Monday, June 2, 2008

New Hope Valley Train Ride

Taking a great train ride only a few minutes south of Apex in the central North Carolina area offers a fun afternoon for the whole family as well as a look back at a piece of North Carolina's train heritage.

We decided to take this trip on my wife's birthday and invited our children and their families for an outing on the hottest spring day in 2008. All fifteen of us arrived at the agreed upon time at the New Hope Valley Railway parking lot and boarded the caboose of the train loaded with some two hundred other brave souls. The crowd quickly filled the two covered cars, the open car and the two cabooses and the crowd cheered when the train engineer began blowing the horn to signal the start of the ride.

Tickets for the one hour ride through remote farmland to New Hill and back to Bonsal were $9.00 per adult and $6.00 per child (ages 2-12) in 2008. Check the NHVR website for current pricing and schedules before making the drive. Rides are offered monthly on selected days from May through December and during holiday times.

While at the railroad park, check out the local train museum beside the boarding area and the display of small trains beside the parking area. Directions to the train location are posted on the NHVR website and the trip provides a short scenic drive through a rural area of southern North Carolina. Head south through Apex on old US 1 until you arrive in Bonsal, then follow the signs to the railway site.

Read more about the NHVR from a recent news article...
News & Observer
June 2, 2008
Sabine Bollmer, Staff Writer

Train fans climb aboard historic railway

BONSAL - The No. 17 steam engine left the tiny Bonsal train station shortly after noon Sunday, pulling three cars filled with more than 200 riders.

A dark plume billowed out of the locomotive's smokestack. Streaks of white steam shot up as the whistle blew. The New Hope Valley Railway's first steam engine ride of the season took off on its bumpy and noisy nine-mile trip.

Among those on board were a little boy wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt, a grandmother in a colorful Indian sari and a woman in a wheelchair. Read more...

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