The first time I heard about the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum and the Secret City Excursion Train was from an email from Groupon selling discounted tickets for a train ride. Since both of my children love trains, I immediately bought the deal from Groupon…then promptly forgot all about it.
The second time I heard about the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum and the Secret City Excursion Train was from a reminder to use my Groupon email when I suddenly remembered my purchase. I quickly called and made reservations for our train trip.
This past weekend, on St. Patrick’s Day, my family and I boarded the Secret City Excursion Train for a round trip ride between Oak Ridge and Blair, TN. We learned that the train cars themselves ARE the museum, but a standing structure is planned to house the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum.
Along the one hour trip, we were entertained and educated by volunteer, Bart Jennings. We heard fascinating stories of how Oak Ridge came to be a secret city during World War II. The train ride went right along the remains of the K-25 building, where the atomic bomb was developed, and continued through the Tennessee countryside.
The entire staff of the Secret City Excursion Train is volunteer. Jennings explained that he was a regular volunteer and drove all the way from his home in West Illinois.
Popcorn snacks, soda, and souvenirs were available to purchase before and during the ride. After the trip, the kids were able to climb aboard and tour the diesel engine.
Train rides typically sell out, so reservations are suggested. To reserve your spot on the Secret City Excursion Train call 241-2140 or visit their website. Train rides are available many weekends, check their website for upcoming dates and times. Be sure to check out their Santa trains coming in December!
The Southern Appalachia Railway museum is located at 2010 Highway 58 off I-40 at the Gallaher Road exit, in Oak Ridge.