The Cy Crumley Scrapbook
ET&WNC Railroad

Tour 20a: Doe River Gorge Fall Colors


On Sunday afternoon October 22, 2006 the Doe River Gorge hosted the annual Fall Color Excursions which showcase the beauty of the Gorge as well as the overall camp facilities. Ken Riddle, host of the Cy Crumley Collection at this website, served as tour guide for the train rides.


Click on each photo to see a larger view.
  Ken Riddle

My buddy Glenn and I got to the Gorge about 12:45 and a crowd of people were already boarded for the first run. Mr. Riddle spotted us and let us squeeze in and start taking some photos.



Looking down into the Doe River, the original construction of the ET&WNC is amazing enhanced by the fall colors. How close are the rock walls and outcroppings to the narrow gauge railway line? Look at the photo on the lower right to see the actual distance. Mr. Riddle cautioned everyone to keep their hands, legs, and other elements inside the passenger car. Note the falling leaves in the photo on the top left.


Not much to say here just hang on tight and enjoy the view.......
A geologist would certainly enjoy the rock formations as Ken pointed out on the tour. Ken retells several stories found on this website including Chick Ferrell's runaway train ride.


In the photos above our Engineer, Mike Dowdy, son of noted ET&WNC brakeman James T. Dowdy gets ready for an excursion run on the Plymouth diesel engine. Meanwhile sales are brisk for the "In Search of Tweetsie" dvd which features a tour of the original ET&WNC right-of-way. Ken Riddle tips his cap to the departing passengers and as Conductor, greets another group preparing for the exciting ride into the Gorge in the tradition of Charles Grover "Cy" Crumley.
Order this DVD which contains Historic Film Footage, Aerial Views, and a Walking tour of the ROW.
Price - $18 & NC residents please add 7% sales tax.
Trane Productions
P.O. Box 1284
Linville, NC 28646-1284


Capping off the Tweetsie Sunday afternoon was a short hike to the tunnel near Valley Forge on the long abandoned portion of the old right-of-way. The old railway bridge abutments still stand next to an ancient roadway bridge which is also abandoned. The tunnel is a relatively short hike from U.S. 19E and is another marvelous relic similar to the tunnels at Doe River Gorge that are amazingly tiny - carved out only enough for the narrow gauge railcars to squeeze through. Glenn Berry works his way back down from the tunnel in the photo on the lower right. Glenn worked at one time for Norfolk and Western Railway and is a quite knowledgeable railfan.
Speaking of ghost trains, Lee Bishop has created a fascinating image in the final photo shown above. Lee imposed a vintage view from a black and white photo of Tweetsie at Doe River Gorge onto a modern scene. What an incredible composite view and the special beauty of Doe River Gorge is that you are seeing essentially the same unspoiled wilderness that the first ET&WNC travelers saw in the 1880s.
Some higher resolution photos of the old 19E highway bridge can be viewed at the following links: Highway Bridge View 1; Highway Bridge View 2; Railway Abutments 2.



Feel free to copy and use these photos.