Food Travel USA

New Hope Valley Railway: Diesel, Steam & Ice Cream

This is one ride you do not want to miss! We spent the weekend in New Hill, NC at New Hope Valley Railway and attended their event, “Diesel, Steam & Ice Cream”. The Triangle’s Train is just 30 minutes away from Raleigh and Durham, making it a perfect day trip for people of all ages.

New Hope Valley Railway (The Triangle’s Train) is an all-volunteer educational non-profit organization. All proceeds from ticket fare and ride events go directly towards the museum, restorations and upkeep of the railway.


The staff are also there on a volunteer basis, all with the same love and goal of educating people about North Carolina railways and its history. The original New Hope Valley Railway was built in 1904 and ran through New Hope Valley which was later flooded by the creation of Jordan Lake. The railway was used for transporting tobacco, corn, cotton and other agricultural products. Passenger trains also used this rail line.


Take The Ride

We eagerly got our tickets and hopped aboard the covered, open-air passenger car for an unforgettable ride on this historic railway. With a loud “whoo-whoo” from the locomotive, we were on our way!



Winding around corners at a steady pace while passing through scenic woods, the ride offered a welcoming breeze on that hot summer day.



The ride itself lasts an hour and it takes you on a trip from Bonsal to New Hill and back. We also got to watch as the locomotive moved from one end of the train to the other via a second set of tracks when it was time to return to Bonsal.


Tip: There are no bathrooms on the ride so be sure to go prior to boarding, especially if you have the little ones with you! Also, bring a bottle of water when riding on hot days.


Local Ice Cream, Beer & Wine

Since this was an ice cream social event, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream of Apex gave everyone with a ride ticket, two scoops of delicious ice cream including your choice of toppings! They offered chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and mint chocolate chip. The toppings were M&Ms, sprinkles, Oreos and gummy worms.


My husband chose vanilla, our son got strawberry and I went for the mint chocolate chip! It was so good, especially on that hot day!


Southern Peak Brewery was offering their beer for purchase. Their neighborhood brewery and taproom is located in Apex, NC. With their 7-barrel brewhouse, this brewery is bringing back the traditional neighborhood brewery as seen decades ago. Go check them out!


RagApple Lassie Vineyards were doing a wine tasting at the event. We were asked if we would like to partake in the wine tasting – naturally, we said yes (we love wine)! I absolutely loved their Cabernet Sauvignon and I’m not much of a red wine drinker but I would make an exception for this one. It wasn’t too dry like many of the other Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve tried, it still had a little smoothness to it – which I loved. We were told they have a tasting room in Durham, I think we may have to visit! Food provided by vendors is available for purchase on most ride days.


We spent some time afterwards wandering through their outdoor railway museum – kids and railroad enthusiasts could probably spend hours at this railroad yard! Our son had such an amazing time watching and interacting with their G-scaled garden railroad (which is also maintained by volunteers) he did not want to leave!



He and the other kids loved pushing the buttons to control the handcar and also being squirted by a water cannon on one of the toy firetrucks.


Spotting Thomas on the tracks was a treat!


Parking and admission to the museum is free. There are many opportunities to catch a ride on New Hope Valley Railway. Here is a full schedule of their 2016 Ride Days and Events. There is also a Halloween train in October and “Holiday Santa Trains” ride for Christmas! If you’re interested in going, I suggest you book your tickets early since these two events are very popular.

To make a donation to the railway or sign up to become a volunteer (there is training involved) please visit their website.

Thank you so much to New Hope Valley Railway for hosting us at their “Diesel, Steam & Ice Cream” event!

Although we were welcomed as guests, my opinions are always my own.


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  • Reply
    August 2, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you for an absolutely fantastic and wonderful blog. You obviously are a gifted professional. It is just beautiful. The photography is sensational. This will bring a lot of people out, plus it is so kind of you to do this for the railroad. P.S. What a beautiful family you are!

    • Reply
      August 3, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Hi Susan! Thank you so much for the kind words, we are glad to hear you liked the blog post! We had a wonderful time and our son is still talking about the train ride and the model trains. It was a great event!

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