Autumn train excursion to Asheville, Oct. 31

The N.C. Transportation Museum offers two autumn train excursion day trips from Spencer, S.C. One makes the round-trip journey to Asheville on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Press release from event organizers:

Now in its ninth year, one of the N.C. Transportation Museum’s most popular offerings combines the romance of rail travel, a great destination and the convenience of a day trip. Autumn Train Excursions offer the rare opportunity to take a daylight train trip on vintage rail cars through beautiful countryside. Trips typically sell out, so those wishing to purchase are urged to act quickly.

These excursion trains will carry nearly 1,000 people to Asheville Saturday, Oct. 31, and to Charlottesville, Va., Nov. 1. Excursions are presented by the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum, and act as fundraisers for both organizations.

The Blue Ridge Autumn Special will travel through the western North Carolina Piedmont, into the foothills and on to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Departing Spencer at 7 a.m., the train will roll through the cities of Statesville, Hickory, Morganton, Marion, Black Mountain and Swannanoa, climbing the famed “loops” of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the way. The train will pass through several tunnels and by the Andrews Geyser, a spectacular sight, before arriving in Asheville at noon.

Passengers will have nearly three hours for an outing at Biltmore Village. Established in the late 1890s as a planned community near the entrance of the Biltmore estate, Biltmore Village offers shopping in unique, locally-owned boutiques. Passengers can dine in restaurants and walk along brick sidewalks that parallel tree-lined streets. All of this will be enjoyed alongside spectacular views of the North Carolina Mountains. Departing Asheville at 3 p.m., the Blue Ridge Autumn Special will return to Spencer at 8 p.m.

The Virginia Autumn Special will depart Spencer, NC at 7:00 am Sunday, November 1, there will be a second passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station at 8 a.m., allowing for a more convenient boarding opportunity for those living in the Triad. Passing through the North Carolina cities of Thomasville, High Point and Reidsville, and the Virginia cities of Danville, Lynchburg and Oak Ridge, passengers will experience the Piedmont countryside and rolling hills of Central Virginia. Spectacular views of the Dan, Roanoke and James Rivers will also be seen as the train crosses above. The train will even pass by Schuyler, the mountain town fictionalized in the television show “The Waltons.”

At noon, the Virginia Autumn Special will arrive in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia.  Travelers will have nearly three hours to explore the historic downtown area.  A short walk takes you to the Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall, considered one of the most beautiful and successful pedestrian malls in the nation. Unique shopping and dining opportunities can be found in boutiques, specialty wine, coffee and tea shops and outdoor dining spots.

Departing Charlottesville around 3 p.m., the train will drop off Greensboro passengers shortly before 7 p.m., and will arrive back in Spencer around 8 p.m.

Tourist Class seating features the comfort and convenience of modern passenger cars. Two seats, with adjustable backs, are on each side of the center aisle, with a window at each row. The cars are climate controlled and have rest rooms. The Souvenir and Cafe cars are located near the Tourist Class section. Tourist Class tickets are $160/person.

A gourmet boxed lunch will be available for those wishing to use their time at our destination for shopping and sightseeing. Available for $15/person, lunches include includes turkey, Swiss cheese & cucumbers with buttermilk ranch dressing on a croissant with pasta salad, cookie and a drink in a reusable souvenir tote.

Commemorative T-shirts will also be available. Featuring the unique Autumn Rails logo, these shirts can be added to the ticket purchase and received as passengers arrive for the journey. T-shirts are available in sizes from adult small to XXXL. T-shirts are $20/each for all sizes.

Due to a change in state law, state sales tax will also be applied to ticket purchases/ 
For information or to order tickets, please call (704) 636-2889, ext. 224 or 237. More information and tickets can be found at


About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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2 thoughts on “Autumn train excursion to Asheville, Oct. 31

    • Alli Marshall

      According to the NC Transportation Museum’s website, the museum is handicap accessible and for information on the trains you should call 704-636-2889.

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