Rail excursion to take guests through gorgeThe Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum will host its Summer 2012 Rail Excursion through the Scenic Hiwassee River Gorge in East Tennessee on Saturday, July 14.
The excursion will feature a ride on the rails through the river gorge as the tracks travel along the Hiwassee River.
The rail trip will take a 50-mile, 3.5 hour round trip rail excursion along the river to the famous “Hiwassee Loop.”
The journey will include a trip through the Narrows, where the Hiwassee River flows through rock channels and the Bald Mountain Loop.
The track actually passes over itself during a corkscrew climb up the mountain near Farner over a high trestle.
Tracks along this route parallel the river, providing views of the lower gorge.
Regular scheduled passenger trains operated until 1968 and the last freight train traveled the Old Line in 2001.
The railroad was originally built to haul ore from the copper basin in Copper Hill.
The Tennessee Overhill Association took over ownership of the rail line in 2004.
The train is general seating and features cushioned seats with large windows.
Historic 1950s-era diesel locomotives will pull the Vintage enclosed, climate controlled coaches.
The excursion will begin in downtown Johnson City at 7:15 a.m. on July 14.
For ticket and schedule information, visit www.wataugavalleynrhs.org