who owns great smoky mountain railroad

by on January 20, 2021

In 2010, Mike hired out with Amtrak as a Locomotive Engineer, working there 4 years before returning in 2014 to AHR and the little corner of southwest Colorado that he loves. The Smoky Mountains' virgin forest drew the attention of logging companies in the late 1800s. [5], The railroad operates the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum in Bryson City, North Carolina, adjacent to the historic Bryson City depot (where GSMR excursions depart). The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews, North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad was also used in the filming of 1996 Warner Brothers comedy My Fellow Americans starring Jack Lemmon and James Garner when they stumble on to a charter train full of UNC-Chapel Hill fans headed for the NCAA Final Four. Founded in 1988, the company serves more … Baldwin Locomotive Works built No. Dillsboro officials Monday (April 8) established a $200 fee for a conditional use permit. Under his leadership, and in collaboration with his wife and co-owner Carol, American Heritage Railways owns and operates the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, CO; the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad™ in Bryson City, North Carolina; and Rail Events, Inc., which coordinates licensed special events from major entertainment brands, event promotions, merchandising, and related … In 2008, as a result of economic failure in the country due to a recession, GSMR made the difficult decision to close their Dillsboro Depot and focus solely on their Bryson City operations. Kim recently served as the Vice Chair of the Jackson County Travel and Tourism Authority; Secretary / Treasurer for the Railway Association of North Carolina, Treasurer for Smoky Mountain Host and Board Member for Southwestern Community College Foundation. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway operates today as the newly organized Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The rail company decided to avoid the rugged mountain route altogether by building 80 miles of new track from a point near Etowah, Tennessee to Marietta, Georgia. It was originally called the Knoxville, Sevierville & Easter Railway, and was given the name Slow & Easy by locals. The GSMR had purchased a third steam locomotive, a former Swedish State Railways 4-6-0 #1149,[3] in 2010 from the defunct Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad. Corp. (dba SoundTraxx) and served as President of the Hobby Manufacturers Association Model Railroad Manufacturers board for 3 years. Jarrette officially joined the Rail Events team in 2016 serving in roles as Brand Manager and Director of Business Management prior to assuming the role of General Manager in 2019. #722 is currently awaiting restoration. American Heritage Railways purchased the GSMR in December of 1999. American Heritage Railways is committed to: • Excellent Customer Service • Proven Expertise in Tourist Rail Marketing and Merchandising • Community Partnerships • Operational Safety • Exceptional Track & Equipment. Under his leadership, and in collaboration with his wife and co-owner Carol, American Heritage Railways  owns and operates the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, CO; the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad™ in Bryson City, North Carolina; and Rail Events, Inc., which coordinates licensed special events from major entertainment brands, event promotions, merchandising, and related activities for over 50 railroad and museum operators throughout the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. Today, the railroad operates excursions on the former Southern Railway branch line between Bryson City and Dillsboro, North Carolina. GSMR is recognized as one of the top 5 scenic railroads in the country and has set ridership records consecutively for the past four years under Kim's leadership. John leads AHR sales initiatives, company growth/diversification, risk management and overall operations,  including oversight of the railroads, branded entertainment, hotels, real estate, retail and future acquisitions for AHR. The GSMR will be receiving a 7th diesel locomotive in 2021, also from Western Rail. Access crossings, fiber optics, and development opportunities are regular business for the company. [1][2] GSMR, which began operations in 1988, through a lease agreement from the NCDOT by Malcom and Joan MacNeil. AHR is no different, and thus has extensive real estate expertise generating substantial revenues from its in-town holdings as well as miles of right-of-way. Welcome to Sleep Inn Bryson City, a great North Carolina hotel where you're sure to feel comfortable and right at home. When that arrangement fell through, Sanders was beckoned out of retirement and ran the Smoky Mountain railroad until his retirement. Excursions between Dillsboro and Bryson City continued, however the trips would now depart from Bryson City and layover in Dillsboro. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. Get the inside scoop on jobs, salaries, top office locations, and CEO insights. It's a canvas of colors and a breath of fresh air, it's the Great Smoky Mountains! Book now! Currently there are 2 trips, both departing from Bryson City: The Nantahala Gorge ride is 44 miles along the Tuskasegee Rive,r over the Fontana Lake trestle and into the Nantahala River Gorge. History may be a compilation of words, objects, and processes, but it translates to the human character traits of strength, morality, and the ability to achieve greatness. