Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):


Questions about the Online Ticket System:


  I lost my ticket transaction confirmation or was unable to print.  What do I do?

If you made your purchase through our online system, we have a record of it under your name on the train manifest at the Ticket Office.  Simply show proper identification to the ticket agent, and you will be given your tickets.


  During checkout online - an error occurred.  Duplicate Transaction errors or concerns.

If the online checkout process does not display a confirmation page then your transaction has not completed.  If you get a Duplicate Transaction error, please wait 6 minutes to re-submit your order online.  This wait time protects your card from accidently being charged twice.  You will get a confirmation for complete and valid transactions.


  The online system says that tickets are unavailable for the day or time I want to ride.

If the online system says tickets are unavailable, then either it is too late to purchase online or the online tickets are sold out.  For our public train rides, a small inventory of tickets is available an hour before each train departs at the Bonsal depot. For Operate-a-Loco events, if tickets are unavailable online then there are none available.


  Can I make a ticket purchase for another person, and have someone else pick it up at the ticket office?

Yes, just make the purchase like normal and give the transaction confirmation number to the individual picking up the tickets.  Our ticket agents will check the manifest, and distribute the tickets.


  Does an online ticket purchase guarantee me a seat on the train?

Online ticket purchases are good until ten (10) minutes before the departure time of the train you have booked.  As long as you arrive at the Ticket Office to pick up your tickets by then, you should have no problem getting aboard.


  Does an online ticket purchase guarantee me a seat on a particular car?

Seating preference is first come first serve.  If you have a preference for being seated in a particular car, please ensure you arrive early enough to be in line when loading begins.


Questions about the Train and Equipment:


  What is the difference between the steam trains and the diesel trains?

The difference is the locomotive used to pull that particular train.  Steam locomotives hark back to the original technology of railroading and are therefore more nostalgic.  Diesel locomotives are newer, having been adopted by most railroads during the middle of the twentieth century.  The cars on the train are the same regardless of the type of locomotive being used.


  How long is the ride?

The ride lasts about an hour under normal circumstances.


  Where does the train go?

The train leaves from our depot at Bonsal for a trip into the peaceful woodlands of Chatham and Wake Counties up to New Hill-Olive Chapel Road in the community of New Hill.  At that point, we move the locomotive to the other end of the train for the return journey to Bonsal.  Everyone remains aboard the train for the entire trip.


  Is the train air-conditioned/heated?

None of the cars on the train are air-conditioned.  The caboose, located at one end of the train, has an old-fashioned wood stove, and it is lit during cold weather operations.


  Are all the cars open cars?

The excursion cars have roofs and sides, but no glass in the windows to allow everyone the opportunity to view the scenery along the route.  The slow speed of the train, however, means very little cold wind will disturb your ride.


  Do you have handicap access to board the train?

Yes, the loading area has a wheelchair lift easily able to accommodate anyone with special needs.
Please contact us before your scheduled departure so that we can plan to assist you.


  Is food available on the train?

Food is available from our concessionaires at the depot only.


  Is there a toilet aboard the train?

Toilets are provided only at the Bonsal Depot before and after your trip.


  Is the ticket a round-trip, and if not, how do we get back to our car?

All tickets and reservations are sold on a Round Trip basis, returning you to the starting point after the ride.