The North Carolina Transportation Museum is sponsoring 2015 autumn train excursions over Norfolk Southern rails from Spencer to Asheville on Oct. 31, and to Charlottesville, Va., on Nov.1.
The North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum are presenting the Fall train rides as fundraisers for both organizations.
Oct. 31: The Blue Ridge Autumn Special will depart Spencer at 7 a.m. and travel through the western North Carolina Piedmont, into the foothills and on to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The train will roll through Statesville, Hickory, Morganton, Marion, Black Mountain, and Swannanoa, climbing the famed “loops” of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the way. The train will pass through several tunnels and by the Andrews Geyser before arriving in Asheville at noon.
Passengers will have nearly three hours for an outing at Biltmore Village. Established in the late 1890s as a planned community near the entrance of the Biltmore estate, Biltmore Village offers shopping and dining along brick sidewalks that parallel tree-lined streets. The train will depart Asheville at 3 p.m., returning to Spencer at 8 p.m.
Nov. 1 : The Virginia Autumn Special will depart Spencer at 7 a.m. and will offer a second passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station at 8 a.m. Passing through the North Carolina cities of Thomasville, High Point, and Reidsville, and the Virginia cities of Danville, Lynchburg, and Oak Ridge, passengers will experience the Piedmont countryside and rolling hills of Central Virginia. Views of the Dan, Roanoke and James Rivers will also be seen as the train crosses the rivers. The train will pass by Schuyler, the mountain town fictionalized in the television show “The Walton’s.”
The train will arrive in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia at noon. Travelers will have nearly three hours to explore the historic downtown area. Departing Charlottesville around 3 p.m., the train will drop off Greensboro passengers shortly before 7 p.m., and will arrive back in Spencer around 8 p.m.
There are four different seating options for the Autumn Train Excursions, with specific amenities offered with each option. Pricing is the same for each trip.
Dome tickets have already sold out for the trip to Asheville but are still available in limited numbers for the trip to Charlottesville. Dome tickets are $299 person with amenities including a morning newspaper, light snacks, and beverages onboard.
First Class Premium seating is available onboard vintage parlor, lounge or business cars. Seating configurations vary between cars and may include table seating, club chairs and compartment seating. This seating class includes breakfast and dinner on the dining car. Amenities include morning newspaper, snacks and beverages onboard. First Class tickets are $270 is person.
Deluxe Coach seating includes lunch on a vintage dining car, as well as complimentary light snacks and beverages onboard. Deluxe Coach tickets are $195 per person.
Tourist Class seating is in Amtrak passenger cars. The souvenir and cafe cars are located near the Tourist Class section. Tourist Class tickets are $160 per person.
A boxed lunch is available for $15 per person.
For more information, or to order tickets, click here.