The Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society has announced two unique round trip train excursions that will take place the first weekend in November.
For the first time in over 15 years the trip scheduled for Saturday, November, 5 will run from Roanoke to Abingdon, where passengers will have over three hours to see a variety of pre civil war historical attractions such as the “Barter Theatre” and the “Martha Washington Inn.” The newly opened Southwest Virginia Artisan Gateway “Heartwood” will complement the traditional attractions in this historic town. Passengers will also have the opportunity to stay on the train to nearby Bristol where seats will be turned for the return trip.
Always among the most popular routes, the Bluefield trip is Scheduled to run out of Roanoke on Sunday, November 6. The train will head up to the “Eastern Continental Divide” before following the scenic New River for 38 isolated miles into the Narrows before reaching the West Virginia State Line. Another steep grade will take the train to “nature’s air- conditioned city,” Bluefield, where passengers will be within a short walking distance of several restaurants and outdoor vendors. The Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau has many special activities planned for the train’s passengers.
The Abingdon (Bristol) trip will depart Roanoke at 8:00 AM EDT, arrive Abingdon at 11:45 AM, leave Abingdon at 3:15PM, and return to Roanoke by 7:00PM EDT. Special activities have been planned by the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau. In addition to many dining options in Abingdon, a box lunch is available for purchase in advance by passengers and is highly recommended for those choosing to remain on the train to Bristol.
The Bluefield trip will depart Roanoke at 8:00AM EST arrive Bluefield at 11:30AM, leave. Bluefield at 2:00PM, and return to Roanoke by 6:00 PM EST. Both trains will have comfortable, carpeted Amfleet coaches with convenient rest room facilities, hosted by informative car hosts. In addition to Coach Class, the Roanoke Chapter is offering two types of First Class service on board. There are magnificent, glass enclosed dome cars as well as luxurious lounge cars. The Chapter will have complementary musical entertainment aboard and lite snacks, beverages, and souvenirs will also be for sale.
The Roanoke Chapter NRHS is a non-porfit organization, and proceeds from these trips are used to restore and preserve historic railroad equipment and facilities in the Roanoke area.
Cost of either trip is $150 for adults and $95 for children in coach. Dome Class is $275 and Lounge Class is $215. Tickets for any class are available from Roanoke Chapter by calling (540) 774-0611 or go to www.RoanokeNRHS.org. Coach Class tickets are available from: O. Winston Link Museum – 540-982-5465. Virginia Museum of Transportation – 540-342-5670 and the Norfolk and Western Historical Society – Internet only www.nwhs.org