All aboard! Railway dinners are open | Culture & Leisure

A Dinner on the Diners event is coming soon, and railroad enthusiasts won’t want to miss it.

Tickets are on sale now, and organizers say the popular event sold out last year.

The Diners Dinner will be held June 25 in Jonesborough, and proceeds from ticket sales will help fund the Watauga Valley Historic Passenger Car Restoration Program and fund new exhibits and educational experiences at the Chuckey Depot Museum.

The museum is housed in the former Southern Railway Railroad Depot, which the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum, the City of Jonesborough and the Heritage Alliance have partnered to relocate and preserve.

Live in a bygone era

The highlight of the evening will be an elegant meal in one of the historical society’s vintage dining cars, followed by stories from an authentic railway storyteller. The event also features train songs by the Trunk Monkeys.

The Moultrie dining car reflects the golden years of passenger train travel. Originally owned by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, it operated between New York and Miami until 1971. In 1971, Amtrak took over passenger train operations on the ACL and operated it until 1982. Purchased by the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum in 1989, the Moultrie was mechanically updated and interior restored.

The Clinchfield 100 began its long life in 1911 when it was built by the Pullman Company for the ACL as Coach 964. In 1929 it was rebuilt as a dining car and renamed Orlando. He operated between Washington, DC and Miami for the next 40 years.

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It was purchased in 1951 by the Clinchfield Railroad, headquartered at Erwin, where it was used as an executive car for another 32 years, including service on Kingsport’s famous “CSX Santa Train”. The historical society purchased Car 100 in 2013, fully restored it and renamed it Clinchfield. In 2019, it again served as Santa’s official car on Santa’s Train after a 37-year absence. The Clinchfield 100 just turned 111.

These dining cars will be in the yard on static display and will not move.

Both cars were built before the American with Disabilities Act, and due to their historical significance and age, they are exempt from ADA compliance requirements. The organizers of Dinner on the Diner recommend that you consider relevance when ordering tickets.

On the menu

Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Diners can choose a table for two or four. Groups of less than four guests will be seated with other guests. You must choose a seating time and entry option when purchasing tickets. Option 1: Oven-fried chicken; Option 2: Spiral sliced ​​ham; Option 3: Vegetarian pasta primavera — a pasta dish made with corkscrew pasta accompanied by fresh garden vegetables — zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes in a buttery garlic sauce garnished with parsley and fresh parmesan.

The chicken and ham dishes are served with rosemary roast potatoes and green beans and accompanied by salad. All meals include your selection of desserts from an assortment of cakes.

Due to limited yard parking, all customers will park at the Jonesborough Senior Center, 307 E. Main St., and be transported a short distance to and from the dining cars free of charge. Organizers suggest attendees dress casually for comfort when boarding, eating dinner, and listening to the narration.

All tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $56 per person and are available at the Jonesborough Visitors’ Center, l117 Boone St., or by calling (423) 753-1010, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online at

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