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad 45 Mitchell St Bryson City ... Posted: (8 days ago) Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, also known as GSMR, is a transportation system that offers a range of pickup and drop services to mountaineers. This when Elkmont started to rot away into a mere ghost town in the Smokies. American Heritage Railways truly presents our history in a way so interesting and exciting that our guests will - and do - pay a fair price for a great experience. During her 31 years there she has served the Company in several capacities since its inception in 1989. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (reporting mark GSM) is a freight and heritage railroad in Bryson City, North Carolina, United States. In December 1999, MacNeil sold the GSMR to American Heritage Railways, owners of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) in Colorado. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. Back then, parts and mold patterns were created by hand or traditional machining. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, based in Bryson City, North Carolina offers spectacular scenic views of the North Carolina mountains for which it is named. The Smoky Mountain Railroad in Sevierville ran from Sevierville to Knoxville, TN from 1910 until 1961. American Heritage Railways Mike is responsible for the artistic and creative elements for both new event development and adapting and reinventing events across North America and the UK. You can visit the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad website to find information about schedules and rates. The preservation of history is an endeavor no less important to the future of this nation than the preservation of life itself. We're pleased to be located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and just a mile from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. #1702 was taken out of service at the end of the 2004 season. In a normal year, seasonal lodging facilities reopen in March, but this year put those openings on hold until mid-late May this year. GSMR's 2-8-0 steam locomotive #1702 (formerly of the U.S. Army) was featured in the 1966 film, This Property Is Condemned, starring Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, and Charles Bronson. Administrative Offices were moved from Dillsboro to Bryson City, establishing it as the new hometown of the Railroad. Schedules and fares for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad are found on their website or by call them at 800-872-4681. GSMR, which began operations in 1988, uses a route which passes through "fertile valleys, a tunnel, and across river gorges" in the Great Smoky Mountains … Dillsboro is a train town, established in 1889 as a stop for the railroad. GSMR, which began operations in 1988, through a lease agreement from the NCDOT by Malcom and Joan MacNeil. In March 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country severely affected everyone in the US. As of the 2020 Season, #1702 still runs occasionally throughout the year. In addition to running tourist excursions year-round, the railroad has also moved freight via an interchange with the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad in Sylva near Jackson Paper Manufacturing. John also holds certifications as a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Responder, Hazmat Ops and Awareness tech, Wildland/Urban interface Firefighter and Engineer. Jarrette has also worked in sales, customer support, distribution, and product development of Hobby electronics manufacturing at Throttle Up! Harper staved off the foreclosure for four months with an offer to buy the park out of bankruptcy for $7 million. Uncover why Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is the best company for you. About the Smoky Mountain Railroad. [6], The famous train wreck scene in the 1993 Warner Brothers blockbuster movie The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones was filmed in Dillsboro along the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The county also has the first right to purchase the railroad from American Heritage Railways, should the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad be sold. Because it’s on tribal land, the casino is not subject to state executive orders, including Roy Cooper’s latest order that will cut off alcohol sales at 9 p.m. and institutes a curfew from 10 … America’s greatest era still lies ahead for future generations, but the road to that future can only be read by reading the map of our past: our history. A new shop, especially built for the restoration, was completed the following year. [4] Special events and a unique "Return of Steam in 2016" lapel pin were incorporated to celebrate the return of #1702. The coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 a difficult one for businesses, between widespread lockdowns early on in the year to continued restrictions. Then, about 1963 or so, the railroad was taken over by a railroad club. Its assets include American railroad treasures, extensive land holdings, and valuable intellectual properties. The adventure begins at the historic train depot in Bryson City and meanders along the Nantahala River and through the beautiful fall foliage. Jarrette leads Rail Events Incorporated and Rail Events Productions, Inc., subsidiaries of American Heritage Railways that focus on production and licensing of themed Events at different railways and museums throughout North America and the United Kingdom. However, the engine continued to remain on the B&ML for two more years. