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Planning Your Visit


The N.C. Transportation Museum’s exhibit buildings are open to the public with limited capacity:

  • Barber Junction Visitor Center – Ticket sales and visitor orientation
  • Back Shop – Large displays of railroading, automotive and trucking, and aviation equipment
  • Bob Julian Roundhouse – Steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, aviation displays surrounding the Wright Flyer replica, railroad restoration bays, and private and specialized railroading equipment
  • Flue Shop – Bumper to Bumper automotive exhibit
  • Master Mechanic’s Office Exhibit Spaces – Used to host traveling and temporary exhibits

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, public buildings are limited to no more than 50% of the stated fire code capacity, with space available for social distancing throughout.  Picnic shelters are open, arranged with fewer tables and greater distances in between.

Train cars will be limited to 30% capacity and cars will be sanitized between each ride, including seats, windows, and handrails. Passengers will board their car through one vestibule door and exit on the opposite side, to limit or eliminate contact between passengers.

TRAIN RIDE SCHEDULE (January – February)
Saturday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm (Sat. only)

Experience a ride on the 1924 turntable, the centerpiece of railroad operations at the largest remaining roundhouse in North America. The turntable was used to move steam locomotives to and from the 37-bay Bob Julian Roundhouse when they were brought in for maintenance and to turn them around between runs. Unlike diesel locomotives, steam locomotives were designed to pull trains in only one direction, making the turntable a necessary part of operations at railroad yards like Spencer. Still in operation today, this Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark is used to position locomotives and rail cars for display and for use on the museum’s passenger trains. Take a spin as the turntable operator explains the history of this 100 foot long rotating bridge and its importance to the operation of Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops and today’s North Carolina Transportation Museum.

The Gift Station is open at a maximum occupancy of 50% of the stated fire code.  You can also shop online at www.shopnctrans.com

The museum offers online, contact-free ticket purchases.  Just click the link at the top of the page.  Tickets can also be purchased onsite at the Barber Junction Visitor Center, where social distancing markers and plexiglass shields will separate staff from visitors.

Staff will perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas with an EPA approved disinfectant. Hand sanitizer stations remain available across the museum grounds. Staff will continue frequent use of hand washing and hand sanitizer. Face masks remain required, as outlined in Executive Order 163, for all employees and visitors who are within six feet of other people.

When you visit, please remember the three Ws:

  • Wear a cloth face mask
  • Wait six feet apart from others,
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.


TRAVELING EXHIBIT: “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina” Traveling Exhibit, going on now through March 14, 2021.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.


The N.C. Transportation Museum is located about five minutes off I-85, about an hour’s drive from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem.

From I-85, use Exit 79 and follow the brown Historic Sites signs. You will turn left onto Hwy. 29 (Salisbury Avenue). The museum will be on your left.

From Statesville, take I-40 to I-77 South (Exit 152). From I-77 take exit 49A (G. Bagnal Blvd.) which is Highway 70. Travel Hwy 70 for 21.5 miles to the Salisbury Mall. Go straight past the mall and Rowan Regional Medical Center. Turn right onto Clubhouse Drive (at the “To 29” sign). Follow Clubhouse Dr., veering left until you reach the light at Main St. Turn left. Go 2 miles, passing through downtown Spencer. Pass SunTrust Bank and the Fire Dept. on the left and the museum entrance will be on the right. (Approximate drive time: 45 minutes).

Find directions from Google Maps. Ride aboard an Amtrak Train to Salisbury Depot, then take public transportation to the museum.

Normal Admission Rates and Parking

Visitors can choose to view the museum exhibits or combine admission and the onsite train ride with a single ticket.  Admission varies for special events. Parking is free. Spaces are available for buses and trailers. Space may be limited during certain special events.

Admission Only
Adults $6
Seniors/Military $5
Children (Ages 3-12) $4
Admission With Onsite Train Ride
Adults $12
Seniors/Military $10
Children (Ages 3-12) $8

*Sales Tax Required

Turntable Rides
All ages 3+ $1


The North Carolina Transportation Museum is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The train ride is able to be boarded by wheelchair lifts and the train ride’s ADA car provides wheelchair tie downs for a smooth ride. Other rail cars are not wheelchair accessible due to the use of historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment, which is exempt from ADA regulations under US Code:  Title 42:  Section 12184.

Wherever possible, access to exhibits is accessible to those with disabilities, however, certain exhibits and programs do have limited accessibility due to narrow door openings on railroad passenger cars. For additional details, please contact us.

The site is walking-intensive, but wheelchairs are available on loan and handicapped persons or those with difficulty walking may drive between facilities (please contact one of our friendly visitor services staff upon your arrival).


Animals on Property

Due to the museum’s historic structures and transportation artifacts, no animals will be allowed on the property unless those animals are registered service animals.

Also in the Area

Find out more about where to stay while you’re here and other places to visit at the Rowan County Visitors Center.

Alternate Routes

Old US 29/70 runs parallel to I-85 on the west side from Lexington to Concord. Most exits between Lexington (Exit 85) and Concord (Exit 60) allow access to US 29/70 (sometimes called Old Salisbury Road).

From Charlotte traveling north, use you may Exit 60, 63, 68, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75 or 76, go west over the Interstate and follow the road you are on until it intersects US 29/70. Turn right (north) and follow U.S. 29/70 through Salisbury (Main Street). Go two miles from downtown Salisbury into downtown Spencer. The N.C. Transportation Museum will be on your right.

From Greensboro traveling south, use Exit 85, 83, or 81, go west and follow the road until it intersects U.S. 29/70. When you enter Spencer, the road will be called Salisbury Avenue. The museum is located at 411 South Salisbury Avenue, with the entrance just north of the center of the town of Spencer.

For maps, call the Rowan County Visitor Information Center at 704.638.3100 or 800.332.2343 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

As a non-profit organization, we are grateful for your support as we recover from an extended closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

 ASTC Reciprocity

Reciprocal memberships for participating Association of Science – Technology Centers (ASTC) will be accepted provided the member follows the following guidelines:
• You must have your membership card with you.
• The membership card must be in your name.
• You must present a photo ID.
• The expiration date on the membership card must be valid.

To find out if your museum is part of the reciprocity program, view the lists online: ASTC
Please note the exceptions below. Reciprocity is subject to change.

Reciprocity Exceptions

Note that we are unable to accept reciprocal discounts at this time for several museums within a 90-mile linear radius from the N.C. Transportation Museum. As a non-profit organization, we are grateful for your support as we recover from an extended closure due to COVID-19.

It is recommended that you call the N.C. Transportation Museum prior to your visit to confirm status of reciprocity. 704.636.2889 ext 239



  • Catawba Science Center, Hickory NC
  • Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro NC
  • Kaleideum, Winston-Salem NC
  • Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium, Gastonia NC

No Reciprocity

  • Discovery Place, Inc, Charlotte NC