Saturday, July 11, 2009


July 11, 2009---A view of sunrise through the windows created an unusual photo. Large tow passing under the Southern Railway bridge moved slowly upstream. Barge appeared to be carrying some kind of liquid hydrocarbon with a Marathon Petroleum tug pushing the load.

We have been docked near the Three Rivers Rambler for a couple of days. The train runs Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and again at 5:00 p.m., hauling passengers on an 11 mile sight seeing tour that lasts about ninety minutes.
It was time we made the trip. Upon boarding, the scale model showed the welcome sign. Out the window of the train one could easily see the Dream Manor.

Passing through the General Shale Brick yard you can see lots of bricks and concrete blocks. This facility is one of the largest brick manufacturers in the United States.

We learned the bridge mentioned yesterday at the head water of the Tennessee river is actually the Three Rivers Trestle. As we crossed over, a barge could be seen in the French Broad River. This trestle we are on is where the Holston River,flowing from Virginia, and French Broad River, flowing from western North Carolina, meet to become the Tennessee river. The Tennessee River flows 652 miles and empties into the Ohio River. The open water is the Holston River as seen from the other side of the train.

There are several marble quarrys in the area. The one in the pictures is the Asbury Quarry. In the 1900s Knoxville was known as "The Marble City". It is believed that Knoxville supplied fully half the ornamental marble in Washington, D.C. such as the Lincoln Memorial. Marble for New York's Grand Central Station came from this area. Here the engine was uncoupled from the front of the train and switched to pass along side. It is then coupled to the caboose to pull us back the same way we came. The engine is diesel over electric. The diesel is used to generate electric power which runs the wheels.

The Conductor, Stan Keadle, was very interesting to visit with about trains. He informed us that passenger tracks are referred to as 100 over 3 because each three feet of track weighs 100 pounds.

After getting back to the boat, a mother duck brought her two little ones by for a few pieces of bread.
Carol said today completed the various methods of travel for her. Saw Knoxville from the air when she flew in, rode several trips in the rental car, rode the boat and now the train. Air, land & sea.

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