Discover Trains and Much More at the NC Transportation Museum

Jerry Blackwelder

Discover Trains and More at the NC Transportation Museum

To give your students a glimpse of the way people and goods were moved in the 20th century plan a field trip visit to the North Carolina Museum of Transportation in Spencer.

The Museum site was once home to one of the largest steam locomotive repair facilities on the East coast operated by Southern Railway. Called Spencer Shops, the massive facility employed 3,000 workers. When diesel engines came along the demand for steam service declined and the facility closed in 1960.

The first stop at the Museum is the Barber Junction Visitor Center, a restored authentic passenger depot built in 1898 in Barber, NC. At the Museum your students will see the 37-bay Bob Julian Roundhouse, one of the largest ever built and one of the few remaining. Inside students will see 40 vintage locomotives and train cars. They will also see the Back Shop, the largest building on the site, where the massive engines were overhauled. Seasonal train rides are also offered to school groups.

In addition to the classic trains and memorabilia your students will also see

  • Classic Cars as the Museum traces the history of the American automobile back to 1901

  • Airplanes including a full-size replica of the Wright Flyer

  • Wagons, Wheels and Wings traces the history of transportation in North Carolina in all its forms

  • Special Exhibits and Events throughout the year. Currently at the Museum your students can see artifacts recovered from Blackbeard’s pirate ship Queen Anne’s Revenge through February 27. Other special events include a visit from Thomas the Tank Engine along with a Fire Truck Festival and Tractor and Trains Festival.

Want to Go?
Log on to or call June Hall at (704) 636-2889.


Carolina Publishing

PO Box 1155
Matthews, NC 28106

(704) 708-6270