See the autumn leaves on a train ride in TennesseeIf the...


September 25, 1994|By Kim Wesley and Howard Henry Chen

See the autumn leaves on a train ride in Tennessee

If the sound of a train whistle in the distance makes you search the horizon longingly for a locomotive, a trip on a Tennessee Autumn Train may be the fall getaway for you. In October, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is offering its annual autumn train rides for the 26th time.

One-day, round-trip journeys from Chattanooga to Oneida and back include a shopping excursion at the Cumberland Plateau craft show for country knickknacks. Along the way, passengers can hold their breath as cars scuttle over tracks 304 feet above the New River on the second-highest bridge east of the Mississippi.

For $89, passengers can travel round-trip comfortably in coach. Or, for those willing to spend a little more money, $160 will buy the luxury of a classic 1920s-era Pullman sleeping car or a dome car. Trips to Oneida depart Oct. 21-23; those headed to Huntsville, Ala., a good day trip, leave Oct. 29-30. Accommodations are available at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. Call the Tennessee Valley Railroad at (615) 894-8028 for more information.

If you are interested, now's the time to start planning your annual pilgrimage to the Shrine at Fatima, in Portugal. In the early years of this century, the Virgin Mary appeared in the sky to three Portuguese schoolchildren and made known to them secrets of the universe, including how the world will end. Thousands of people started gathering in Fatima, hoping for encores, but only those three children could see her.

She appeared to them a few more times during the next decades, and since then, Catholic (and non-Catholic) believers have flocked to Fatima. Tangney Tours of London operates weekly flights to Fatima from Easter to October from Stansted Airport in Essex, about 40 minutes outside London. An eight-day trip, including air fare, accommodations, and meals, starts at $425 per person. Ring up 44-322-559511 for more information.

Children go for less

Amtrak has extended its summertime Kids Fare through Dec. a fare that allows children ages 2-15 to ride for $5 or $29 on most trains on routes east of the Mississippi River. The $5 rate is for short-haul routes between Boston and Richmond, Va.; the $29 is for long-distance routes that go south of Manassas, Va. The low fare does not apply for Nov. 23 and Nov. 27. After Dec. 11, children's rates are half price when the children are escorted by an adult. The discounted fares apply to coach seating only. Details: (800) 872-7245.

Shopping in London

Miss Saigon"? The British Museum? West End theaters? Tony Knightsbridge architecture? Nah. Let's go blow dough. As might be expected, all London's big-name and big-bargain design shops are listed in Suzy Gershman's Born to Shop: London, arranged by item type, geographical area and theme (a Teenybop Shop Hop; Always On Sunday auctions). It's published by HarperPerennial ($12).

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