Yesterday i took my cab ride on the GSMRR, and what a ride. This line runs on a branch of what was the Southern Railroad known as the Murphy Branch. It runs one hundred eleven miles from Ashville to Murphy NC. Today Norfolk Southern owns the line from Asheville to mile post forty seven. From mile post 47, just east of Dillsboro, to Milepost 98 in Andrews is owned by GSMRR. From Andrews to Murphy is owned by the State of North Carolina and is unused. The line is a series of sharp curves and steep grades to almost 5%, trestles over rivers and tunnels under mountains.
I rode from Mile 63 in Bryson City to mile post 86 in Nantahala. Thanks to Engineer Dale and Brakeman Duane i got to see how difficult it is to keep a locomotive running smoothly while going up and down hills, rounding sharp curves, and negotiating narrow trestles. tomorrow i will upload two videos i shot. First going round Horseshoe Curve #2. As you come out of this 12 degree curve i’m told when there are no leaves on the trees you can see the last car just entering the curve. The next is on the 426 foot trestle over the Tuckasegee River.
A number of films have been shot on the GSMRR including the Fugitive with Harrison Ford, and Forces of Nature which Beatrice will tell you about.
Recently the GSMRR has purchased a Swedish locomotive and 9 Swedish passenger cars from the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (remember them from last October) and plan to use them as the “Hogwarts Express”. When the folks at GSMRR told me of this they could not believe that Beatrice and I had seen this train on our trip last fall. We are all excited and are planning a return visit once it is running.