The N.C. Transportation Museum offers the 2012 Great Southeastern Rail Days Festival, June 2 and 3
Release date: 5/9/2012
SPENCER, N.C. – The N.C. Transportation Museum is once again celebrating the golden age of railroading this June, but doing so in a bigger and better fashion than ever before. The Great Southeastern Rail Days Festival will be held Saturday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 3 from noon to 5 p.m.
The Great Southeastern Rail Days Festival will feature an expanded offering of train rides, live music, magic, railroad artist Andy Fletcher, kid’s activities and a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the merger of Southern Railway and Norfolk & Western to form Norfolk-Southern Railways. Like our previous “Rail Days” events, there will be a huge offering for families and railfans alike. But like the name, this year’s event is bigger and better.
With each ticket, unlimited rides will be available aboard three passenger trains, including the Flagg 75 Steam Engine Caboose Train, featuring a coal fired steam engine pulling five colorful cabooses.
Railfans will delight in our themed passenger trains, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Southern and N&W merger. The Southern themed train will feature the Southern FP7 #6133 and E8 #6900 engines with the Royal Arch, Pine Tree State and Doris private rail cars, among others. Our N&W themed train will feature the N&W GP9 #620 engine pulling our 1950’s era passenger cars.
At the Roundhouse, visitors can also climb into the cab of two engines for a quick run up and down the tracks with the engineer’s view of the rails. Visitors can also take a ride on our motor cars, smaller machines that run along the rails for maintenance. The original 1925 Bob Julian Roundhouse turntable is also available for visitors to take a spin, for a minimal fee.
Between rides, a host of activities will be happening all around. A hobo camp will be set up with stories of riding the rails without paying the fare. Chaz the Magician will roam the site, so visitors never know when magic may happen. Children can also enjoy crafts and activities in the Bob Julian Roundhouse.
One of the most popular musical acts at the museum, Piedmont Natural Grass will bring the harmonies and warm sounds of bluegrass to the Bob Julian Roundhouse, performing both Saturday and Sunday.
Railroad artist Andy Fletcher will also appear at the museum, showing his rail art and designs for some important cars rolling down the tracks today. Fletcher is a railroad artist, speaker, and advocate for freight rail in America. His drawings were the inspiration for Norfolk Southern's 30th Anniversary Heritage Locomotives.
Rail fans both young and old will see S-gauge, N-scale, and HO-scale model train layouts in the Roundhouse, amazing displays of the railroading on the small side. The event will also feature rail car lifting demonstrations, a diesel engine horn display, tie-handler displays and much more for hard core rail fans.
Rail fan photographers will have two after-hours photo sessions. An Evening Photo Shoot and a Nighttime Photo Shoot will be available, with $20 tickets that include both sessions.
The evening photo shoot, Saturday from 5pm to 7:30pm, will include a recreation of the famous golden spike photo that announced the merger N&W/Southern merger, featuring a visiting locomotive, the GP9 #522. Photo run-bys and more will take place.
A nighttime photo shoot, 9pm to 10:30pm Saturday, will feature vintage rail equipment positioned around the site, with scenes beautifully lit.
General tickets to the Great Southeastern Rail Days Festival are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and active military and $15 for children. Tickets include unlimited train rides and all activities. Members receive discounted rates. More information can be found online at www.nctrans.org. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event or in advance at www.nctrans.org or by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 237 during regular business hours.
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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.