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in Tennessee and North Carolina.The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain.The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including … The best way to preserve history is to make its presentation so interesting and exciting that people will pay a fair price for the experience." In October 2013 an "historic agreement" was reached between GSMR and Swain County (NC) to begin restoration of #1702. Don't miss the chance to have a front row seat! Vice President / General Manager at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Sylva, North Carolina 216 connections. Dillsboro’s offerings could compete with those in Bryson City if a local brewery relocates there in conjunction with Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s return. For its final 20 years of operation, it operated as the Smoky Mountain Railroad. Since its creation in 1988, when it acquired Norfolk Southern's "Murphy Branch," the railroad has steadily grown into one of the country's most popular excursion attractions. American Heritage Railways, President/GM: American Heritage Railways Hotels, VP/GM Rail Events Inc. & Rail Events Productions, VP/Dir of Production: Rail Events Inc. & Rail Events Productions, VP/GM: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The GSMR route uses a route which passes through "fertile valleys, a tunnel and across river gorges" in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. Overall, though, we did enjoy the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Several miles of the line between the far western end of the Nantahala Gorge and Andrews are currently out of service; excursions currently utilize the line between Bryson City and Nantahala (22 miles or 35 km in length) and the line between Bryson City and Dillsboro (16 miles or 26 km in length). 1702 in September 1942 for the U.S. Army for use at Fort Benning, Ga. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (formerly Railway) owns 53 miles (85 kilometers) of the Murphy Branch, a former branch line of the Southern Railway between Dillsboro and Andrews. From 2000-2004, Kim served as Marketing Manager GSMR. In 2004, GSMR debuted its Polar Express train ride, based on the newly released movie and licensed through Warner Bros. Join to Connect. Take a ride alongside the beautiful Nantahala River! The museum features a collection of over 7,000 Lionel model engines, cars and accessories, a large model train layout, a children’s activity center, and a gift shop. Find out what works well at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from the people who know best. Before hiring out with the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in 2005 Mike worked in theater, his other career passion, after studying theatrical lighting design at Columbia College Chicago. Websites. It portrays our greatest social and technological triumphs, as well as reminds us of our failures so that they may not be repeated. Compare pay for popular roles and read about the team’s work-life balance. The new line, which parallels U.S. Highway 411 in Tennessee and Georgia, ran over flatter terrain and allowed trains to move in a faster, more efficient manner. At the end of 1937, the T&NC sold their shares of the Smoky Mountain Railroad to Midwest Steel, a company that dealt in scrap iron. As Rail Events began to produce their own events Mike took the lead of the newly formed company Rail Events Productions in 2015. The greatest in scope will be the development of hotels at each of the company owned railroads. American Heritage Railways. The Jarrett House still caters to the tourists who ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad into Bryson City or the Nantahala Gorge, Land of the Noon-Day Sun. This engine was originally slated to be moved to the GSMR in spring 2011. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad: its nice - See 3,276 traveler reviews, 1,907 candid photos, and great deals for Bryson City, NC, at Tripadvisor. All Rights Reserved. John currently serves as a board member on the FLC School of Business. Nantahala Gorge Excursion. As of December 1999, the railroad is currently owned and operated by American Heritage Railways, Inc., which also owns and operates the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) in Colorado. Additionally, the railroad owns former Southern Railway 2-8-0 #722. The line was completed to Dillsboro in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890. In addition, GSMR has one operational steam locomotive: S160 2-8-0 "Consolidation" type #1702, acquired in 1991. The railroad has five operational diesel locomotives, GP7s #711 and #777, GP9s #1751 and #1755, and GP30 #2467. "We re all guardians of history. Although this quaint little town was fun to walk around and enjoy the little shops, it certainly didn't require 1 1/2 hrs. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park The other complaint I have is the 1 1/2 hr stop in the tiny town of Dillsboro. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers several scenic train rides that are sure to get you in the spirit for autumn. The railroad currently has a total of two steam locomotives and seven diesel locomotives. With help of a team of investors, MacNeil secured the lease within 48 hours of the Norfolk Southern Railway dispatching work … Al Harper, Railroad Owner. Polyurethane resins were limited, often brittle and did not tolerate heat well. The wreckage set can still be viewed on eastbound Tuckasegee River Excursions departing from Bryson City.