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Tickets on sale now for rail excursions

SPENCER – For the past eight years, N.C. Transportation Museum Autumn Train Excursions have combined railroading, history, travel, shopping, dining and fun. This year’s day trips continue that tradition Nov. 1 and 2. Passengers will experience Civil War history with a trip to Appomattox, Va. Nov. 1 and harvest festival delights during a trip to Toccoa, Ga. Nov. 2. Tickets are on sale now.
Autumn Train Excursions offer a daylight train trip on vintage rail cars through beautiful countryside. Trips typically sell out, so those wishing to buy tickets are urged to act quickly. These one-day trips are presented by the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum and are fundraisers for both organizations.
Civil War history will be all around for the Virginia Autumn Special. Departing from the museum grounds in Spencer, with additional passenger pick-up in Greensboro, passengers will arrive in one of the nation’s most historic towns around noon.
Passengers will disembark at the restored Appomattox Station, once a stop for the South Side Railroad in the late 1800s and now home to the Appomattox Visitor Information Center. This small town holds claim to one of the most significant moments in U.S. history – the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to end the Civil War and reunite a divided nation.
Virginia Autumn Special passengers can enjoy the historic shops and restaurants of Appomattox’s downtown, or, for a nominal additional fee, explore either the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park or the Museum of the Confederacy’s Appomattox site. Shuttle buses will provide transportation to both sites. We strongly recommend that passengers planning to visit either of these sites pack a lunch, pre-purchase a box lunch or plan to buy lunch on the café car, due to time limitations at the destination.
The Georgia Autumn Special will leave Spencer with additional passenger pick up at the Spartanburg, S.C., Amtrak Station. Nestled in the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the historic town will be bustling with activity during the 38th annual Harvest Festival. Passengers will have three hours to enjoy the festival, which features handcrafted and home-grown items from more than 200 vendors, as well as regional foods, entertainment on two stages, children and youth activities, buggy rides and much more.
Toccoa Falls, named for the Cherokee word “Toccoah,” meaning beautiful, is a must-see. Located on the campus of Toccoa College, the 186-foot falls are 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls. Shuttle buses will make a continuous loop between downtown Toccoa and Toccoa Falls.
Four seating options are offered for excursion passengers as part of the ticket purchase. Each seating class offers different amenities.
Dome Class passengers are seated in the upper level of a glass dome-topped car and enjoy outstanding panoramic views. Dome passengers will need to be able to climb a short set of stairs to reach their seats. This seating class includes breakfast and dinner on the dining car. Amenities include morning newspaper, light snacks and beverages onboard. Dome class seating is $295 per person.
First Class seating is available onboard a selection of beautifully restored 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, light snacks and beverages onboard. First Class seating is $265 per person.
Deluxe Coach passengers ride in comfort with spacious seating, adjustable seat backs, leg rests and large windows to view the scenery. This seating class includes lunch on a vintage dining car, as well as complimentary light snacks and beverages onboard. Deluxe Coach seating is $190 per person.
Tourist Class seating features the comfort and convenience of modern Amtrak passenger cars. Two seats, featuring adjustable backs, are on each side of the center aisle, with a window at each row. The Souvenir and Cafe cars are located at the rear of the Tourist Class section. Tourist Class seating is $155 per person.
Additional trip options include a $15 gourmet boxed lunch that passengers can enjoy on the train to save time for shopping and sightseeing during the trip.
Commemorative T-shirts feature the Autumn Rails trip logo and are available in slate blue or pistachio green. T-shirts are $20 each and available from adult small to XXXL sizes.
Those traveling to Appomattox have access to advance tickets to the Museum of Confederacy Appomattox site or the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park when purchased as part of Autumn Train Excursion ticket. Admission to the Museum of the Confederacy is just $6.50 per person. Admission to the Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park is $3 per person.
Additional information regarding seating and amenities and online purchase options are available at www.nctrans.org. Those wishing to reserve seats can also call 704-636-2889 ext. 257 or 237. Tickets are on sale now.

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