Q:

What kinds of seating are available on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad?

A:

Quick Answer

Seating options on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, based in Bryson City, North Carolina, include First Class, Family First Class, Crown Class and Coach Class. Groups of up to 15 may book a bright red restored caboose for a private party. The type of seating available on each train depends on the route. The train cars, most of them built between the 1920s and the 1940s, are restored using period furnishings and designs.

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Full Answer

All Adult First Class cars are from the 1940s and have interior carpeting, plush furniture and fixtures that reflect that era. Restaurant-style dining is included and features two- and four-place seating. Family First Class is available on selected dates on the Nantahala Gorge and the Tuckasegee River routes. On Family First Class cars, a conductor serves the meal and interacts with guests.

Crown Class cars date from the mid-1920s. Seats are thickly padded and set up in groups of four, with two pairs of seats facing each other. Beverages are included, available at a beverage station on each car. Box lunches may be pre-ordered and picked up aboard the train.

Coach Class cars, also from the mid-1920s, have two rows of bench seats, windows that open and vintage ceiling fans. Box lunches, not included, may be pre-ordered for pick-up on the train.

The Open Air Gondola cars, made from retired flatbed and baggage cars, are another coach option. These cars have long benches facing the outside. Since there's no glass, these cars are preferred by photographers and nature lovers.

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