Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Steamtown National Historic Site

Bryson City. North Carolina

All aboard for rail adventure! The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes you through a remote corner of western North Carolina into river gorges, across fertile valleys and through tunnels carved out of mountains.

Enjoy the warm summer breezes and crisp fall air while you take in the panoramic views from your open car featuring long padded outward facing seats. If you are traveling with a group of adults, upgrade to our club car and savor muffins and fresh fruit on the outbound trip and a champagne toast with cheese & crackers on your return.

Dine at your leisure and make the most of your layover by preordering a picnic lunch, or take advantage of restaurant style dining in our Silver Meteor Dining Car.

Nantahala Gorge Excursion This 4 hour westbound excursion carries you 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again. Travel the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers across Fontana Lake and into the magic of the Nantahala Gorge. There is a one hour layover at the Nantahala Outdoor Center for sightseeing, a picnic lunch by the river and just plain relaxing.

Tuckasegee River Excursion This 32 mile roundtrip excursion travels eastbound along the Tuckasegee River through old railroad towns and scenic meadows. The train ventures into the historic Cowee Tunnel before passing the movie The Fugitive train wreck. The approximate 4 hour trip includes a 1 hour layover in the town of Dillsboro. There's time to shop, snack and explore this charming country village.

Raft & Rail Make the most of your Smoky Mountain experience and combine your train excursion with unforgettable river rafting. A fun-filled adventure for all ages, this trip is a favorite for first-timers and seasoned paddlers alike. Travel by rail 22 miles along the foothills of the Smokies and up the Nantahala River Gorge. At the top-of-the-line join your professional team of rafting guides for a 2 hour whitewater trip down the Nantahala River. Raft with a guide or on your own with guide assistance through eight miles of waves and swift currents.

Mystery Theatre Dinner Train The suspense builds as the plot thickens, all while you enjoy a lovely three course prime rib dinner aboard our restored dining cars. Passengers participate in solving the hilarious and rousing three hour performance on board. Saturday evenings May 16 through September 26 (

Featured Special Events You don't want to miss our special events; an exciting twist on an already unforgettable journey.
The Lone Ranger™ rides again! Join in on the fun as America's favorite hero and his faithful companion Tonto save the train from bandits. May 23 & 24, 30 & 31 and August 22 & 23, 29 & 30
Day Out with Thomas™ Enjoy this family oriented event where the story-book character Thomas the Tank Engine comes to life as a real steam coal fired operating locomotive. With each ticket, there will be a wide range of fun to be had, including: 25 Minute train rides pulled by Thomas and other activities including The Imagination Station’s interactive play center, arts and crafts, storytelling, video viewing and live music throughout the day – you even get to meet Sir Topham Hatt (the Railroad Controller) and have your photo taken with Thomas! July 24-28 and July 30-August 2.
RAILFEST Three days of railroad fun where enthusiasts and history buffs worldwide gather to see and ride historic railroad equipment. Enjoy visiting equipment, motor car displays and musical performances as you witness railroad history in the making. September 18-20
PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express Meet Charlie Brown, Lucy, & Snoopy and select your own pumpkin. A fun-filled outing with live music, hay bale maze, bouncy house, peanuts gift shop, petting zoo, and trick or treating! October 2-25; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only
The Polar Express™ comes to life when the train departs Bryson city for a journey to our North Pole. Read along with the magical story and meet Santa. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa, a special treat and a memento for the children. November 6-December 23, special 1 hour 15 minute rides
New Year’s Eve Gala Celebrate the New Year uniquely onboard our New Year's Eve Gala! A festive, fun-filled evening featuring dining, dancing and live entertainment. Welcome in the New Year railroad style!

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers excursions year round.  Schedules and fares vary based on season and excursion.  Call 800-872-4681 or visit for the most current information.  

Take a ride with us for a journey you’ll always remember.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
PO Box 1490
Bryson, NC  28713


phone: 1-800-872-4681

Robert Van Camp
Creator and Producer
Great Scenic Railway Journeys

Notes from the creator and producer.