Thursday, May 5, 2016

Norfolk Southern Corporation Will Provide #3170 Locomotive, Exhibit Train Car, and More

May 5, 2016

National Train Day, an event held annually to celebrate the driving of the Golden Spike, completing the first United States transcontinental railroad, is being held at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer on May 14. 

The event allows train lovers of all ages to enjoy a full day dedicated to full-sized and model trains.  Passenger train and special caboose train rides, behind-the-scenes tours, programs focused on railroading, and children’s events make this an attractive and affordable day of family fun.

The passenger train will be pulled by the Southern #6133 streamliner diesel locomotive and gives visitors a “from the rails” tour of the 60 acre historic site, the former Spencer Shops Southern Railway steam locomotive repair facility.  The caboose train will feature six colorful cabooses pulled by the Southern #2601 locomotive, and allows everyone to ride in a vintage caboose.

Another opportunity to ride the rails will be provided by the Red Springs & Northern Foundation. The group will offer motorcar rides, giving visitors a chance to ride on the vehicles railroad workers once used to do track inspections and maintenance.   Visitors can also learn about the motorcar hobby in a special presentation at 4 p.m.

Norfolk Southern Corporation will provide their 1970-vintage Southern Railway painted SD40 #3170, as well as their interactive traveling Exhibit Car. NS company photographer Casey Thomason will present a program at 10 a.m. about his exciting job coordinating special events and photo shoots, including the 2012 “Norfolk Southern Family Portrait” and 2014 “Streamliners at Spencer” events, both held at the NC Transportation Museum.

Charlotte Trolley #85, which was recently moved to Spencer in cooperation with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, will be rolled out for tours and interpretation by volunteers.  A special program about the trolley will be presented at 1 p.m. in the Bob Julian Roundhouse.

Volunteers will dedicate the museum’s ADA-compliant combination baggage/coach car to the late Elmer Lam, past president of the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and avid supporter of the museum.  The recently refurbished Southern Railway passenger coach #1081 will also be dedicated to the Southern Railway retirees who were the museum’s original volunteers.  Ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Master Mechanic’s Office.

Operation Lifesaver and the North Carolina Rail Division’s train hosts will be on hand to talk with visitors about railroad safety and riding the train.  Visitors can ride the “Carolinian” and “Piedmont” trains to and from Salisbury with complimentary shuttle service to and from the NC Transportation Museum for the event.

National Train Day runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Admission only is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and active military, and $4 for children 3-12.  Admission and a passenger train ride is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and active military, and $8 for children 3-12.  Admission and a passenger and caboose train ride is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and active military, and $14 for children 3-12.  Children 2 and under are free.  Active members of the NC Transportation Museum can enjoy free museum admission and train rides as well as other members-only activities.

For an extra fare, a special dining car lunch will be served aboard the Watauga Valley Historical Society & Museum’s former Atlantic Coast Line dining car, the “Moultrie.”   Lunch will be available at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m., for $15 per ticket (plus tax and $2 ticket handling fee.)  The menu will be inspired by an ACL dining car cookbook and will include fricassee of chicken with noodles, a chef’s mixed green wedge salad, and a biscuit.  Dessert will be blackberry pie or apple cobbler.  Drink offerings will include sweetened and unsweetened tea or water.  Purple-and-silver Atlantic Coast Line E3 locomotive #501 will be coupled to the “Moultrie” during these stationary dining car seatings.

An evening and night photo session featuring vintage rail equipment, daylight photo run bys, and staged night scenes will be available for $25 per person (plus tax and $3 ticket handling fee.)  Lighting will be coordinated by rail photographer Clint Renegar for this extra fare event, which runs from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at, by phone at 704-636-2889 Ext 224, or at the door on May 14. 

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