Page 1

Featuring North America!s Leading Travel Destinations

Riding the Rails


Taste & Explor The Yellow Barn

American Celebration

on Parade

doah Caverns The Grottos at Shenan

Thrilling visitors from around the world, Shenandoah Caverns is the only cavern in Virginia with elevator service! Explorers of every age and ability will discover an underground world of wonder. With level walkways and no stairs to climb, only the sights are breathtaking. The Family of Attractions includes amazing parade floats and presidential inaugural props at American Celebration on Parade. Delightful antique animated department store window displays on Main Street of Yesteryear. Experience the live indoor beehive and model trains in motion at the Yellow Barn. Four attractions at one low price! Open every day except Dec. 25th. www.shenandoahcaverns.com 2 • Byways


re Shenandoah

e wineries Visit the fivenandoah of the Sh ine Trail. County W

Shenandoah County is the second largest agricultural producing county in Virginia. The Wine industry has established itself as a growing force in the county, with five vineyards. A view from Shenandoah Vineyards in Edinburg, Virginia.

Wine Tasting, Caverns, Attractions, Skiing, Snowboarding and Civil War Battlefields in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia 90 minutes from the Washington, DC Beltway. Shenandoah County Tourism 888-367-3965 • www.shenandoahtravel.org Byways • 3


PREVIEW By Steve Kirchner, Editor & Publisher

W

elcome to Byways’ North American Train Tours and Riding the Rails! As a kid growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, I still remember those beautiful Southern Pacific steam engines pulling the Daylight passenger trains between San Francico and Los Angeles. And I remember when the first diesel engines began to appear as the golden age of steam gave way to the powerful diesel. I also have fond memoriese of taking the train from California to Portland and Seattle with my grandmother, and being seated in the dining car for dinner. With real china and silver. I remember the white gloved waiters serving our meal as if we were in the most elegant five star restaurant in San Francisco. The nostalgia of those bygone days still bring pleasant thoughts to my mind, and every time I see a promotion for one of the many rail tour opportunities, I immedidately think back to those days. And apparently I’m not alone. I’m one of the baby boomers. As Bob Cline of U.S. Tours says in his introductory article to this issue of Byways, “Rail Tours and Boomers are a perfect match.” “Rail Tours perfectly match the market’s adventurous desires and aging bones. They are a chance to see rugged and remote places, from inside safe and climate controlled cars.” And in this issue of Byways we visit some of those rugged and remote places, which also happen to be some of the most spectacular sights in North America. The railroads united the country and the continent, but to do so, they went where no one had gone before. The sights and sounds of rail travel are much different today. While Amtrak still serves a nationwide audience, most of our rail excursions are over shorter distances on tracks that no longer serve mainline commerce. But they take you to places that you just can’t get to otherwise. Travel back in time with the Ghost Train to Yesterday in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to a ghost town called Virginia City. Explore the Royal Gorge of Colorado, some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in North America. Sit back and ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota on the historic 1880 Train. While visiting Branson, climb onboard and explore the Ozarks with the Branson Scenic Railway. 4 • Byways

Explore West Virginia with mountains, music and railroads. Visit the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, and the Cass Scenic Railroad. With railroads, there’s always a story. The Strasburg

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Rail Road in Pennsylvania purchased its first passenger car to host Abraham Lincoln on his inaugural train ride, and that’s just a small part of its history as the railroad prepares to celebrate its 180th anniversary. North of the border, the Polar Bear Express brings Canada’s Heritage Experience to residents and visitors alike, with more of that spectacular scenery that seems to follow the rails wherever they go. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Boy, it sure does bring back the memories!

West Virginia!s Cass Scenic Railroad


Volume 27, Issue No. 5, 2011 The names Comstock Lode and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad were synonymous with the vast wealth of gold and silver that came from the mines around Virginia City, Nevada. Now restored to its former glory, the railroad is once again transporting tourists to this famous ghost town. To learn more about the Rail Tours coverage, turn to page 8.

Features Add Excitement to Your Tours by Riding the Rails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Ghost Train to Yesterday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Traveling Through Colorado!s Spectacular Royal Gorge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 South Dakota!s Black Hills Central, The 1880 Train. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 America!s Largest Celebration of Railroading Comes to Rock Island, IL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Branson Scenic Railway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Mountains, Music and Railroads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 West Virginia!s Cass Scenic Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Greater Niagara!s Country Byways and Railroad Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Pennsylvania!s Strasburg Rail Road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The Polar Bear Express, Canada!s Heritage Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Departments

Byways Preview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Advertisers Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Free Byways Subscription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

What!s Happening THE RIDE Takes Manhattan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 See and Interact with All 44 U.S. Presidents in Washington, DC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Coming in future issues of Byways‌ America!s Main Street, Rt. 66 and the Old West, Nebraska and the Plains States, Non-Traditional Cruise Port options, Mid-American Sights, Rocky Mountain Highs, and Great American Roads. Cruise Ship docks in Norfolk, Virginia

America!s Main Street, Route 66 & the Old West

Byways • 5


motorcoach.com Ozarks’ Kirkwood Tour & Travel Sweet Magnolia Tours Trieloff Tours

The National Reservation Center Charter a motorcoach anywhere in North America 888-733-5287 • nmn@motorcoach.com 6 • Byways


Byways • 7


Add Excitement to Your Tours by Riding the Rails By Bob Cline, U.S. Tours

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Colorado

W

e’re in the business of selling group travel at a very exciting time in history; it’s an incredible moment, it’s an era like none recorded before. At this very moment, the largest single generation in the history of the world: “The Boomers” are literally exploding into our marketplace. We are selling to them with technologies that we barely know how to use, tools that didn’t exist a year ago. As proof of that, you need only consider this magazine you’re reading . . . it isn’t printed on paper! Our jobs are to sell travel, to produce profits. We’ve read hundreds of articles on Boomers and their pending impact on travel. We’ve changed marketing tools so we can reach them. We use websites (paperless catalogs) and emails (no postage cost). 8 • Byways

