Smoky Mountain Meanderings
Great Smoky Mountains Railway

The depot at Bryson City
The GSMR depot at Bryson City, North Carolina, is the starting point for the Nantahala Gorge excursion, a round trip of 44 miles lasting four and a half hours including a lunch break at the Nantahala Gorge activity centre. Other GSMR excursions from their extensive programme depart from depots at Dillsboro and Andrews.
Train being prepared
Our train at the Bryson City depot waiting for preparations to be completed.  Public liability is a real concern for the operators with the platform remaining roped off from the tracks until just before passengers are allowed to board.  This despite the train and tracks being completely open to the city street on the other side!
GSMR locomotve #1702
A view of GSMR's only steam loco, #1702, built by Baldwin in 1942 for the US Army.  Originally a coal burner this Consolidation is now oil-fired.
Rebuilt heavyweight car 6118
One of the GSMR's passenger cars, in this case a rebuilt heavyweight air-conditioned coach car.  The size of US passenger stock compared to British railway coaches is quite startling. The GSMR has a range of passenger cars from which customers can select the level of comfort they require.  Whilst there would have been more photographic opportunities from an open car we were grateful we booked an air-conditioned coach as on the day we travelled temperatures were in the mid-90s (F).
The train snaking throug the gorge
The Nantahala (land of the noon time sun) Gorge excursion travels through stunning mountain countryside really bringing home the difficulties of opening up such an area to the railways.
GSMR EMD GP9 #210
The majority of GSMR services are diesel hauled (as was our excursion in one direction).  This is one of GSMR's EMD GP9s which has brought another excursion into the gorge from Andrews.  The GSMR is a commercial concern, not a preserved railway, and goes to great lengths to promote itself.  The writing on the high hood informs passengers that the loco was used in the filming on the railway of "My Fellow Americans" starring Jack Lemmon, James Garner and Dan Ackroyd.   The spectacular train crash sequence in "The Fugitive" was also staged on the GSMR, though not the section we traversed on this excursion.

 

ATLANTA
CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN INCLINE RAILWAY
TENNESSEE VALLEY RAILROAD MUSEUM
SALUDA
NORTH CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM
MISC!

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