"Great Smokey Montain RR"

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Dec 4 19:06:32 EST 2010

Accord to it's web site http://www.gsmr.com/about/history.php this was on the
Murphy Branch of the Western North Carolina Railroad:


The Murphy Branch experienced its heaviest business in the early 1940s when the
massive Fontana Dam was constructed during World War II. Thousands of carloads
of cement, equipment, and other materials reached the construction site by rail
on a spur line built from Bushnell to Fontana. Huge shipments of copper ore
from mines in the western end of North Carolina and Copperhill, Tennessee,
increased the line's tonnage. In the 1920s, ribbons of concrete crawled through
the mountains, linking towns together.

Passenger traffic on the Murphy Branch, then owned by the sprawling Southern
Railway System, began to decline as a result of the introduction of automobile
and bus travel. Southern discontinued all passenger traffic on the Murphy
Branch on July 16th, 1948, ending 64 years of service that opened Western North
Carolina to the outside world. When freight traffic dropped off by 1985,
Norfolk Southern closed the Andrews to Murphy leg of the Murphy Branch and the
State of North Carolina purchased the Dillsboro to Murphy tracks to keep them
from being destroyed.

By 1988, many entities had come together to form the Great Smoky Mountains
Railway, which then began running excursions. Rolling stock for the GSMR was
purchased from various railroads around the nation. The Dillsboro to Nantahala
route was one of the most scenic on the Murphy Branch and the excursion trains
caught on right away. Upward of 200,000 passengers enjoy the scenery each year
aboard the excursion trains. American Heritage Railways purchased the GSMR in
December of 1999. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway operates today as the newly
organized Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.


Having successfully completed this with a few piractical companions see
http://tinyurl.com/22uaypo , please support our 12 mile Walk Like a Pirate on
Saturday September 18th and help fund the Pirates new fully accessible broadbeam
boat http://www.thepiratecastle.org/

You can sponsor me on-line at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/zorro

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Saturday, 4 December, 2010 16:00:19
Subject: "Great Smokey Montain RR"

Are the tracks that are now being used by the "Great Smokey Mountain RR" any
part of these branches?
I was told by a GSM employ that he thought that the tracks were part of the old
N&W system.
Gene A.

----- Original Message ----- From: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: "NW Mailing List" <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 5:42 PM
Subject: North Carolina Branch map..To Mt Airy..

> I posted this earlier, evidently it was over looked!


> http://spec.lib.vt.edu/imagebase/08MAPS/screen/HM200705291009.jpg


> If you go to the south side of Galax, you can see where the ROW was graded, and

>some box culverts where installed.


> You can trace MUCH of the ROW from Mt Airy, to the state line near Lambsburg



> Here is a link to a google streetview of part of that ROW, that is now a public

>road, named, "Old Railroad Road"... No rails where ever laid.





> Andy Jennings

> Blt 4-74/CN 3

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