Double Head of Steam Rolls Out April 7 at the N.C. Transportation Museum
Release date: 3/27/2012
SPENCER, N.C. – The N.C. Transportation Museum will offer a treat for rail fans April 7, with a double head of steam pulling the Caboose Train. As part of the big finale for our Easter Bunny Express events, rides will be offered aboard the Caboose Train pulled by both the Lehigh Valley Coal #126 and the Flagg #75 Steam Engine.
Double-heading a train, with two engines working together to pull the load, was often used during the golden age of railroading for large trains with many rail cars. In this day of diesel-electric powered rail travel, just seeing a steam engine pulling a train is a rare sight. Seeing two steam engines double-heading a train is even more rare and something not to be missed by rail fans.
Visitors will be able to ride along on this special Caboose Train as part of the museum’s Easter Bunny Express festivities. Steam engine Caboose Train rides are scheduled for 10, 10:45, 11:30 a.m., 1, 1:45, 2:30, and 3:15 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for ages 3 and up for either the caboose train or the diesel powered Easter Bunny Express. Visitors can also choose to ride both trains for $18. Advance tickets are available online at www.nctrans.org or on the day of the event.
Both engines double-heading the caboose train are owned by the Gramling Locomotive Works and are authentic steam locomotives with a long working history.
The Lehigh Valley Coal #126, built by Vulcan Iron Works in 1931, spent its entire working career in Pennsylvania. It was first used by the Lehigh Valley Coal Company and then the Heidelberg Coal Company. The engine was later sold to a scrap dealer in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, where it was stored into the early 1990’s. The #126 deteriorated until its rescue in 1993 by the Gramling Locomotive Works. Now fully restored, the engine looks and operates as it did when it was first built in 1931.
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 the 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.
Both engines have been used at the N.C. Transportation Museum for “At the Throttle” events, which allow visitors to step into the cab of a steam locomotive and be an engineer for a half hour. These engines have also been used to pull the caboose train during special events. April 7, however, will be the first time the engines are used on the same train, at the same time, providing a double-head of steam.
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About the N.C. Transportation Museum
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.
About the Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources serves as a champion for North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit www.ncculture.com.