But, while the marketing tools are fascinating, you can’t be distracted from the product. The packaging of tours is basically the same. You take a hotel, add a dinner, plug in a museum and then publish. The difference with today’s Boomer targeted product, is that the customer wants more: better hotels, better food and more excitement. To survive you have to kick the package excitement up a notch, put a little fire and smoke into that tour title. Rail Tours and Boomers are a perfect match. Boomers want adventure and unique experiences. But, Boomers are getting old (ages now range between 47 and 65). Like their parents before them they are buying group travel for economy, safety in numbers and chauffer driven coaches. Rail Tours perfectly match the market’s adventurous desires and aging bones. They are a chance


to see rugged and remote places, from inside safe and climate controlled cars. Boomers are beautiful customers and there are millions. They are waiting right now to buy your products; you just have to pique their interest with your tour titles and activities. I do it with TRAINS! Whoo Woooooo! Trains travel scenic routes with beautifully descriptive names such as the Black Hills and Royal Gorge, the Pacific Surfliner and the Cheat Mountain Salamander. They are historic, nostalgic, and pretty. This edition of Byways features several great rail adventures. I challenge you to read this e-pub, look for an opportunity and create a new tour with a title that has both Fire & Smoke. One last fun thought: Look at Norman Rockwell’s paintings and then look at a scenic train’s website. The people in all of the pictures, both then and now, are excited about riding on a train.

Virginia & Truckee Railroad

U.S. Tours was created by Bob Cline in 1996 and is today America’s most detailed planner of custom, selfescorted Group Tours. Visit www.ustours.biz.

The Cass Scenic Railroad, West Virginia

Byways • 9


Great Rail Adventures • Customized Itineraries

2011 Train Tours

• 1 Free with Every 16 Paid • Private Labeled so you can resell • Fast Quotes without voicemail • Graphic & Marketing Assistance • Route Directions & Mapping • Private Labeled Tags & Badges

America’s Most Detailed Provider of Custom, Self-Escorted Group Tours U.S. TOURS 888-393-8387 www.ustours.biz 2819 Murdoch Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101 10 • Byways


Southern Kitchen Home Cooking Since 1955 Close to Bryce Resort, Shenandoah Caverns & New Market Battlefield New Market, Virginia I-81 Exit

Steaks • Seafood • Chicken • Breakfast 540-740-3514 9576 S. Congress Street Open 7 Days a Week 7 am - 9 pm Come by and meet your hosts, Randy & Rebecca Newland

Byways • 11


Ghost Train to Yesterday Photos and story by Dr. John A. Kirchner

12 • Byways


Virginia City-bound No. 29 rounds a bend on a March day, with the snowy Sierra Nevada in the background.

Byways • 13


S

ixty-five years ago railroad author and publisher Lucius Beebe coined this title to describe one of America’s classic railroads of the mining West. The names Comstock Lode and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad were synonymous with the vast wealth of gold and silver that came from the mines around Virginia City, the legendary hilltop mining town near Carson City, Nevada. When Beebe first photographed the railroad, the short line had seen better times and was close to oblivion. Likewise, Virginia City itself had become a

ghost town, clinging to a life once glorified by the rich ores of the area. Like so many other mining railroads, as the mines played out, the wheels slowly ground to a halt. The Virginia & Truckee once connected Virginia City with Carson City, Reno, and Minden, and at its peak ran more than fifty freight trains a day, paying its owners dividends that at times exceeded $100,000 a month! Overnight Pullman sleepers connected the Comstock Lode with San Francisco, and the passengers included the elites of the City by the Bay, many of them made

On a quiet winter night, Virginia City may look like the ghost town that it once was, but with the growth of tourism, the city has become a major Nevada attraction.

14 • Byways


wealthy by the Comstock Lode itself or the businesses that supported it. Construction on the original 16.7mile railroad from Carson City to Virginia City began in 1869, the same year the First Transcontinental Railroad was commotorcoach operators to contact them. pleted. This section For more information, contact: closed in 1938, but part of the V&T Virginia & Truckee Railroad limped along until P.O. Box 467, Virginia City, NV 89440 1950, with final clo775-847-0380 sure of the line to http://www.virginiatruckee.com/ Reno. Today, happily, the Virginia & Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority Truckee has 86 South C Street, Virginia City, NV 89440 returned to life. Led No. 29 blasts out of Tunnel No. 800-718-7587 by a cadre of people 2, a 566-ft bore opened in 1869 http://www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/ with shared interand restored in 2008. ests, the privately Nevada State Railroad Museum operated V&T 2180 S. Carson St. (US 395 at Fairview) began to rebuild in the mid-1970s. Carson City, NV 89701 The restored railway operates from May through 775-687-6953 October, offering short diesel-hauled rides from Virginia http://museums.nevadaculture.org/index.php?option= City to Gold Hill on a daily basis, and longer weekend com_content&view=article&id=412&Itemid=123 trips with steam to the state capital, Carson City. No. 29, a Baldwin 2-8-0 built in 1916, does the honors. About the author: Dr. Kirchner is professor emeritus Likewise, Virginia City itself has become a national of geography and transportation at Cal State University shrine to mining history, reclaiming its glory days, and Los Angeles. attracting large numbers of visitors. Said to have been at one time the richest small town in America, the federally Walter C. Gray, the man largely responsible for the rebirth of the V&T designated National Historic District stands beside old No. 29 in Virginia now lays claim to a history filled with City. The engine is named in his honor. the legends of the American West, from author Mark Twain to fabled entrepreneurs William Ralston, Darius Mills, Charles Crocker, and Adolph Sutro, among many others. Virginia City, in fact, supposedly once had more millionaires than any other town in the U.S. Carson City also has the excellent Nevada State Railroad Museum, a wonderful place to see restored V&T equipment and learn more about the past history of the V&T. Both the Virginia & Truckee and the Nevada State Railroad Museum offer group rates, and encourage tour and Byways • 15


