Newell M Collins
Riding The Rails!
Riding the Rails!
This week I had family in town so we did the tourist-y thing and rode the train out of Bryson City to Dillsboro. We had a blast! So pretty this time of year with the leaves turning and comfortable temps! There are MANY train excursions in the area. Blue Ridge has the train to McCaysville and Tennessee has several excursions too. Some offer moonshine tastings and there’s even a couple of polar express runs in the winter! Trains are fun any time of year but in the fall the views are just exceptional.
If you have never ridden one of our local trains, please find time to do just that. You never meet a stranger on the train! Folks are friendly and wonderful to chat with while you ride the rails. People come from all over and the train is a comfortable place to strike up a conversation.
As our train chugged along the Tuckasegee River, we saw a bald eagle enjoying his lunch of trout. We crossed the river several times and even went through a tunnel carved out of the rocks! There seems barely enough room for the train to get through and they caution you to keep inside the train! The Cowee Tunnel is believed to be haunted because of the disaster that happened in 1882 when 19 convicts that were working on the tunnel drowned while crossing the river chained together. It was the worst disaster in public works project history. Read about it here: Cowee Tunnel
As we arrived in Dillsboro about an hour and a half later, I realized that the train we “called home to Murphy” several weeks ago would be an absolute boon to this town! (You might remember from a previous newsletter that there was a gathering of over 2000 people in our town square all singing and blowing whistles to show support for a local train to be brought back into the town.) I watched at least 200 or more people get off the train and head into that small town to eat and spend some money in the local shops! This would be a good thing for Murphy! The logistics would need to be worked out and more shops and restaurants would be needed but dropping off 200 people every day in our town would certainly help the economy and the tax base. We have a couple of empty store fronts and several places for additional eating establishments. Bring it and they will come! The train that is!
Back to the train ride….the views this time of year were superb! We are almost in peek leaf season and everyone enjoyed a warm day with bright sunshine on those beautiful leaves. Did I mention the train crash site for the movie The Fugitive with Harrison Ford is right beside the tracks? That was cool to see!
My advice is to NOT wait for company to come or if you’re planning a visit to the area, book a train ride on one of our many trains in the area. With any luck, we will have a train coming to Murphy in the coming years. It was relaxing and fun and you might even learn a bit of history in this area that we call home. The mountains of Western North Carolina! Let’s find your piece of Heaven right here!