The first whistle blared Saturday in Roanoke, Virginia as people took an old fashioned trip on a train thanks to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Everyone seemed to be all aboard Sunday as that same train made it's way from Bristol, Virginia to Johnson City, Tennessee. For Patricia Oldham's family, boarding a train is something that's passed down each generation especially when it comes to her father. "He has traveled literally around the world and that was one of his goals was to do that and go through Mongolia, China, and Russia. But the local trains are really important to him," she said.
Even though Oldham isn't riding along on this trip, it's still a special one, "Most of all taking his grandchildren and having them experience trains. We all are kind of crazy about trains in our family."
It's that love of trains that brought the Hull family to the stop in Johnson City to wave hello and goodbye. "We have model trains and have enjoyed railroading for a long long time and learned when we got here that the steam engine had broken down," said Bill Hull.
He says while they tried getting tickets, they had a stroke of bad luck. "The gentleman told us they had about three thousand requests after the tickets sold out," added Hull.
The rush of excitement was growing for Doug Zimmerman as the line to collect tickets was growing as well. "See the countryside that you usually don't see from the interstate or any other road, you don't have to worry about traffic," said Zimmerman.
The train's next stop was Knoxville, Tennessee. News 5 also learned a steam locomotive was initially scheduled to lead this trip. But there were mechanical issues before the train left Roanoke heading to Pulaski and stopping in Bristol, Virginia. A diesel train was used instead.