Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ridin' the Crazy Train

DH, Moe, and I rode an old train today. And it was a lot of fun.

We drove up into North Georgia to Blue Ridge, GA, and rode on their old rail line - the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

We got our tickets and looked at the train. It's made up of older cars that have been refurbished.

Some cars, like this one, were open air. This would be great in the fall - but since it was so hot, I opted for an air conditioned car.

We were on car 332 - it was cheery and bright. Before it was refurbished, this car had a darker past. This was supposedly the very last rail car made under Jim Crow rules - designed for segregated seating of black and white folks. I'm glad those days are gone.

As we waited in our car for the trip to start, we saw a tiny train which sent us on our way!

The trip was not a long one, but the scenery was gorgeous. The tracks follow the path of the Toccoa River, which flows north into Tennessee.

Here's the basic path. This line started before the Civil War, part of the narrow gauge line known as the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad. The current line is staffed mostly by volunteers!

Here's a lovely home along the way. According to our guide, the home was owned by a railroad conductor who built the home and raised 11 children on the grand salary of fifty cents a day.

We saw a lot of pretty scenery as we made our trip. This is an ancient Native American fish trap in the Toccoa River, which flows right to left here. They put rocks in the river and herded fish into the V of the trap.

And soon enough we were at our destination. This little town is split by the GA/TN state line, so it's two towns in one.

The state line runs straight through the town, marked by a blue line. Moe's big dogs are in seperate states.

The town is quaint, with the Toccoa River running straight through it. Lots of rafting/tubing companies are based in the area. The town used to have copper mines, but they closed up years ago.

Other residents enjoy the river. We grabbed some lunch (sandwiches we brought) and browsed some shops.

This is just wrong. (The candies are feather shapes!)

After a two hour layover, we got back on the train and headed back to Blue Ridge.

We met the jolly conductor. What a fun job!

We were tired on the trip back - it was really hot that day, and we walked around for hours in it. (DH later told me his feet hurt. He was wearing shoes with no supports.)

Soon enough we got home. The train pulled into the station and we found our car and headed home.

Here's a little treat for you, a little movie I took on the trip. You can hear the train sounds well, and see the river through the trees.

A fun day - I recommend riding the rails!


  1. That does look fun. We rode the rails on the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago - not as impressive as your train by any means.

  2. We rode the little train around the base of Stone Mountain back about 30 years ago - wasn't quite this hot, but it was hot enough. We love riding trains, too!

    So glad you got to have a "mini-vacation!"

  3. Hubby and I did this a couple weeks ago as part of our anniversary/house-hunting road trip! (We're looking to buy a retirement home in north Georgia.) We rode in the first open car, which was a lot of fun, and not too hot.

  4. What a cool trip--and fantastic means of travel. My fantasy vacation (one of them, anyway) is to take a train through the Canadian Rockies.

  5. Ah, the romance of a scenic train journey! Loved this post, the first one I read upon my return from Maine.

    One day I hope to travel by train (dreams of the Hogwarts Express wouldn't be too far-fetched, would they?)

    So glad you got to enjoy this getaway!

  6. Aren't train rides great! We went by train to McCaysville/Copperhill last year, but from the other direction. As part of our Chattanooga vacation, we caught a Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum train from Etowah, TN. In the little restaurant where we had lunch, the staff delighted in telling the customers that the dining room was in GA, but if they wanted to use the facilities, they would have to walk to TN.