|A Lehigh Valley Coal Company Steam Locomotive in operation.|
The museum is a great day trip for families and kids of all ages. The exhibits and activities here are enough to spend a full day and not realize how quickly time has gone by. Admission is very reasonable $6 for adults / $4 for children 3-12. If you wish to include a train ride - the admission is $12 for adults / $8 for kids. The 25 minute train ride - run hourly - tours the entire grounds. The train leaves from the restored Barber Junction Train Depot. The building dates from 1898 and was located in nearby town of Barber. The depot was moved to the site in 1980.
|An example of the size of the Back Shop.|
|Piedmont Airlines DC-3 is a key part of the Back Shop exhibits.|
|1978 NC Highway Patrol Car|
The Flue Shop, constructed in 1924, is home to the Bumper to Bumper exhibit. Here vintage cars and other automobile memorabilia is on display. Old road signs, gas station pumps, and more can be found here. The Flue Shop was where the flue pipes on a steam engine would be repaired. As diesel engines took over, the flue shop was also home to electrical repair work.
|Historical Road Signs as part of the Bumper to Bumper Exhibit.|
Maybe the most impressive building on site is the Bob Julian Roundhouse. Built in 1924, this 37 bay roundhouse still operates its 100 foot turntable. The roundhouse is home to nearly 40 restored engines and rail cars. Once inside the round house, you can view numerous exhibits and view many of the locomotives and rail cars up close and personal. The roundhouse is home to where many rail items are in the processed of being restored. Weekends are typically when you will see most work being done and there are viewing platforms for the general public. Additional exhibits highlight Piedmont Airlines and Aviation, a day in the life of a Spencer Shop worker, and more.
|Steam engines housed inside the Bob Julian Roundhouse.|
The North Carolina Transportation Museum is open throughout the year. The museum is typically open 9am to 5 pm Tuesday - Saturday and 1 - 5 pm on Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays and also Sunday's and Tuesday's during winter months.
The Museum is located off of US 29/70 in Spencer. It is well marked from Exit 79 along Interstate 85.
Sources & Links:
- (1) History of the NC Transportation Museum. http://www.nctrans.org/About-Us/History/Museum.aspx (April 18, 2017)