I was up at 5:30 AM and checked the Internet as I got ready to walk to the Tennessee Central Railroad Museum. I left the Drake Inn at 6:10 AM and walked in the predawn light to a Shell Gas station where I got two packs of Chocolate Donuts for breakfast. I walked on down to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum and right inside their gate there was Randy Jackson, my good friend from Albuquerque, who would be on this trip with me. After we talked a few minutes, Randy offered to drive me back to the Drake Inn after the trip. That solved one problem. I picked up my ticket at the Will Call Table before we went inside the Baggage Room and I had my donuts and a Coca-Cola to get me going. Once I was done, Randy and I walked out and got in line with a few other passengers.
The passengers waiting to board the first train to Monterey in 45 years.
The train consisted of Tennessee Central E9A 6902, F7B's 719B and 715B, F40PH 375, Power Cars 1240 and 514, Coaches 4711, 4719 and 4717, Dome Coach 9400, Lounge 3113, Concession Car 1266, Lounge 3119, Coaches 4733, 7602, 4739, 7628 and 4734, Lounge 4067 and Business Car 9012. This is the longest train that the Tennessee Central Railway Museum has ever operated.
Randy Jackson with an orange baggage tag on his backpack. At 7:30 AM they opened the gate and the passengers boarded their cars for the trip to Monterey. I boarded the Dome Coach 9400 and was assigned the rear seat on the right side of this Dome.
My seat mate for this trip was Rob who works for CSX and is a reader of my web site and could not believe he was sitting by me. We talked and Rob offered to drive me out to the Airport tomorrow morning. Problem two solved and now I could really enjoy the rest of this trip. At 7:59 AM the train started backing out of the Museum onto the mainline of the Nashville Eastern Railroad.
The train backed under the Interstate 40 bridge.
Once the whole train was on the mainline, the train started heading towards Monterey, Tennessee.
We left downtown Nashville behind us as we started the trip east.
The train ran by the Museum and yard of the Nashville Eastern with plenty of motive power laying over on the Sunday morning. The train was making good time on the tracks the Nashville Star Commuter Trains use as far of Lebanon.
The train passed under the CSX Rador Cutoff on the Shelby Park Bridge.
The train crossed Mill Creek.
The train took a curve with a splash of Fall Colors on a few trees here.
Most major roads are crossed by bridges.
The train curved by the Donelson Commuter Train Station.
The train crossed the Stone River.
The train passed the Hermitage Commuter Train Station.
Our train ran through the forest.
The train ran through the beautiful Tennessee countryside.
The train took a curve.
The train ran by a cement plant.
The train passed the Mt. Juliet Commuter Train Station.
Our train passed through some trees with some Fall color.
The train passed the Martha Commuter Train Station. Rob and I took a walk back through the train.
Our train took the big curve after the Martha Station.
The train crossed a little creek as we ran alongside a road.
A large sand and gravel plant was passed before we reached Lebanon.
This big bowling pin stands in front of the Pro Bowl West.
The train passed the Lebanon Commuter Train Station, the final station on the Nashville Star Route.
The old Lebanon Tennessee Central Station still stands.
The train crossed a road on the curve.
My Dome Car on the curve.
There is an ex CSX engine used on the Sand Trains on the Nashville Eastern at the Lebanon Shops where the Nashville Star lays over.
An ex CSX engine at Lebanon.
One of the Nashville Star Commuter Train engines.
There is an ex Amtrak Diner-Lounge Hi-Level Car at the Lebanon Yard.
Also many ex Metra of Chicago and Amtrak cars are here.
They have cars bought from the Virginia Rail Express
The green cars were bought for the Sand Trains that come off of a branch from Monterey.
One of the Nashville Star engines peak out from behind the new sand cars.
The train ran through the Tennessee countryside on our way to Watertown.
I could look back on one of the big curves on this railroad.
The trees now are showing glimpses of Fall Colors.
Our train came to the platform at Watertown used by the Museum on some of their trips.
The trees off to the north of our train.
There was a red barn on the top of a hill.
We ran by a nice farm up the hill a few minutes later.
The train took another curve.
The train was nearing the hills that we will climb over 900 feet of elevation between Nashville and Monterey. Rob then took me back to the rear platform where we would ride on the most scenic portion of the trip.