Traveling Through Colorado!s Spectacular Royal Gorge

Photos courtesy Royal Gorge Route Railroad

16 • Byways


S

ilver! In the late 1870s miners descended on the upper Arkansas valley of Colorado in search of carbonate ores rich in lead and silver. The feverish mining activity in what would become the Leadville district attracted the attention of the Denver & Rio Grande and the Santa Fe railroads, each already having tracks in the Arkansas valley. The Santa Fe was at Pueblo, and the D&RG near Canon City some 35 miles west. Leadville was over 100 miles away. For two railroads to occupy a river valley ordinarily was not a problem, but west of Canon City was an incredible obstacle -- an obstacle that would result in a war between the railroads in the race to the new bonanza. West of Canon City the Arkansas River cuts through a high plateau of igneous rocks forming a spectacular steep-walled gorge over a thousand feet deep. At its narrowest point shear walls on both sides plunge into the river creating an impassible barrier. On April 19, 1878, a hastily assembled construction crew from the Santa Fe began grading be known as the Royal Gorge War. for a railroad just west of Canon City in On March 27, 1880, the two railroads the mouth of the gorge. The D&RG settled all litigation, and gave the whose end of track was only ž of a mile D&RG back its railroad. The Royal from Canon City raced crews to the same Gorge War was over. The first passenger train area, but were blocked by the Santa Fe arrived at Salida in 1880, and in 1882 the Royal Gorge graders in the narrow canyon. By a few hours they had lost the first round in what became a route became a transcontinental rail link between two-year struggle between the two railroads that would Denver and Salt Lake.

Byways • 17


The Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, known as the Royal Gorge, was one of the highlights on the route through the Rockies. The Denver & Rio Grande was then known as the Scenic Line of the World. For more than 87 years, passengers experienced the breathtaking beauty, wildlife and romance of the rails until passenger train service ended in 1967 and access through the Royal Gorge was halted. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad was reestablished in the fall of 1998 and has become a premier destination attraction carrying over 100,000 guests through the Royal Gorge each year. The vision is to provide a quality experience, combining the spectacular scenery of the Royal Gorge, the nostalgia of 1950s train travel, with generation, the Railroad today takes rail travelers on a unique dining options and exceptional service. two-hour, 24-mile visual and culinary feast. Passengers The Royal Gorge is located two hours south of Denver travel deep beneath the towering 1,000-foot and 45-minutes southwest of Colorado Springs. granite cliffs, along the tumbling waters of the The Royal Gorge Bridge is Arkansas River, where eagles soar, bighorn America’s highest y k c o roam and cell service is non-existent. the R st in sheep suspension t a h t Today the Royal Gorge Route Railroad e trainose as the be here prides itself bridge, owned by h t s i on the comfort and charm of This in News ch d reason. W ious the City of carefully restored railroad cars providing ta oo lic Canon City, and Mounado and for g d enjoy a de rvice, classic train travel, exceptional guest serve r n s o a ry open daily. The Col an you go raordingas and enter- ice and gourmet meals. t c x e e s , l l e a Royal Gorge What started as a history of rivals amid rse me oundin ails? Route Railroad 3-cou xurious surr riding the r scenic splendor is now one of Colorado’s u e runs under the and l ent, all whil most treasured scenic railroads. bridge along the tainm 1.888.724.5748 or 719.276.4000 for reservations. base of Royal Gorge. https://www.royalgorgeroute.com Instrumental in preserving this breathtaking canyon and ensuring a vital part of Colorado history will be passed along to the next

18 • Byways


Byways • 19


South Dakota’s Black Hills Central, The 1880 Train

I

magine you are immersed in the staggering beauty of the Black Hills of Western South Dakota, gliding over the rugged landscape aboard a vintage steam train, like those that helped settle the Great American West. Welcome aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad, known in South Dakota as the 1880 Train. Located near Mt. Rushmore National Monument and Crazy Horse Memorial, the locomotive offers a western experience like no other on its two-hour, 15 minute trip. Onboard you feel the power, hear the bellow of the engine and the whine of the whistle as it winds its way through the scenic hills between Hill City and Keystone and back again. The Black Hills Central Railroad has become a popular tourist railroad in southwestern South Dakota, near Rapid City. One reason for the little railroad’s success is a big Mallet steam locomotive it restored a few years ago and today is the star in its fleet. A trip aboard the railroad is a very memorable experience. The Black Hills are a special place. Many cultures over the centuries have come to value the region for not only its visible wonders, natural resources, and beauty, but also for characteristics nearly spiritual in nature. Time has not changed this admiration for the Black Hills. In the history of American frontier experience, no other development was more influential than the railroad and its iron horses. The steel rails crisscrossed the plains, ran up into the mountains, and brought settlers and town-builders to areas that had been home to native tribes for centuries. Good or bad, the railroad was a physical manifestation of America’s quest to grow and prosper. The Black Hills mining boom began in 1874. Gold was discovered near the site of today’s city of Custer by a member of an exploration party led by Lt. Colonel George A. Custer. By late 1877, events changing the 20 • Byways

Black Hills forever had occurred: the Battle of the Little Bighorn; major gold strikes in the Deadwood and Lead areas of the northern Black Hills; and the area was now a part of Dakota Territory. Deadwood was founded following the discovery of gold in 1876. Reached by railroad in 1891, the city developed as a trading center for the northern Black Hills region. In 1989, limited-wage gambling was legalized in Deadwood to rejuvenate tourism. The first steam engine in the Black Hills was brought across the prairie by bull team to the Homestake Mining Company at Lead in 1879. In 1881, the Homestake Company created the first narrow-gauge railroad in the Black Hills to haul its cargo and the public from Lead to several mining camps. In 1885, the first standard-gauge railroad reached Buffalo Gap, Dakota Territory, and was extended on into Rapid City the next year. The Black Hills Central Railroad is one of the oldest tourist railroads in the country, dating back to 1957 when it took over an ex-Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad branch in the region originally used to mine the famous gold deposits located in the Black Hills region. During the late 1940s, diesel engines became more common than steam. After years of declining use, William B. Heckman (a public relations man with railroad experience) decided to start a railroad where steam actually operated, and was not just relegated to static display. He and Robert Freer, a sales engineer of diesel locomotives, organized a group who believed “there should be in operation at least one working steam railroad, for boys of all ages who share America’s fondness for the rapidly vanishing steam locomotive.” On the morning of August 18, 1957, the first official train operated on the Black Hills Central. Veteran


Burlington engineer Earl Coupens piloted the Klondike Casey and its two open-air coaches away from the Burlington’s vintage 1890 Hill City depot; up the over four-percent grade of Tin Mill Hill and on to Oblivion. The route had been nicknamed “the 1880 Train,” as it was likened by Heckman to riding a train in the 1880s. While not quite historically accurate, the dating of the operation stuck, and if nothing else, captured an illusion of the railroad history. Two significant events have transformed the Black Hills landscape and not only created monuments to American history, they also invite travelers to come and enjoy the amazing spirit of the Black Hills. In the summer of 1927, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated a granite mountain three miles southwest of Keystone as America’s Shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. And in 1948, another monumental project was begun near a future route of the 1880 Train. South of Hill City, a granite mountain was chosen to memorialize the Lakota Indian warrior Crazy Horse. A young sculptor named Korzak Ziolkowski and several Lakota elders proclaimed that the mountain carving would “let others know that the Indian peoples had great leaders, too.” Fifty years after its inception, the Black Hills Central railroading; and to commemorate the vital role that railis still providing what its founder envisioned -- a place roads played in the development of this country. where new generations could experience a steam locoVisit http://www.1880train.com, or call 605-574-2222. motive after its disappearance from everyday American

Byways • 21


America’s Largest Celebration of Railroading Comes to Rock Island

C

oming July 21-24, 2011, the sounds of steam whistles, the clickety-clack of steel wheels on rails and the excitement from adults and children of all ages will take over Rock Island, Illinois in Schwiebert Riverfront Park for Train Festival 2011. This city located in the heart of the United States on the mighty Mississippi River, is part of a region known as the Quad Cities, which includes the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline/East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. Rock Island has a rich and colorful railroad history, and tens of thousands of train lovers will descend on the Quad Cities for America’s largest celebration of railroading, Train Festival 2011. Visitors will have the many options of rarely traveled passenger train excursion routes as well as Mississippi River excursions by boat right from downtown Rock Island in Schwiebert Park. Steam and Diesel Locomotives from around the country will be on display for visitors to tour the cabs, take photos, watch demonstrations and much more. Huge model train layouts will be on exhibit from around the country and railroad vendors from around the globe will be selling unique, one-of-a-kind train items and mementos that you won’t find anywhere else. Visitors will be able to take an all-day excursion or shorter 2-hour train rides behind various vintage locomotives. Scaled down miniature trains will be hauling passengers around the grounds of the event as well. Children’s areas will keep the little ones busy for hours. Train Festival 2011 is being produced by Prestige Rail Marketing and sponsored by the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Rock 22 • Byways

Island. Portions of the ticket sales will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. For more information on Train Festival 2011, please visit www.trainfestival2011.com. Check the website for newly added train excursions and festival updates. You can also sign up on the website to receive email updates directly from Train Festival 2011. For Group Tour Planners interested in more information and bookings please contact Dan Gleason at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 ext. 100. Rock Island is part of the region known as the Quad Cities. The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways. The region is also served by the Quad City International Airport (MLI) located in Moline, Illinois. For information on lodging and attractions in the area, please visit the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.visitquadcities.com.


A

merica’s romance with the vintage passenger train lives on through excursions on the Branson Scenic Railway aboard a collection of unique passenger cars that travel through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. This one hour and 45-minute trip takes passengers through tunnels, over trestles, and through the southwest Missouri or northwest Arkansas wilderness that is still home to much wildlife and to the ruins of long-ago communities now named only on railroad maps. May through December on Saturdays at 5:00pm, a dinner train is offered. A four-course candlelight meal is served, and the guests are treated to traditional style dining that was the ultimate experience long ago when riding on the rails. (Seating is limited on the dinner train; reservations are required.) Over a century-old, the historic Branson Depot has been a destination of travel for generations. Located in downtown Branson, one block west of Lake Tanycomo, its design is classic Americana, and its gift shop showcases railroad memorabilia of all kinds, a line of Thomas the Tank Engine™ products and other unique gifts.

the same first-class experience and ambiance to today’s passengers as to those they carried fifty years ago. The comfort of the vintage passenger cars is quite a contrast to the harsh realities the railroad pioneers found when they undertook bringing rail service to the Ozarks.

Branson Scenic Railway

It is the headquarters for the Branson Scenic Railway, and houses the administrative offices, the reservation and ticket office. Traveling on a working commercial railroad line, the train’s direction of travel (depending on freight traffic and/or track conditions) is determined by the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad just prior to departure. At that time, the train will go either north or south. (All excursions depart from the old depot.) The northern route goes as far as Galena, Missouri, to the James River Valley; and the southern route extends into Arkansas to the Barren Fork Trestle. Three to four times daily, depending on the season, Branson Scenic Railway explores territory inaccessible by automobile and offers views that are unattainable by any other means of transportation. The routes take passengers about 20 miles from Branson before reversing direction and returning on the same tracks. The cars have been restored and refurbished to offer

Laying the tracks for the White River Railway was possibly the most difficult construction task ever undertaken in the Ozarks. It meant creating hundreds of miles of level surface where there were only rugged hills and valleys. It also meant stretching tall trestles across valleys and blasting long, damp tunnels through mountains of solid rock. But its difficulty is surpassed by the accomplishment and the opportunities the railroad provided the struggling Ozarks pioneers. The town of Branson is a product of the railroad.The construction of the White River Railway in the early 1900s made the area accessible for tourists and is largely responsible for the development of Branson and the Ozarks as a tourism destination. reservations@bransontrain.com 417-334-6110 800-2-TRAIN-2 (800-287-2462) http://www.bransontrain.com Byways • 23


