I waited by the locomotive after this picture. When my crew arrived, I handed our engineer my release and was invited up into the cab of Great Smoky Mountain Railroad GP-9 1751 which would return me to Bryson City running long hood forward. Running in this fashion would be a first for me in my riding of trains.
After five toots of the horn and an all clear from our conductor, our train started back to Bryson City.
A look back with the Nantahala River in this view.
Looking forward. On right hand curves the brakeman and I were our engineer's eyes.
More of the interesting plant life along our route back towards Bryson City.
A stone house along the tracks and river.
Crossing Fontana Lake
We ran by more interesting plant life on our way back.
A look back.
A look ahead.
Around the horseshoe curve with another stop to flag the grade crossing.
The plant life was of a continuing interest to me on this trip today.
The train has reached straight track once more.
Our train crossed the Tuckasegee River.
The train ran back by that warehouse and into Bryson City.
Back at Bryson City the train I just came in on was on the right and my next train to Dillsboro was on the left. I found Connie again who introduced me to my next conductor who had our tickets for the trip to Dillsboro. Connie said we had twenty minutes so I decided to visit the museum and gift shop.Smoky Mountain Trains 8/17/2007
Next to where the train pulls into Bryson City is a unique railroad exhibit called the Smoky Mountain Trains. It houses a hobby and gift shop, child activity center and a Lionel Model Train Layout that is 24' x 45'. Your train ticket gets you free admission or you pay $9 for adults or $5 for children under 12 and free for children under 2. Now let's look around this interesting Lionel Museum.
As you can see by these pictures, this is a worthwhile museum to visit in Bryson City. I was now time to board our next train for the one way trip to Dillsboro.Smoky Mountain Railroad Tuckasegee River Excursion.
Chris and I boarded the Champion Club Car. This car was used in the movie "My Fellow Americans".
Inside the Champion Club Car. This train had a consist of Great Smoky Mountain Railroad GP-9 1755, Caboose 3753 Concession Car, Coach Jackson 522, Whittier 30 Covered Open, Coach Pee Wee Watson 324, Fontana 35 Covered Open, Coach Crescent Limited 1103, Champion Club Car and the power car, a caboose.
The train crossed the Deep Creek bridge.
The train was passing through a tunnel of trees.
Our train is running along the Tuckasegee River.
The train ran by the first of several farms.
There was rolled hay in a small barn.
There are many more farms along our route to Dillsboro.
The train crossed along the Tuckasegee River.
Our train crossed a highway.
The train took a curve along a field.
We are rolling towards Dillsboro along the Tuckasegee River.
We came to the Yard Limit Sign for Whittier.
The train ran by Whittier Siding.
The Whittier Depot Road was crossed in Whittier.
Our train crossed Whittier Creek.
There was a large farm with a tomato crop ready to be harvested.
The train ran through Wilmont.
The train ran along the Tuckasegee River.
We ran by another farm.
Running along the Tuckesegee River.
The train went through the Cowee Tunnel.
The train crossed the Tuckasegee River.
The train ran by the Fugitive Movie Train Wreck Site.
Our train went by the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Shop.
Our train arrived into Dillsboro. Connie was waiting for Chris and I and after visiting the gift shop, she drove us back to Bryson City. A special thanks to Connie for helping us ride both trains on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad today. It was time for a few last pictures.
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad GP-9 777.
The Bryson City station.
One last view of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. It had been a great day of riding trains on one of the most unique railroads in North America. We stopped at Arby's to get me some dinner and I went back to the Sleep Inn to work on the stories.
8/18/2007 Chris and I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast before we left Bryson City. We stopped in Cherokee for gas before we drove through Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
A view looking down into North Carolina. We drove to the summit and pulled into a viewpoint.
North Carolina-Tennessee State Line
Views looking down into North Carolina.
The road in the trees. We drove down into Tennessee passing through two tunnels and did a 360 degree loop on the highway. We passed through the "Tourist Trap" of Pigeon Fork before we reached Interstate 40 which we took west through Knoxville. We exited at Exit 356, stopped for snacks and drinks before heading north on Tennessee Highway 58 to our next train ride of this trip.