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Many people think theme park when they hear the words Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, but there actually was a Tweetsie Railroad. Bourknight discusses the line that dates back to 1866 and linked Eastern Tennessee with Western North Carolina. The locomotive that pulls the train at the park is the original engine No. 12 that was purchased from cowboy actor Gene Autry in 1956, restored, and brought to Blowing Rock.