Mountains, Music, and Railroads

F

Greenbrier Valley Railroad. The DGVR offers four historic locomotives that depart from Elkins and Durbin (just an hour away), running four unique excursions into the surrounding mountains and river valleys. Right next door is the American Mountain Theater, a state-of-the-art, 500-seat theater featuring “Branson-style” family entertainment, including comedy, music, impersonations, and an All-Star cast that keeps the show moving, non-stop. Choose from the Premier 2-hour Show, a History of American Music show, the Southern The Mountain Explorer Dinner Train Gospel Concert Series, or the Christmas Spectacular. Meals are served on the train, your choice of cold sandwich buffets or box lunches. Dinner is available at the Durbin Depot or a buffet at the Railyard Restaurant, located between the Depot and the theater in Elkins. Multiple options are available. With the downtown location of both attractions, lodging couldn’t be more convenient. A Holiday Inn Express is located just behind the Railyard Restaurant. A new

rom May to December, the West Virginia mountains come alive with the vibrant sounds of music and the welcoming wail of the train whistle. Together, both of these experiences in the historic town of Elkins, herald in that long forgotten feeling of the good ‘ole days that have come back home! Conveniently located just off I-79, on US 33 East in central West Virginia, Elkins is West Virginia’s newest group destination. Here you can “Ride the Train, See the Show!” The downtown Elkins Depot is home to the Durbin &

24 • Byways


Photos courtesy Pocohantas County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad

American Mountain Theater performance


The New Tygart Flyer

Hampton Inn is not far away. Other bus-friendly hotels and resorts are nearby. Ample parking between all facilities allows easy access for the buses and to individuals in the group. Groups depart buses at the Depot, are welcomed by the friendly Depot staff, and board the train from the Depot. Bus parking in the large, adjacent parking lot allows ease and The Durbin Rocket

26 • Byways

accessibility at all times. A step-on guide, versed in the history of the area, is available upon request.


The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s professional staff can customize the package you want. Special group pricing is extended to groups of 20 or more. Two complimentary tickets will be provided to all groups with a minimum of 30 paying passengers. For more information, contact Naida Vonne Simpson in Group Sales. 304-636-9477, ext. 100 or email: grouptours@mountainrail.com Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad P.O. Box 702, 315 Railroad Avenue Elkins, WV 26241 1-877-MTN-RAIL (686-7245) www.MountainRail.com

The Cheat Mountain Salamander

Byways • 27


West Virginia!s Cass Scenic Railroad

N

estled in the mountains of West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers excursions that transport you back in time to relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. Trips to Cass are filled with rich histories of the past, unparalleled views of a vast wilderness area, and close-up encounters with the sights and sounds of original steamdriven locomotives. Today the town of Cass remains relatively unchanged. The restored company houses now rented as vacation cottages, add to the charm and atmosphere of the town. From the company store and museum to the train depot, you’ll find an abundance of things to do prior to your departure on the historic Cass Railroad. The Cass Scenic Railroad is the same line built in 1901 to haul lumber to the mill in Cass. The locomotives are the same Shay locomotives used in Cass and in the rainforests of British Columbia for more than a half-century. Many of the passenger cars are old logging flat-cars that have been refurbished. Invented to do the impossible, the Shay logging locomotive was designed to climb the steepest grades, swing around hairpin curves and negotiate frail temporary tracks. In addition, they had to haul incredibly heavy loads, from woods to mill. Power was all-important. Back in 28 • Byways

1911, West Virginia led the nation with more than 3,000 miles of logging railroad line. All is gone now, except for the 11 miles at Cass, restored just as it was in the early 1900s, making Cass Scenic Railroad State Park America’s authentic operating museum of lumber railroading. Once you board the train, the real excitement begins! The great pistons of the carefully restored Shay locomotive will start pulsing, driven by hundreds of pounds of steam pressure. The shaft begins turning, the wheels find traction, and the locomotive begins to move. With thick, black smoke belching from its stack, the train pulls away from the station, passing the water tower from which the locomotive tanks are filled. As the train

Cass Log Train


rounds the curve up Leatherbark Creek, you’ll pass the Cass Shop, where the locomotives are serviced and repaired, and a graveyard of antiquated but fascinating equipment on sidetracks. As the pressure builds, the locomotive is driven at full steam, and the laborious journey up the mountain toward the two switchbacks begin. The loud huff of the stack, the clanking of gears and pistons, the furious scream of the whistle at the crossings, and the ever present clackety-clack of the rails will indeed make you feel as if you have been transported back in time. The train soon passes through the first switchback, reverses up a steep grade, and ascends to the second switchback where the process is repeated, and then finally into open fields and Whittaker Station. Whittaker Station is located four miles up the track from Cass. At Whittaker Station you have the opportunity to leave the train and enjoy a breathtaking view of a vast wilderness area. Visitors can rest, eat lunch, and take a tour of the authentic logging camp recreated by the volunteers of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association. The camp shows both the living quarters and the equipment used by the loggers. The centerpiece of Camp One is a Lidgerwood tower skidder, one of only two examples left in the world. These huge railcar-mounted machines carried logs out of the woods on aerial cables for distances up to 3000 feet.

The switchback process allows the train to gain quick altitude, and in this instance, the train is traversing a grade of up to 11 percent, or 11 feet in altitude for each 100 feet of track. A 2 percent grade on conventional railroads is considered steep! You will want to dress warmly for high elevations. Except for The Leatherbark Car and cabooses, the cars are unheated. If you take the full 4 ½ hour trip to Bald Knob, you leave Whittaker Station and proceed to Oats Run for the engines to take on additional water at a spring. The train then climbs up the mountain, finally reaching Bald Knob, the third highest point in West Virginia. The overlook at Bald Knob provides a spectacular view at an altitude of 4,700 feet. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a first-rate living museum, where a priceless collection of antique steam locomotives running much longer than ever intended, is kept on a railroad that is surely one of the most interesting and challenging in the world. Journey back in time to the days of company towns, geared locomotives and log trains...You’re invited to visit and for a ride in history. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park P.O. Box 107, Cass, WV 24927 304-456-4300 cassrailroad@wvdnr.gov Groups: Geraldine.E.Bartels@wv.gov http://www.cassrailroad.com

Cass Shay Locomotives

Photos courtesy Pocohantas County Convention & West Virginia Department of Commerce (www.wvcommerce.org)

Byways • 29


Letchworth State Park, “Grand Canyon of the East�

We invite you to tour - / -$"-Ę?.Country Byways – Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties in Western New York. Located just 40 minutes east of Niagara Falls, the Country Byways take in all of those “fun to poke around inâ€? tour stops that you may not be familiar with when visiting the Western New York area. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find:

8C9@FE

Ę° /#2*-/#// -& – “Grand Canyon of the Eastâ€? – 3 amazing waterfalls, overlooks, in-park dining overlooking the middle falls - step-on guides available! Ę°  Ę­'' -40. 0( – How fun!? We’re the birthplace of JELL-O...just follow our JELL-O brick road!

E@8>8I8 =8CCJ

Ę° 0// -Ę?.# . /*-4 – Wine & cheese tasting for your group.. plus shop in the cheese store for award winning cheeses and New York’s Finger Lakes wines.

98K8M@8

Ę°# *' ./*) 0. 0(*(+' 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Explore the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only cobblestone museum complex Ę°'$1 -Ę?.)$ .â&#x20AC;&#x201C; get a behind-the-scenes tour of this localâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite chocolate factory and gift shop. Custard ice cream on site too! C<K:?NFIK? JK8K<G8IB

Ę°$ ..*-/( )/*!- ./0-)/.Ę? .4Ę­/*Ę­" /Ę­/* hotels, shopping areas, and gaming in the Batavia area hotel district.

- / -$"-Ę?.Country Byways

Give us a call to receive your free -*0+*0-')) - .*0- 0$ Ę? This 48-page brochure is full of suggested itineraries, attractions, maps, dining accommodations and more!

30 â&#x20AC;˘ Byways


;EBHCqGBHEq=G=A9E5EL

<=GqG<9qE5=?F q 7EH=F9qG<9q75A5?qGBHE

G-0

Medina Railroad Museum

8:00am Depart Batavia, NY hotel district 8:45 Arrive at the Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises. A unique narrated cruise along the Old Erie Canal, which will pass through historic sites and five original 1825 locks. 11:30 Conclude your cruise and begin lunch at the Lift Bridge Café. Dine dockside in casual elegance along the Erie Canal towpath. 1:00 Depart Lockport on a one-hour train excursion along the Erie Canal to the Medina Railroad Museum, featuring memorabilia from the New York Central Railroad and an unbelievable HO Scale train layout. 2:30 Depart for the Medina Stone Farm for country music entertainment in the parlor. Enjoy a special mid-day snack, and listen to a country legends tribute. 4:00 Depart for Albion and a step-on guided tour of Courthouse Square - including the Pullman Universalist Church, built by George Pullman, inventor of the rail sleeping car. 5:00 Depart for LeRoy and the D&R Depot Restaurant for dinner. Dine in a restored train depot, where the food is homemade, the service is friendly, and even the background music is old-fashioned. Try the chicken-pot-pie, you won’t be disappointed. 7:15 Depart for your Batavia hotel. Turn in early, or try your luck at the slot machines you’ll discover just down the road at Batavia Downs Casino. D & R Depot Restaurant

E4,)#&41q<0#,!4.0

I

&/q;#04!0#qA,4.4#4

f you search your heritage, you’re likely to find an ancestor who had a tie to railroads or canals. The expansion of these transportation modes influenced our culture, industry and history in innumerable ways. Housed in one of the last surviving wooden freight depots in the United States, the

Medina Railroad Museum features one

of the largest collections of artifacts and memorabilia of its type in the country. The 1905 structure contains the longest HO scale layout and diorama all on one floor, and the displays/ exhibits offer visitors the opportunity to marvel at the growth of this industry. However, railroads weren’t the only method of transporting people and goods. The Erie Canal connected the waterways of the Northeast, opening up trade and development. Today, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises gives a glimpse into what it would have been like to travel the canal, complete with stories and lore concerning its construction. Now you can spend a weekend delving into history, and experiencing the wonder that the first settlers must have felt. We’ve put together the perfect tour to get you started.

View the digital version of our tour planner online or watch a quick video as we follow along a group tour while they visit some of these fun stops!

ˁʭˈˀˀʭˆ˂˂ʭ˂ˆˈˆ 3/ʏˁ˅(M-F 8A-4:30PM EST)ʰ222ʏ*0)/-4424.ʏ*(

Byways • 31


Pennsylvania!s Strasburg Rail Road

Step back in time as you enter East Strasburg station, circa 1915. Photos courtesy Strasburg Rail Road

32 â&#x20AC;˘ Byways


F

ounded in 1832, the Strasburg Rail Road is nearing the 180th Anniversary of its railroad charter. Precisely when the railroad first turned a wheel is still a matter of patient research, but the earliest timetable found to date indicates Strasburg trains were scheduled as of December 1851. On February 22, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln made a stop at Leaman Place on his inaugural train ride, en route to Lancaster. His four-minute visit brought nearly 5,000 people out to cheer for the President and Mrs. Lincoln. To prepare for the Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visit, Strasburg Rail Road had purchased its first passenger car, which ran on a special train to transport people to and from Leaman Place. First used for passenger and freight transportation, the railroadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main purpose became a freight interchange with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Following World War II, improved highway transportation decreased the need for the railroad. By the mid-1950s, the Strasburg Rail Road was nearing the end of its usefulness. In 1957, destruction of the tracks caused by a series of storms

Wine & Cheese is served.

placed an immediate embargo on the carload freight. The owners were unwilling to invest in the necessary repairs. While petitions for abandonment were being considered, Henry K. Long, an industrialist and railfan from nearby Lancaster, along with Donald E. L. Hallock, another enthusiastic railfan with a vision, formed a group of interested individuals to save the railroad. With Strasburg Rail Road Engine 475

Byways â&#x20AC;˘ 33


perseverance and a creative idea, the Strasburg Rail Road was saved. After repairing the worst spots on the four-and-a-half mile track, the owners began acquiring an inventory of historic locomotives and passenger cars from all across North America. Using the old feed mill as a station, the ambitious band of “rail barons” opened the railroad to visitors in 1958. The Strasubrg Rail Road is recognized as one of America’s most significant examples of early 20th century railroading. Today you can stroll through the historic East Strasburg Station and the neighboring town of Strasburg, exploring the engines and rail cars up-close. Riding beautifully restored trains is so much fun that you’ll almost forget that you’re immersed in a richly educational experience -- learning about steam railroading, agriculture, Amish culture and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.

34 • Byways

The larger-than-life coal-burning steam train is just the beginning. Ride the Cagney Steam Train, a miniature version; operate a hand-powered Pump Car or watch the little ones “steer” the pint-sized Cranky Car. Browse the Thomas™ Toy Store. Discover an amazing


Authentic structures such as this switch tower, offer visitors a genuine railroad experience.

Byways â&#x20AC;˘ 35


railroad bookstore and railfan shop filled with apparel and merchandise. Enjoy a visit to the local shops. And bring your appetite. Enjoy food, drinks and entertainment while riding aboard Strasburg Rail Road, or grab a bite at the Trackside Café. Across the road is the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where you can explore a world-class collection of more than 100 locomotives and rail cars on display, including the priceless Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Collection. And nearby is the National Toy Train Museum, another world-class collection. The 45-minute train ride will take you through some of the most beautiful, peaceful and productive Pennsylvania Dutch Countryside, with a stop in Paradise, PA. From this unique vantage point, you’ll see Amish farmers working in their fields, Amish children playing nearby; livestock grazing and farm produce waiting to be harvested. You’ll come to appreciate why so many people choose to live in Lancaster County, PA. More than saving land, the Strasburg Rail Road wishes to preserve the beauty, productivity and way of life that this land provides for our Amish and English farming neighbors. Climb aboard the historic Strasburg Rail Road for a dining experience flavored with turnof-the-century charm and first class service. Seated in the elegantly restored “Lee E. Brenner” Dining Car, you will journey through rolling hills and picturesque farms in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. From the authentic steam locomotive to the luxurious appointments of the vintage Dining Car, dinner aboard the Strasburg Rail Road is a memorable escape to the golden age of steam railroading. The Strasburg Rail Road is a great place for groups. Include a meal aboard the train during your 45-minute ride, and your 36 • Byways

Lunch in the dining car.

group will have an even more memorable day. For more information on group luncheons, please call 717-6878421 or email groups@StrasburgRailRoad.com. srrtrain@strasburgrailroad.com General Information: 717-687-7522 Groups & Students: 717-687-8421

Accommodations range from the classic Coach to First Class fares.


The Polar Bear Express, Canada!s Heritage Experience

R

ide the rails for a unique Canadian Heritage Experience! Step back in time and discover the fascinating history of Canada’s Northland as the Polar Bear Express takes you through scenic forests and wetlands, and across mighty rivers once navigated by early Aboriginals, explorers and fur traders. This spectacular excursion will take you 186 miles, to the edge of the Arctic and back. From your departure point in Cochrane, Ontario, you’ll relax as the Polar Bear Express winds its way through some of the most fascinating and culturally significant areas in Canada. Along the way, you will witness the majestic Abitibi River, the main fur trade route of bygone days, now enjoyed by modern adventurers. The Polar Bear Express is a Canadian passenger train operated by the Ontario Northland Railway in Northern Ontario. Service was introduced in 1964. Ontario Northland’s Polar Bear Express connects residents of the coastal communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory to Cochrane and is one of North America’s last remaining “flag stop” train services.

The Polar Bear Express runs daily Monday through Friday and during the summer season, service is Sunday to Friday (no service on Saturday). The climate-controlled Polar Bear Express features comfortable passenger cars with large viewing windows, and a dome car affording panoramic views of the majestic scenery. During the summer, the Polar Bear Express features a full dining car in which you may enjoy a spectacular meal, in addition to the snack car. The Railroad Station in Cochrane

Byways • 37


Explore the many Moosonee is the final destination. amenities aboard the train, including an entertainment car with live music. And make sure to visit the popular Family Car, which will keep your kids engaged with familyfriendly movies, games and crafts, all supervised by Passenger Attendants. The popular return excursion allows you to spend an afternoon exploring Moosonee and Moose Factory any number of ways: from guided and self-guided walking tours to an engaging Audio Tour developed by Discovery Channel. For reservations and more informathe Discovery Channel, for a nominal fee. The Polar Bear Express railway excursion will allow tion, please contact: you and your family to get away from all of the hassles of 1-800-268-9281 (English/Francais) modern living and spend time discovering the history of TTY/ATS: 1-866-472-3865 the people and the landscape of the North. Email: tours@ontc.on.ca Package excursions include train transportation, www.OntarioNorthland.ca accommodations, meals and an Audio Tour by

The Dome Car on the Polar Bear Express

38 â&#x20AC;˘ Byways


Byways is published bi-monthly by Byways, Inc. and distributed electronically throughout North America. Byways is emailed to more than 4000 tour operators and 21,000 travel agencies through the internet. Subscriptions are complimentary. Byways’ distribution also includes motorcoach companies, tour operators, travel agents, bank travel managers, school band and athletic planners, and meeting planners. For advertising rates, editorial deadlines, or to place advertising insertions, contact: Byways Magazine, P.O. 1088, Mount Jackson, VA 22842. Telephone 540-4773202. Fax 540-477-3858. ©Copyright 2011 by Byways, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be duplicated in any form without express written permission of the publisher. Editor and Publisher Stephen M. Kirchner

Advertising Director 1.800.469.0062 540.477.3202 Fax 540.477.3858 Internet: www.motorcoach.com/byways Blog: http://bywaysmagazine.wordpress.com Email: byways@motorcoach.com

Advertisers Index Byways Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Franklin Hotel, Deadwood, South Dakota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louisville MEGA Cavern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . motorcoach.com/National Reservation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greater Niagara Country Byways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shenandoah County, Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shenandoah Caverns Family of Attractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shenandoah County Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Southern Kitchen Restaurant, New Market, Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Staunton, Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . U.S. Tours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

40 7 21 11 6 31 2-3 2 3 11 11 10

Byways • 39


A unique perspective on the always bustling Times Square is one of the many vistas audiences get on THE RIDE.

