SMOKE & CINDERS (1ST QUARTER 2018) – HIWASSEE RIVER RAILROAD: ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE
A Memorable Year of Progress: Hiwassee District of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in 2018
In 2018, the Hiwassee District of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) marked a significant year of achievements and progress. The year was distinguished by setting an attendance record with over 18,000 passengers, launching a new ride option for schools, introducing a dome car into service, and making crucial infrastructural additions at the Gee Creek loading ramp.
A notable highlight of the year was the introduction of school field trips. Launched initially in 2017, this has rapidly become popular with area schools, offering many students their first train ride experience. The journey, which begins from the ramp at Gee Creek/ Hiwassee-Ocoee River State Park and travels south to the Appalachia Powerhouse, is packed with abundant learning opportunities.
In 2018, TVRM acquired a Budd dome/coach for use on the Hiwassee train. This vintage car, constructed in 1955 for the Great Northern Railway, has had a storied journey across several railway lines before making its home with TVRM. The dome car offers a unique blend of comfort and nostalgia, boasting 20 First Class Dome seats and 40 regular Coach Class seats.
Several significant enhancements were made to the Gee Creek facility. These included the addition of a roof over the loading ramp, the acquisition of a “Depot” for storage and minor maintenance tasks, the construction of platforms for train crews, and the installation of water and electricity lines to each platform. Perhaps the most modern addition was the installation of WiFi Internet and a telephone line, enhancing operational efficiency.
The Hiwassee River Rail Adventure, with its rich historical backdrop dating back to the 1880s and breathtaking scenery, invites you to come aboard and immerse yourself in an unforgettable journey. As we gear up for another exciting year, we remain committed to enhancing our visitors’ experiences and preserving the vibrant history of rail travel.
With heartfelt gratitude, we’d like to extend our thanks to our generous supporters, from the Chairman of the Board to the many contributors at all levels. Your support enables us to keep this heritage alive for future generations to enjoy. Here’s to making more memories on the tracks in the years to come!