- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Travelers along Hwy. 58 or Blair Road in Roane County on the first or third Saturday of April may hear a diesel horn echoing through the hills, or see a very visible sign of spring in the vintage passenger train that looks like it rumbled right out of the 1940s.
April is the month when buds on the trees of Poplar Creek Valley start turning green, and the Secret City Scenic Excursion Train starts showing up to take happy passengers through the hardwoods and meadows of the valley.
The route also conveys passengers through the historic Manhattan Project K-25 uranium enrichment complex, now known as East Tennessee Technology Park, while car hosts on board tell the story of the greatest wartime engineering feat of all time.
Coaches used for the trips date back as far as 1924 and 1947. The train is heated and air conditioned and has restrooms on board.
Also included is a commissary car where refreshments and souvenirs may be purchased.
The rides last about an hour and 15 minutes.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-12.
Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling the museum at 865-241-2140.
For a really unique ride, a former Southern Railway caboose is also available for charter on the trips at $100 for up to 10 people.
Three departures are available on the first and third Saturdays of each month April through September.
Departure times are at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.
A classic dinner train is available by advance reservation only at 6 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
Information is available at 865-241-2140, or on the museum’s website at www.southernappalachia.railway.museum.
All trains board next to the Heritage Center off Hwy. 58, 10 miles west of downtown Oak Ridge and six miles north of Interstate 40 exit 356.
The Southern Appalachia Railway Museum is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go into
insurance, supplies, equipment |restoration and maintenance
and operation of the excursion train.
The museum’s volunteers are dedicated to the preservation of Tennessee’s railroading history and the public’s enjoyment of the bygone era of rail travel.
Anyone 18 or older can join the museum for an annual membership fee. Special skills are appreciated but not required.
The group is conducting a fundraising drive for construction of its museum/depot on five acres of land that has been transferred to museum ownership.
The building has been designed, and site preparation is under way.
A grant for part of the con-
struction cost is in place, but
significant costs over and above the grant are to be borne by the museum.
All contributions are gratefully accepted and are fully tax-deductible. The museum can be contacted by writing to P.O. Box 6756, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, or by calling 865-241-2140.