The New Hope Valley Railway Operate-a-Loco program puts YOU in the engineer’s seat of one of our diesel or steam locomotives. Spend an hour at the throttle on the 8-mile New Hope Valley Railway route through the North Carolina piney woods. Experience the thrill of driving a real railroad locomotive.
The Operate-a-Loco program is open to anyone aged 16 and up with a valid driver’s license. Participants will operate a locomotive that is not connected to a train. Diesel participants will be able to bring up to 3 additional people as riders. Unfortunately, due to the very limited space available, Steam Operate-a-Loco participants will only be able to bring along one additional person as a passenger in the cab.
Operate-a-Loco participants who choose the Steam locomotive option will experience what it must have been like to run a steam engine during railroading’s golden age! Sound like fun? It is, but it is not for the faint of heart. Long pants and closed toed shoes are required and long sleeve shirts are recommended. Temperatures inside the steam locomotive cab routinely rise above 14o degrees Fahrenheit (up to 150 degrees in the summer), so be sure you can take the heat! You must be able to climb into the locomotive cab and stand for more than an hour without assistance. Bring your own gloves if you have them, or you can borrow a pair of ours. Steam Operate-a-Loco sessions may take up to two hours depending upon the level of participation.
And yes, you can blow the whistle!
Operate-a-Loco fare is $125 for Diesel / $250 for Steam.
Celebrate the rail fan in your life by giving them a party at the Triangle’s Train! Our vintage 1913 caboose is available for rent as a party room for birthdays and other events. Tables and chairs are provided, so all you need do is bring the party favors, decorations, refreshments and guest of honor!
The caboose rents for $75 for the first two hours and $25 each additional hour Parties may be booked for 10: a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. The caboose is not part of the regular train and does not move during parties. However, if your party is scheduled on one of our Ride Days, you may purchase tickets online and in advance for your group at regular ticket prices, $10 adult/$7 child.
Make party reservations at least two weeks before you would like to hold your event by emailing info@TriangleTrain.com or calling 919.362.5416 and to speak with the agent on duty at the Yard Office any Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you get voicemail, please leave a detailed message.
Come out for a spooktacular nightime ride on the last two Saturdays in October. You never know when ghosts and goblins might pop up along the track as we chug through the haunted woods on our Halloween Trains.
Did you know that one of Santa’s traditions is visiting the New Hope Valley Railway to ride the Triangle’s Train each December? Santa comes directly from the North Pole on Saturday and Sunday during the first two weekends in December. The locomotives, train cars and rail yard are decorated for the holidays in anticipation of his arrival.
Good little boys and girls have the opportunity to take a train ride with Santa along eight miles of scenic tracks. Bundle up to ride in the open air cars with Santa during one of the five train ride times offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first two Saturdays and Sundays in December.
Everyone enjoys a ride on the railroad, so get your group together for a weekday visit with us in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Bookings are available for:
School Field Trips
Clubs and Organizations
Group Ride Trains are diesel powered and operate on the third Friday of each month from April through November. Trains leave the Bonsal Depot promptly at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the ride.
Groups must book in advance by sending us an email at email@example.com or by calling 919.362.5416 and speaking with the agent on duty at the Yard Office any Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least two weeks before the day of your group event.
Group fares are $50 or actual ticket prices per person ($10 adult/$7 child), whichever is greater.
A non-refundable advance payment of $50 is required to hold your reservation. This deposit is deducted from the actual fare to be paid on the day of the ride.