great smoky mountain railroad

Everything You Need to Know About the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

While you’re staying with us in Murphy, you are probably wondering what you can do for fun. You should take your family to ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad! We want to share information about this fun attraction with you. Here’s everything you need to know about the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad:


great smoky mountain railroad engineThis train attraction is located in Bryson City, North Carolina. It is located at 45 Mitchell Street and is just a few minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The train starts at the station and takes you through the countryside through western North Carolina.

Types of Trips

There are two different scenic trips you can take on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. You also have a few choices when it comes to how you ride the train.

Nantahala Gorge Excursion

nantahala riverThe first is the Nantahala Gorge Excursion. You’ll ride alongside the Nantahala River. The ride lasts 4.5 hours. At the halfway mark, there is a layover at NOC, or Nantahala Outdoor Center. You get to explore the area, then board the train to come back to the station.

Tuckasegee River Excursion

The second trip is the Tuckasegee River Excursion. You’ll make your way past the quiet countryside and arrive at Dillsboro, North Carolina for a layover where you can explore the small town and shops. Once the layover is over, you make your way back to the station.

Classes of Service

great smoky mountain railroad engineWhen you purchase tickets, you get to decide which class you ride in on the trains. First, you choose if you want to ride on the steam engine or the diesel engine train. Then, you get to choose what class you want to ride in. First class is for passengers who are 21 years old and up. They serve brunch or lunch, depending on the time. Everyone receives a drink with free refills, and couples get a souvenir tote bag. There’s also a family first class option that includes children.

There’s an open air gondola and a premium open air gondola. The train car has open air seating with a roof above heads to protect everyone from the elements. With these unobstructed views, you’ll be able to see the beauty of the area as you ride.

Mother and daughter looking out the window of a train.Crown class includes a climate controlled car with large picture windows. Seats are assigned in this area. You will receive a free souvenir tote with free refills. Near the end of the ride, the conductor will ask passengers to switch sides so they can see the view in a new perspective.

Coach class is another option on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. It is open seating in an enclosed car with windows that open for fresh air.


Blue Ridge Scenic RailwayThere are a couple of events this attraction offers. You can choose to do the Fontana Trestle Train ft. BBQ & Brews. You will be able to ride on one of the trains to Fontana Trestle then run parallel to Fontana Lake. During the trip, everyone in your group will get a basket filled with pulled pork slider, pork ribs, chicken drumstick, baked beans, coleslaw, and apple cobbler for dessert.

The most popular event is The Polar Express Train Ride. The trip is 1 hour and 15 minutes roundtrip, with a special visit to the North Pole. Guests will enjoy hot cocoa and a treat while aboard the train. This event is only available in November and December.

Find out more about other railroad attractions in Murphy NC!

Now you know a little more about the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Since you have an idea of what you will do when you’re in town, you just need a place to stay! Look through our cabins in Murphy NC and start planning your next vacation!