Charleston by train? NCTM offers new excursion


Submitted by David Whisenant
Saturday, April 20th, 2013, 7:06pm
Charleston by train?  NCTM offers new excursion

SPENCER – The N.C. Transportation Museum offers a chance for passengers to take a train trip to one of the south’s loveliest and most historic cities.  This three day, two night excursion to Charleston, S.C., the “Lowcountry Limited” happens May 17-19.

The Lowcountry Limited is one of two Spring excursions hosted by N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society.  The “Capital City Special,” a trip to Washington, D.C. in April is already sold out.  The “Lowcountry Limited” has tickets on sale and is a great opportunity for a unique journey as the weather warms.

These spring excursions are a great complement to the extremely successful fall excursions offered by the museum each year. They differ, however, in that they are extended weekend overnight trips, truly allowing the visitor to delve into all each destination has to offer.

Passengers for the “Lowcountry Limited” will depart the NC Transportation Museum at 9:15am via motorcoach, bound for Wilson, N.C.  After lunch and shopping in the quaint downtown, guests will board the Clinchfield and Powhatan Arrow, two vintage private rail cars, for the train trip to Charleston.  Depending on arrival time, likely around 8:15 p.m., passengers can visit the City Marketplace in Downtown Charleston before retiring at the Holiday Inn Express for the night.

On Saturday morning, guests will enjoy a hot continental breakfast at the hotel before debarking on an exciting 2 hour guided motorcoach tour of historic Charleston.  Along the way, guests will learn some of Charleston’s rich history, legends and lore, as well as seeing some of Charleston’s most iconic sites.  The Citadel, Rainbow Row and the Four Corners of Law will all be included. In addition, the tour will stop at the Battery & White Point Gardens for a stroll along the promenade at the tip of the Charleston peninsula where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers converge with the Atlantic Ocean.

In the afternoon, passengers can choose to walk through the Market Area, go boutique shopping along King Street, or utilize the free Charleston trolley to explore the city.  For an additional fee, passengers may also enjoy a 90-minute harbor cruise or ferry over and tour Fort Sumter, where the Civil War first ignited.  Tickets for the Harbor Tour or the Fort Sumter Tour are $20 per person and should be reserved in advance.

Motorcoaches will transport guests back to the hotel to freshen up before returning to the downtown for dinner at one of Charleston’s fantastic restaurants.  To end the evening, passengers can purchase tickets for an optional walking Ghost Tour from 8:45-9:45pm.

After a hot, continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express on Sunday morning, the passenger train will depart Charleston and return to Wilson, NC.  Motorcoaches will then travel from Wilson to the N.C. Transportation Museum, arriving back in Spencer around 5:45pm.

Please note that passengers may also make their own travel arrangements and join the train from any Amtrak station along the Palmetto route beginning at Richmond, VA or south.  If you will not be boarding with the group in Wilson, NC, please call and discuss your travel plans with our staff.

Prices for the trip are $525 per person for a double, triple or quad occupancy room and $625 per person for a single room.

Tickets are available by calling 704-636-2889, ext. 237 or by visiting online at  Ticket discounts for both trips are available to members of the N.C. Transportation Museum and Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society. Buyers should request this during their ticket purchase.