At the Throttle

Release date: 12/30/2010


Transportation Museum’s “At the Throttle” Gives Visitors a Chance To Power a Steam Locomotive Down The Tracks
CONTACT: Mark Brown
                      Information & Communication Specialist
                      (704) 636-2889, ext 240
Visitors Can Step Back In Time “At the Throttle” of the Flagg 75 Steam Engine in November and December
SPENCER, N.C. – The N.C. Transportation Museum invites you to run a steam locomotive for a once in a lifetime opportunity. With the return of the Flagg 75 coal engine, the museum is offering a new program called, “At the Throttle”.
            This November and December, thirty minute sessions will be available for those purchasing a ticket to power the Flagg 75 engine across the south end of the N.C. Transportation Museum, the former Spencer Shops steam locomotive repair facility. Additional dates in March and April, 2011 are also planned. 
            No previous locomotive experience is required. The program is a unique opportunity for rail fans to live their dream of piloting a steam engine, taking a trip back in time to the golden age of railroading.  A qualified engineer will be in the cab at all times, but participants will be operating the engine, following a 30 minute safety and operation session.
            The Flagg 75 coal engine was built by Vulcan Iron Works in 1930. The small engine was used mainly in work at rock quarries in Pennsylvania and New York. In 1954, the engine was sold to Dr. Stanley Groman, who opened the first operating rail museum in the country, Rail City in Sandy Pond, NY. The museum closed in 1974 and the engine deteriorated over the next 25 years.
            The Flagg 75 was rescued from obscurity by Gramling Locomotive Works in 1991, and was restored to its original condition. The engine travels to events across the country, having run in 15 states. The museum previously hosted the Flagg 75 in April and May of 2008, with a special “Steam Returns to Spencer” event.
            “At the Throttle” rides will take place Nov. 20, Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Additional “At the Throttle” dates in March and April of 2011 are also being planned. Rides will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each event day. Tickets are $100 for each 30 minute session.
            Rides can be scheduled by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 237 or by emailing
Participants must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license. Release forms are required. Clothing appropriate to a working rail yard should be worn at all times. Jeans or overalls and boots are recommended. Participants wishing to have their picture made should bring a camera. Friends or family or a member of the crew can take a photo of each participant “At the Throttle”.
The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, N.C., and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future.  Visit for more information. For information on the Department of Cultural Resources, call (919) 807-7385 or visit
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Division of State Historic Sites, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources