Dilsburo and back to Bryson City. Now, they have more routes and several events with the train. The one we went on happened to be the one to Dilsburo, because we wanted to ride the steam engine (they have steam and diesel), and we wanted to see the train wreck site from the movie the Fugitive. With our tickets, we also got to tour the train museum after our ride. It was awesome, because I love Lionels, and the museum was had several very detailed set-ups of villages/town models, complete with tunnels, roads, traffic lights, cars, people, tracks, incoming and outgoing trains, etc. These models were in so much detail. It was amazing to see. And the walls were lined with model trains and signs all about historic facts. The train ride was scenic and informative too. We saw the huge farm that supplies the local Ingles supermarkets. The Tuckaseegee river was beside the tracks the entire route, although sometimes slightly hidden from view, but not for long. Everywhere we went by people who were stopped for the train met us with a smile and a wave. We were in an open air train car, so we could see everything on both sides. The diesel engine took us into Dilsburo, but the steam engine brought us back. It was neat to see the steam pouring from the stack on the engine as it rounded bends going up hills. In all total, with an hour or so for lunch, the ride took about 4 hours. It was a rather pleasant day temperature wise, even though the weather said it was 90 degrees. The only time it felt hot was when we went through a handmade tunnel that was just big enough for the train to pass through. The heat from the train made it extremely hot inside that tight, dark tunnel. The tracks for the GSMRR were originally from the southern railway system built by prisoners. Back then, they chained the prisoners together at the ankles. Some of them were brought in boats to work on the tracks above the bridge. One of the boats had an accident and because the prisoners were chained together, most of them drowned. As we went over the bridge near where it happened and the story was being told to us over the loudspeaker on the train, I felt sadness and chills. I will probably continue with that story later after doing more research of where these prisoners were buried if I can visit their final resting place. The ride on the train was awesome and the scenery was beautiful with rolling landscapes and historic old barns. We even spotted a quilt square on one of them we will have to look up and find out which county we were passing through to figure out which one it was. See our album GSMRR for all our train ride pictures and the pictures of the museum afterward. It was a great ride and if you get the chance to go, it is a fun time for the entire family. The stop off doesn’t give you much time because it goes by so quickly, so you have to either choose to eat or shop, not both. But if you prefer to shop, they have food and drinks you can buy on the train ride.

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