Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2016 - 44
Steam trains carry passengers for five miles
on the Dollywood Express (above), using the
propulsion of two Baldwin, coal-fired steam
engines called Klondike Katie (No. 192) and
Cinderella (No. 70). Both were built by the
U.S. Army and used during World War II to
transport troops and lumber in Alaska.
Klondike Katie arrived in 1961 at what is now
Dollywood-a sprawling theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee-when it first opened
as Rebel Railroad. A few years later, Cinderella
became part of the scene.
The colder months of November and December may be the most nostalgic time to catch
this train, as it shows off the Christmas lights
of the park from unique vantage points. On
board the Dollywood Express bench seats,
you can also hear recordings of Dolly Parton
singing Christmas carols over the intercom.
TIPS FOR TRAVEL
While visiting Dollywood, stay at the new
Courtyard (865-436-2008) on Historic Nature
Trail in nearby Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Sample
fish and chips at Park Grill (865-436-2300)
and try the Hungry Hunters Huntcamp Skillet-with a hand-cut ribeye steak plus two
eggs-at Davy Crockett's Breakfast Camp
Still hungry? Dig into a calzone stuffed with
spinach and mushrooms at the Smoky Mountain Brewery (865-436-4200). - JT
The Durbin Rocket winds across West Virginia,
offering a steamy thrill ride.
ager, Scott Fortney. "But the state
doesn't have to worry about the
day-to-day commitments of operating the trains. So we focus on
the town part, evening activities
and remodeling the houses."
This 900-acre state park includes rows of company homes,
bordered by a boardwalk. Several
are available for overnight rentals.
"Cass is one of those places that
we don't want to lose because of
the history," says Tammy Caloccia, a specialist at the Cass Visi-