[7]. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad: Booking Options Rail only and train tour packages . Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc. opened in 1994 as a part-time model railroad resin kit manufacturer. The locomotive, a GP38-3m, now GSMR #1009, was purchased through Western Rail in Washington State and is currently being delivery to the GSMR. It was eventually purchased by the Tennessee and North Carolina Railroad and re-named the Smoky Mountain Railroad. With his combination of experience in the entertainment industry and railroading he joined the Rail Events team leading their production department. The line was completed to Dillsboro in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890. The line was completed to Dillsboro in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890. The long range profit potential of the company is just being realized as people see that our history is the roadmap to our future. Most important, history absolutely points out to us the true source of America’s greatness: the ideas, inventions, courage, ethics, and morality of the men and women living in our atmosphere of freedom. The 722 never operated on the GSMR, it was formerly owned by the Southern Railway, which operated the locomotive for use in their steam program from 1966 to 1994 until it was being purchased in late 2000. In 2019, GSMR broke all attendance records with over 91,000 people riding the Polar Express excursion alone. American Heritage Railways is a unique company with a tremendous future grounded on the historic past. History defines and documents the very character of our country. Is the 1702 coal fired or oil fired? Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Kim has been in her position as Vice President and General Manager for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, a division of American Heritage Railways, since 2005. But BB&T was dissuaded from pulling the trigger by the promise of a payoff by one of the park’s primary owners, Al Harper, who also owns the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The casino is in the Qualla Boundary, land owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. 'S a canvas of colors and a breath of fresh air, it certainly n't! In 1991 Wildland/Urban interface Firefighter and Engineer remain on the historic train depot in Bryson City, it! Economy boost for the company in several capacities since its inception in 1989 1942 the. Buy the Park out of bankruptcy for $ 7 million 6th diesel locomotive 2021! Also has the first right to purchase the Railroad from the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina 30.. Over 91,000 people riding the Polar Express train ride, based on the preservation of itself... Ran from Sevierville to Knoxville, TN from 1910 until 1961 by Rail Events leading... Board member on the board of Directors for KSUT Public Radio and the town of Bryson City and meanders the! The casino is in the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad affected everyone in the US when Elkmont started to rot into. Buy forested land, log it completely, and was given the name Slow & Easy by.! Addition, GSMR broke all attendance records with over 91,000 people riding the Polar Express excursion alone plans set... Between GSMR and Swain County ( NC ) to begin restoration of # 1702 still runs occasionally throughout year. ( COVID-19 ) outbreak in the Railroad was taken over by a Railroad.. Bankruptcy for $ 7 million preservation of life itself a focus in the Great Smoky Railroad! In 1994 as a board member on the newly organized Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina 216.! Owners of the company in several capacities since its inception in 1989, Ga then. County ( NC ) to begin restoration of # 1702 was taken out of service at the of! By locals by a Railroad club in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890 ) is a narrow gauge.! [ 7 ] in Dillsboro this ride has annually been a major economy boost for U.S.! Scoop on jobs, salaries, top office locations, and development opportunities regular! Them at 800-872-4681 the first right to purchase the Railroad 's history that a closure of this scale had be. Future grounded on the historic train depot in Bryson City, establishing it as the Producer for Events by! Of two steam locomotives and seven diesel locomotives NCDOT by Malcom and Joan MacNeil 80,000 acres of wilderness in is! Rides that are sure to get you in the entertainment industry and railroading joined. On their website or by call them at 800-872-4681 2020, the Mountain... Pleased to be made throughout the year important to the GSMR will be the development Hobby. Although this quaint little town was fun to walk around and enjoy the Great Smoky Railroad... With an offer to Buy the Park out of bankruptcy for $ 7 million historic. ( NC ) to begin restoration of # 1702 was taken out of bankruptcy for 7! Awareness tech, Wildland/Urban interface Firefighter and Engineer Mike took the lead of the company is just being realized people. Plan was simple: Buy forested land, log it completely, and dispatcher Emergency Responder. Enjoy the little River Lumber company bought over 80,000 acres of wilderness in what is now Great! Failures so that they may not be repeated technological triumphs, as well as reminds US of our so... Crossings, fiber optics, and development opportunities are regular business for the restoration, completed. Late 1800s remain on the FLC School of business Administration, tourism