For the first time since the organization’s inception in 1984, New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR), the Triangle’s Train, is moving its public ride days from Sunday to the second Saturday of each month beginning in April through November.
“We’re now offering our steam and diesel locomotive ride days on Saturdays for the first time in 30 years,” says NHVR President Mike MacLean. “Families and train enthusiasts who visit will find our rail yard fascinating and full of history – from our North Carolina Railroad Museum to the Cliffside Railroad 110 historic steam locomotive that we’re restoring.”
MacLean says the railway got its start by giving train rides to church groups after Sunday services. He believes Saturdays will bring in more visitors who can explore all that the volunteer-operated railway has to offer, including a G-scale miniature garden railroad, a gift shop and children’s storybook readings while they wait for their train ride.
NHVR kicks off its 2014 ride season on Saturday, April 12, in conjunction with the North Carolina Science Festival at the NHVR train yard in Bonsal, N.C., located 30-minutes south of downtown Raleigh off U.S. 1, Exit 89.
Public ride days are now held on the second Saturday of each month. Visitors can pay to ride in passenger cars pulled by either a diesel locomotive or a steam engine on a one-hour, round-trip ride through the scenic woods. On the fourth Friday of the month will be a diesel train excursion ride at 10 a.m.
The Track or Treat Halloween Express lets children dress up in their Halloween costumes when visiting the rail yard on special ride days in October and in December Holiday Santa Trains give children a chance to meet Santa Claus while riding a decorated train.
In addition, two Sunday special event ride days are planned. The Sundae Special will take place on Sunday, July 25. Every ticket holder will get free ice cream in the railway yard before or after riding the train. A Food Truck Rodeo is planned for Sunday, Sept. 21.
NHVR’s Operate-A-Loco program allows individuals to drive a real railroad locomotive. It costs $125 to operate the diesel locomotive and $250 to operate the steam engine.
The North Carolina Railway Museum, G Scale model garden railroad and gift shop will be open during all ride days and food will be provided by the Manna Concessions and Catering food truck, which serves snacks, drinks and a variety of food items, including hot dogs and gourmet grilled cheese.
Visitors are encouraged to always check the schedule and purchase tickets online at www.TriangleTrain.com. Any unsold tickets will be available at the train yard the day of the ride.
Diesel train ticket fare is $10 per adult and $7 per child age 2 to 12. Steam train ticket fare is $12 per adult and $8 per child age 2 to 12. Children under two ride free.
2014 New Hope Valley Ride Day Schedule
Public Ride Days – Both the steam and diesel locomotives operate on the second Saturday of the month for public ride days. Individuals take a one-hour train ride trip through a scenic route in Bonsal, N.C. Visit www.TriangleTrain.com for train departure times.
April 12 (NC Science Festival)
May 10 (National Train Day)
July 12 (Military Appreciation Day)
Friday Diesel Excursions – At 10 a.m. on the fourth Friday of the month, the diesel locomotive will take individuals, families and groups on a diesel train excursion.
Special Ride Day Events – Both of these special events will take place on Sunday and offer the same services as a Saturday public ride day.
July 25 (Ice Cream Social)
September 21 (Food Truck Rodeo)
Track or Treat Halloween Express – The Halloween Trains take place on two Saturdays in October before Halloween. Visitors are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes when visiting the rail yard on these ride days. In addition to riding the train, there are kids’ activities.
Holiday Santa Trains – During the first two weekends in December, children have a chance to ride a decorated train with Santa Claus. Santa will go car-to-car to talk to each child and pose for photos during the hour-long ride.
Operate-A-Loco – The NHVR Operate-A-Loco program puts you in the engineer’s seat of a diesel or steam locomotive. Individuals spend an hour at the throttle and experience the thrill of driving a real railroad locomotive.
About New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR)
NHVR, The Triangle’s Train, straddles the historic towns of Bonsal and New Hill, North Carolina, 10-minutes south of Apex off of U.S. Highway 1 and Exit 89. The organization was chartered in 1983 by the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and began its all-volunteer operated train rides in the spring of 1984. Trains operate the second Saturday of each month starting in the spring though the fall. There are also special event ride days, including Track or Treat Halloween Express, Holiday Santa Trains and Fourth Friday Diesel Excursions. Also available are opportunities to operate a train, host birthday parties in an historic caboose, and visit the North Carolina Railroad Museum, G Scale model garden railroad and gift shop.
Go to www.TriangleTrain.com for more information and connect with NHVR on social media: