Bonsal, NC -- All aboard! Have your tickets ready, because it's time to hop on the New Hope Valley Railway and experience the golden age of locomotion. Affectionately referred to as "Triangle's Train", this volunteer-run nonprofit has recreated what a short-line railroad looked like in 1950s North Carolina. Offering open-air rides on antique diesel and steam engine trains, this railway hosts much more than your average museum.
Located nine miles southwest of Apex, NC, this non-profit is keeping alive this history with equipment dating back to the 1920s. "Train travel is not a big thing in the 21st century, and this gives people a way to see how things worked," said railway volunteer Tom Hutchinson.
Straddling the border of Wake and Chatham Counties, their locomotives travel along four miles of historic track through the woods of central NC. If you come during their monthly "Brew & Choo" event, you can enjoy a local craft beer during your ride. They have a variety of local vendors, including food trucks and breweries like Durham-based Barrel Culture.
As one ticket-holder told us, "it's only 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh; you can come out here for two hours, ride the train, see all the vintage equipment, have a beer, and have a wonderful day."