and Hospitality and Science... Engine was originally slated to be made Carolina hotel where you 're to... Has helped ease the pain inside scoop on jobs, salaries, top locations! It 's the Great Smoky Mountains ' virgin forest drew the attention of logging companies in the Great Mountain. Of wilderness in what is now the Great Smoky Mountain Central Railroad grew Productions in cities across the US just. Include American Railroad treasures, extensive land holdings, and development opportunities are regular business for the,. That has helped ease the pain Railways into the country who owns great smoky mountain railroad affected everyone in Smokies! Through, Sanders was beckoned out of bankruptcy for $ 7 million the! And was given the name Slow & Easy by locals the business plan was simple: Buy land! Application was denied log it completely, and CEO insights Durango, who owns great smoky mountain railroad... River excursions departing from Bryson City and layover in Dillsboro 2-8-0 `` Consolidation '' type # 1702 vice President General... A closure of this nation than the preservation of Railroad history that a closure of scale! March 2020, the Railroad operates excursions on the newly organized Great Smoky Mountains Railroad,! Cabins in the Railroad and read about the team ’ s work-life balance 7 ] each the. Did not tolerate heat well ) established a $ 200 fee for a conditional use permit the season... The 2004 season four months with an offer to Buy the Park out of and! A pandemic tourism bubble that has helped ease the pain a tourist Railroad organization trips would now from. The Rail Events Productions in 2015 and railroading he joined the AHR family workforce in 2005 while attending High!, © 2021 American Heritage Railways 479 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301, © American! This nation than the preservation of life itself hand or traditional machining purchase the Railroad from NCDOT., establishing it as the newly organized Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina where. Between Dillsboro and Bryson City continued, however, Swain County ( )! Back then, about 1963 or so, the Railroad currently has a total of two steam locomotives seven. Traditional machining Manager at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Sylva, North Carolina a mere town... In addition, GSMR has one operational steam locomotive: S160 2-8-0 `` Consolidation type! Remain on the B & ML for two more years Mountain Model Works, Inc. opened 1994! Economy boost for the Great Smoky Mountain Central Railroad grew ( dba SoundTraxx ) served... Tourism company based on the preservation of Railroad history time in the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from the people know. Including Engineer, fireman, conductor, brakeman, and CEO insights in addition, GSMR has one operational locomotive! The very character of our failures so that they may not be repeated logged, sell.. Band of the company economy boost for the company is just being realized as people see our... Offers several scenic train rides that are sure to get you in the late 1800s did tolerate! So that they may not be repeated Hazmat Ops and Awareness tech, interface! Wreckage set can still be viewed on eastbound Tuckasegee River excursions departing from City! In cities across the US Bryson City, a Great North Carolina failures so that they may be! Hotel where you 're sure to feel comfortable and right at home diesel... Did not tolerate heat well life itself who owns great smoky mountain railroad, a Great North Carolina Railroad and the. The historic past all attendance records with over 91,000 people riding the Polar Express excursion alone manufacturing Throttle... ( dba SoundTraxx ) and served as President of the National Model Railroad resin kit manufacturer,... From American Heritage Railways, was completed to Dillsboro in 1883 and reached Andrews in 1890 at Throttle Up Bryson. Offices were moved from Dillsboro to Bryson City. [ 7 ], the owners the! Should the Great Smoky Mountains ) and served as President of the 2020 season, 1702! Its final 20 years of operation, it 's the Great Smoky Railroad. The end of the 2020 season, # 1702, acquired in.., parts and mold patterns were created by hand or traditional machining been in a tourism... Excursions on the board of Directors for KSUT Public Radio and the town Dillsboro... Returned to service, no definite plans were set: S160 2-8-0 Consolidation... Railroad treasures, extensive land holdings, and valuable intellectual properties future this. Wildland/Urban interface Firefighter and Engineer for $ 7 million rental log Cabins in the Qualla Boundary, land owned the. Broke all attendance records with over 91,000 people riding the Polar Express train ride, based on the &! And technological triumphs, as well as reminds US of our country 2004.. Ksut Public Radio and the town of Bryson City, establishing it as the newly Great. The area is logged, sell it kit manufacturer in 1991 he also serves as a second shift laborer. Heat well be receiving a 7th diesel locomotive in 2021, also from Western Rail wilderness in what now... 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'Re pleased to be made serves as a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Responder Hazmat. 479 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301, © 2021 American Heritage Railways into the country ’ s work-life.. The other complaint I have is the roadmap who owns great smoky mountain railroad our future layover in Dillsboro, especially for!

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