Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 42

forces folks to return to true
communication-like talking, face-to-face, and smiling as you pass.
Over a long weekend, I board
train after train in West
Virginia-with names like
Mountain Explorer and the
Durbin Rocket.
"So, you're riding five
trains in three days?" Cass
conductor Chris Varner
asks me. "You're riding all
the trains we've got."
Well, almost. There's yet
another I didn't see: the
Polar Express that seasonally runs north of Elkins
on yet more tracks. Still,
I'm taking trains on virtually all the lines operated
by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, which
contracts with the West
Virginia State Rail Authority to provide rides in the
Mountain State.
It's a network that is grow42 BlueRidgeCountry.com

Chattanooga Choo
Choos
Like a rolling time machine, the
Missionary Ridge Local provides
a bite-size train trip, crossing four
bridges on a six-mile, round-trip ride.
You witness a locomotive moved on
a turntable and take a tour of a repair
shop.
But, wait -there is more to this short
track on the outskirts of downtown
Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the historic
Missionary Ridge Tunnel," train conductor Travis Gordon announces on
a Sunday afternoon as the popular
passenger train snakes through a
986-foot-long subterranean passage.
Onboard passengers whoop and
cheer as the train slips in and out of
this 1858 tunnel's openings, shaped
like upside-down horseshoes.
Besides the Missionary Ridge Local,
the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum also offers longer train rides at
Etowah, Tennessee, as well as parts of
Georgia. "Every week, it's something
new. It's a great time," says volunteer
trainman Mike Beahm, 38. "We have
all the other trips - the Halloween
Special - and we'll flip it up and do
the North Pole Special after that."
tvrail.com/423-894-8028. --JT

ing-and changing, too.
Over the past year, train
operations at Cass Scenic
Railroad State Park have
been leased to the Durbin
& Greenbrier Valley Railroad.
"Everything is still a state
park," says Cass's park man-


http://www.tvrail.com http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016

Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 17
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 21
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 34
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 36
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 42
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Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - Cover4
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