THE RIDE Takes Manhattan

T

HE RIDE is a new entertainment experience that Park, THE RIDE provides a look at New York and its turns the streets of New York into a stage. And people in a way that you’ve never seen before. You’ll laugh, you’ll be wowed, you might even learn someyou’ve got front row seats. THE RIDE will move you through the city, turning thing. famous NYC landmarks into backdrops as a live show plays out right in front of you. Through advanced audio and video technology, amazing performances, local insider information and non-stop excitement, THE RIDE will transform the way you see New York. You never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet along the 4.2-mile route. No matter how many times you take THE RIDE, it’s never the same show twice. “The sidewalks of New York are active all year long and our performers help turn them into the world’s bigest stage,” say President and CEO Jonahtan Danforth. “The Ride provides front-row seats for every season Actors portray the soldier and the nurse from Alfred Eisenstaedt!s of the year.” iconic V.J. Day photo during a performance on THE RIDE. From Grand Central to Central 40 • Byways


Photos by Marc Bryan-Brown.

IDE c on THE R e c n ie d u a es as the nce mov a d e iv s s ws impre man sho

heers him

on.

g n i n e p p a H s ’ t Wha elivery suming d An unas

6th Avenue Skyscrapers, Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle What’s and Central Park. All in about 75 minutes. As the tallest mode of transportation allowed on the part of the show and what’s everyday life in the big city? The fun’s in figuring it streets of New York by federal law, THE RIDE will make you look twice. out. So get on and find out for yourself. The custom-made vehicles feature stadium-style seatTHE RIDE audiences see Times Square, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, NYC ing that turns Riders sideways. As THE RIDE moves Main Branch of the Public Library, Empire State along, Riders look out massive windows to famous NYC Building, 42nd street, Shubert Alley/Broadway theaters, landmarks turned backdrops to THE RIDE’s amazing entertainment experiences. THE RIDE is fully loaded with the best in audio, video and wireless technology to amp up whatever is happening on board, while keeping Riders connected to what’s going on outside. From performers to passersby, THE RIDE can interact with anyone and everyone it meets along the way. THE RIDE starts and ends at the Marriott Marquis Hotel located in the heart of Times Square, at 1535 Broadway. THE RIDE Box Office is located outdoors on the ground level of the Marriott Marquis, 646-289-5060 info@experiencetheride.com Group Sales: groupsales@experiIn New York, art happens in the unlikeliest of places. Classical ballet amidst encetheride.com the Columbus Circle traffic rotary is one of the magical sites on THE RIDE. http://www.experiencetheride.com Byways • 41


See and Interact with All 44 U.S. Presidents in Washington, DC

The Kennedy Presidency

T

he ultimate three-dimensional tribute to America and its commanders-in-chief is Washington, D.C’s newest attraction, as Madame Tussauds opened its new $2 million-plus U.S. Presidents Gallery which houses wax figures of all 44 U.S. presidents. The launch of the Gallery makes Madame Tussauds D.C. the only place in the world where people can see and interact with all 44 U.S. presidents. “It’s a unique opportunity to experience all of the U.S. presidents in a way unlike ever before,” said Dan Rogoski, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. “As the only place in the world where people are able to meet and interact with all 44 U.S. presidents, history buffs, students and the general public 42 • Byways

alike enjoy a truly unique and enriching educational experience at the Gallery.” Since the Gallery was announced a year ago, Madame Tussauds studio artists have been working tirelessly to create entirely new wax figures of 28 U.S. presidents. In anticipation of the opening of the Presidents Gallery, figures of presidents have been popping up across the country. Throughout the year, figure sightings have i n c l u d e d : President Gerald Ford at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum for the 97th anniversary of his birthday; founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia over the July 4th holiday; and most recently, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, took a road trip to Mount Rushmore in honor of the 69th anniver-


Washington Crossing the Delaware River

sary of the monument’s completion. A lighthearted video of the trip can be viewed at Madame Tussauds Washington D.C.’s Facebook and YouTube pages; and a photo of the figures at the monument with their stone visages in the background can be viewed at newscast. A tremendous undertaking, each figure takes about three to four months to complete and requires an extensive amount of work. In order to make the figures as lifelike as possible, Madame Tussauds artists have to study hundreds of photographs, and when available, hours of video footage. Of course in some cases, the artists did not have the luxury of photographs or videos, and needed to rely on historical accounts, even paintings. The U.S. Presidents Gallery serves as a rich educational resource and includes a curriculum focused on the history of the U.S. presidents. The new curriculum fully complements the attraction’s existing and free comprehensive Educational Curriculum Guide, which was developed in accordance with the U.S. Department of National Social Studies Standards and National Council for the Social Civil Rights Movement Studies Standards. The guide was designed to empower educators with the tools they need to deliver exciting lessons in areas such as history, political science, social studies and media -- before and after visiting the attraction. Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. is a fully interactive, full-sensory experience, where visitors are able to touch, see and hear major historical events

and celebrities in a way unlike any other Washington, D.C. attraction. Recent additions to the attraction include music superstar Rihanna; actress, singer and teen sensation Selena Gomez; music megastars and teen sensation, the Jonas Brothers; superstars Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Penelope Cruz and Tyra Banks; as well as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Madame Tussauds is located on the corner of F and 10th Streets, NW, within walking distance of the National Mall and the White House. To learn more, visit www.madametussaudsdc.com or call 202-942-7300 or 888-WAX-IN-DC.

The Lincoln Years

Byways • 43


Enjoy Future Issues of

Subscribe now and receive Byways emailed to you at no cost! Sign up today and enjoy learning about the great travel destinations in the USA and Canada that are enjoyed by group tour and motorcoach travelers every year. Byways is available with a free subscription to anyone with an interest in North American travel destinations, including individual consumers. Click below to be added to the Byways mailing list. Just type in

FREE BYWAYS SUBSCRIPTION in the Subject Line and hit send. You’ll receive the next issue as soon as it becomes available.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

44 • Byways


Riding the Rails  

Visiting leading tourist railroads in North America.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you