New Hope Valley Railway
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
N 35° 39.631 W 078° 58.539
17S E 683240 N 3948183
Quick Description: A scenic railroad in rural Chatham County, North Carolina at the old railroad town of Bonsal.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2006 4:22:07 PM
Waymark Code: WMG70
Views: 233

Long Description:

The line that the New Hope Valley Railway scenic railroad takes was originally called the Durham & South Carolina Railroad and ran 31 miles from Bonsal to Durham. This line connected with the Seaboard Airline Railroad at Bonsal and was used to haul, among other things, tobacco to Durham for processing and finished cigarettes to market.

The New Hope Valley Railway of today was begun in January 1982 when the East Carolina Chapter, National Railway Historical Society purchased the tracks and right-of-way in Bonsal and New Hill from the Southern Railway. This consists of Bonsal Yard, the line currently operated from Bonsal to New Hill, and a small portion of the original 1906 track along Beaver Creek Road in Chatham County just north of Bonsal. The first public ride operations were held in April of 1984, and it has been operated as a living railroad museum ever since.

Parking is on the other side of Old U.S. Route 1 from the terminal. An old railroad bridge has been paved for pedestrians to take to reach the trains. The terminal has a museum, gift shop and food vendors with live music.

I took the train trip of about twelve miles round trip. The locomotive was #399, originally used by the U.S. Marines at Camp Lejune. Our open air passengers cars were also from Camp Lejune. They were originally flat beds used to haul equipment. The cabooses were from the Aberdeen & Rockfish RR and the Seaboard Line.

It was a pleasant trip about 1 1/4 hours in all. Nice forest scenery along the way. At the New Hill Yard Limit, the engine decoupled, switched to a siding and passed the cars to travel to another switch and get back on the main track, then recoupled with the cars to haul us back to Bonsal. This was the highlight of the trip and the kids on the train were especially interested in the engine switching operation.

North of New Hill, the track has been removed and the right-of-way has been converted into a hiking facility called the American Tobacco Trail which, when complete will run from New Hill to Durham.

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NHVRR Ticket Booth. This is where the posted coordinates are:

Engine Switch at New Hill Yard Limit. The engine is headed back the way we came to recouple with the other end and haul us back to Bonsal:

Engine Type: Diesel

Gauge of Railway: Standard Gage

Approximate Adult Fare: 8.00 (listed in local currency)

Approximate Child Fare: 6.00 (listed in local currency)

Type: Spur (out and back)

Length of Route: 12 miles

Dates of Operation: From: 1/1/2006 To: 12/31/2006

Frequency of departures: First Sunday of the month from June to September, Special Halloween and Christmas Trips

Does this Scenic Railroad Provide: Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Trains?: no

Railroad Website: [Web Link]

Key Attractions: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

Provide a picture of something with the train. Possible photos include the entertainment on board the train, the train itself at any location along the route, a picture of the scenery with part of the train in view, the kids borrowing the engineer’s hat. Show us you had a good time visiting the train. If the train isn't running when you visit get a photo of one of the many railway related items that can be found in locations like this.

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
2 jolly visited New Hope Valley Railway 6/7/2009 2 jolly visited it
showbizkid visited New Hope Valley Railway 7/2/2006 showbizkid visited it

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