Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Southeast Excursions

comments

Ride the rails on all-day excursion

More Information

  • Nov. 3-4 rail trips

    Departing the morning of Nov. 3 (for Appomattox, Va.) and Nov. 4 (For Toccoa, Ga.) from the N.C. Transportation Museum, and returning that evening. Dome-class and deluxe coach class tickets are sold out. Tourist class tickets ($150) are available for either trip.

    Details/tickets: 704-636-2889, ext. 237; www.nctrans.org.



Take a short drive to Spencer Nov. 3 or 4 for a special, all-day rail adventure to Georgia or Virginia.

Distance

Spencer is about 50 miles northeast of Charlotte via Interstate 85, about a 45-minute drive.

To see and do

The N.C. Transportation Museum is a fun outing any day. The state-owned facility occupies the grounds of what was Southern Railway’s largest steam locomotive repair shop. The yards, the sheds and the roundhouse have proven a fitting place to store and display the hulking coal-burning and diesel dinosaurs. Some holdings are still in motion: You can take a 25-minute train ride around the grounds, and the 37-bay roundhouse has a still-working turntable that will give you a five-minute spin.

The weekend of Nov. 3-4 is when the museum, in conjunction with the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum, really accents motion – with a pair of one-day excursions that leave the grounds for trips through the autumn countryside.

Nov. 3, the Virginia Autumn Special leaves Spencer for Appomattox, Va. After a stop for additional passengers at the Greensboro station, the 25-car train crosses White Oak Mountain, the Dan and Roanoke rivers, turns east at Lynchburg and makes for Appomattox.

During the 2 1/2-hour layover, you can enjoy the shops and restaurants of Appomattox or board a shuttle bus and visit Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/apco; $3; 15 and younger, free) – where the Civil War ended in 1865 with Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender – or go to the Museum of the Confederacy’s newly opened Appomattox branch (www.moc.org; $6-$10).

On Nov. 4, the train departs Spencer at 7 a.m., arrives in Greensboro at 8 a.m., leaves Greensboro at 8:15 and is scheduled to arrive in Appomattox at noon. The train departs Appomattox at 2:45 p.m., stops at Greensboro at 6:30 and is scheduled to be back in Spencer at 8 p.m.

Only coach-class seats remain for this trip: $150 each, in modern Amtrak cars.

Nov. 4, the same cars will leave Spencer at 7 a.m., arrive in Spartanburg at 9:30 to take on more passengers, leave Spartanburg at 9:45 and arrive at noon at the northeast Georgia town of Toccoa. The route crosses rolling foothills and the 100-foot Seneca River bridge over Lake Hartwell. During the three-hour layover in Toccoa, you can attend the annual Harvest Festival (handmade, handcrafted, home-grown items from vendors; live entertainment, etc.) or take a bus shuttle to Toccoa Falls, the scenic 186-foot waterfall on the campus of Toccoa College.

The returning trail leaves Toccoa at 3 p.m., stops at Spartanburg at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to pull into Spencer at 8.

Only coach-class seats remain for this trip: $150 each, in modern Amtrak cars.

Coach-class passengers can bring their own food, buy food in the café car or buy a box lunch ($15; ordered in advance).

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases