Autumn Rails Train Show – Asheville, NC

This past weekend I took a trip up to Western North Carolina to enjoy the Autumn Rails Model Train Show … and to just goof off in the mountains a bit. You know, enjoy the cool weather and chase the changing leaves. The show is hosted annually by the French Broad e’N’pire, but this is the first year I have attended.

The French Broad E‘N’pire NTRAK Club is a model railroad organization whose members model in “N” scale, the majority of whom live in the Hendersonville area, although they also have members from around western North Carolina and one in Georgia. They seem to be an active group, and the show was excellent from both the vendor and exhibitor perspective.

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Also while up there, we say the remains of accident involving a train and a truck. Seems a truck carrying oranges stopped on the tracks outside of an Ingle’s Grocery Market warehouse. The Norfolk Southern freight bound for Asheville sliced the back of the truck clean off. The driver of the truck was fine. The oranges weren’t.

From the local news account of the accident…

A train struck a tractor-trailer Saturday afternoon near the Ingles warehouse on U.S. 70, but no one was injured in the incident.

“The tractor-trailer driver said when he crossed the tracks, he didn’t see any cars (on 70) and thought he could make it,” said Black Mountain Police Sgt. Stacy Ayers. “But when he got near the road the cars were right on him. The railroad arms came down and he couldn’t go anywhere.”

The driver, Frank Cuffee, 59, of Seaford, Del., was charged with stopping on a railroad grade. He had driven Saturday from New Jersey.

The truck was hauling oranges, apples, pineapples, grapes and other produce. Cuffee stayed in the cab when the train struck the trailer, but he suffered no injuries. Cuffee had tried to make a delivery to the Ingles warehouse but missed the delivery deadline, Ayers said. He was heading to park for the night when he stopped on the tracks.

“He was trying to make a left turn,” Ayers said. “If he had gone right, he could’ve made it. He panicked.”

Public safety personnel stayed on the scene past 9:30 p.m., cleaning up the mess. No train cars derailed, but the truck spilled produce.”

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