Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

One of USA Today’s “Top 10 American Train Rides”

Based in Bryson City, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad operates scenic rail excursions through our remote corner of North Carolina, traveling through tunnels, across rivers and lakes, through mountain valleys and into a deep river gorge. Some rides are with the diesel engine and some are with the newly restored steam engine #1702. When the steam is running you will also have the chance to watch the people-powered engine turntable in action. The steam shed, right next to the turntable, is for servicing and storing the train between excursions.

The steam engine #1702 has returned to the mountains after and 11-year hiatus including a 2-year complete refurbishing. Rides include both the Nantahala and the Tuckasegee River routes. The #1702 will be on display for photo opportunities. Steam Schedule & Tickets

Excursions from Bryson City

Nantahala Gorge This 4-1/2 hour excursion makes a 44 mile round trip to the Nantahala Gorge, crossing the historic Fontana Lake trestle. There’s a 1-hour layover at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), and options for packages including rafting, zip-lining and jeep tours. Trains to the gorge in summer and fall also include an all-adult first class moonshine car – The Carolina Shine – featuring spirits from NC craft distilleries. Schedule & Tickets

Tuckasegee River This 4-hour excursion makes a 32 mile round trip to the quaint village of Dillsboro, passing by the train wreck set in The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford and through a tunnel. There is a 1-1/2 hour layover in Dillsboro. Schedule & Tickets



In Bryson City, Three People Pushed a 177-ton Locomotive

On some rail excursions you can watch – or join – this super-human event.

Themed Trains

In 2017, more than 88,000 people rode the Polar Express Christmas excursion making it one of the most popular holiday events in the Smokies.

Other family-oriented excursions include two PEANUTS-themed events — the Easter Beagle Express in spring, and the Great Pumpkin Patch Express in October. As well as the July 4 Freedom Train.

Special dining events include BBQ & Brews and “Uncorked” wine experience.

All themed train tickets and schedules…

Model Train Museum

Rail excursion tickets include same-day admission to Smoky Mountains Museum, with its collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout and children’s activity center.

Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Karen Proctor Wilmot
Executive Director

800-867-9246 toll-free

828-488-3681 local

828-488-6858 fax

Free 2019 Travel Guide to the Smokies — Includes the Official 2019 All Aboard for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.