The N.C. Transportation Museum’s 2010 Family Rail Days Festival this weekend will celebrate the golden age of railroading and offer something for every member of the family. Featuring historic locomotives and rail cars displayed alongside modern rail equipment, the event will give visitors a chance to enjoy train rides, great music, model train layouts and a model train expo.
This year’s Family Rail Days will be held in association with 2nd Saturdays, a partnership between State Historic Sites and the N.C. Arts Council. Artists will be given the opportunity to show and sell their work June 12. Poetry, music, painting, drawing, photography and more will be offered.
Visitors to the 2010 Family Rail Days Festival will have numerous chances to ride the rails. Boarding at the pedestrian crossing, the passenger train will offer a 25 minute ride around the museum property on classic rail cars pulled by vintage diesel locomotives. The caboose train, boarding at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center, gives everyone a chance to ride in their favorite train car. At the Roundhouse, motor car rides will be offered, giving visitors a chance to ride these smaller pieces of rail equipment used to repair tracks.
An up-close view of the N.C. Transportation Museum’s classic steam and diesel locomotives will be available during the Parade of Power. Engines are placed on the Roundhouse turntable for great photo opportunities. The Parade of Power takes place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Turntable rides will be offered throughout the Rail Days festival. Families can take a spin and get a closer look at how the Spencer Shops operated during the good ol’ days.
The Great Train Expo is a national, traveling show that caters to the model railroad enthusiast. The show features 200-500 tables of train dealers, who offer everything from…
HO Scale, N Scale, Lionel (O Gauge), G Gauge, Z Scale, American Flyer (S Gauge), hobby tools, die-cast vehicles, train whistles, scenery items, Railroadiania Slides, t-shirts, videos, railroad gift items, books, photos and much, MUCH MORE !
The show offers a variety of operating model railroad and toy layouts for the entire family to enjoy in many different scales and gauges. Check them out and get some great ideas for your own layout! If you’re interested in joining a local model railroading club, the Great Train Expo is a great place to visit some of the different clubs in your area and learn more about them. Visit http://www.trainexpoinc.com
Pictures from The Great Train Expo in Winston-Salem, NC
on March 27, 2010 located on the Tarheel Trains Facebook Page!
December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20
Tickets only available on the day of the event. Meet Santa Claus as he trades his sleigh for a locomotive! Take a 25-minute train ride with Santa and his elves, as Santa hands out oranges and candy canes, a Southern Railway tradition.
Children will hear classic Christmas tales and have fun making holiday ornaments in the Roundhouse.
$7 per person
Children who are 2 and under and will sit on a guardian’s lap for the
length of the train ride are free, and do not need a ticket to ride the train.
$5 for Firemen Level Members
$3.50 for Conductor Level Members
Free for Engineer Level Members
CLICK HERE to find our how to have cookies and cocoa with Santa!
It started as a passing fancy of a sort for one South Durhamite — one which came to take up a bit more space in his garage with each passing year: a collection of miniatures that form ghastly and ghoulish villages.
And it drew children from around the neighborhood for the past six years, an ever-larger porcelain portfolio that crowded out cars and lawn-mowers to make space for October’s fun frights.
Now, this spooky hobby has finally outgrown “Wolfman” Tim Gabriel’s home, and found a home this Halloween season at the Museum of Life & Science. Gabriel’s “Halloween Village” opened at the North Durham family favorite today and will be on display until November 1, perched over near the space exhibits in the museum.
Gabriel’s worked throughout the year to find a new home for his exhibition, whose very history is an interesting sidelight for a man who fills his days working in the financial department for IBM down at the Park.
“I’ve always loved Halloween, and I started building a village in my garage, so that the children could enjoy it in my neighborhood,” Gabriel told BCR while he and a crew of family and friends toiled away to set up the village this weekend.
As the display grew — to take up more than 200 sq. ft. in his garage of animated and illuminated Halloween fun — he wanted to find a bigger, better seasonal home for the show.
Trains run Saturday Oct. 24 departing at 4:00PM, 5:15PM, 6:30PM, and 7:45PM with each ride taking about an hour.
Advance purchase of tickets is required.
Also – Fall Steam Spectacular!
Come ride behind two steam engines! Enjoy a train ride behind our own Engine #17 and visiting Flagg Coal #75 through the beautiful New Hope Valley from Bonsal, NC.
The New Hope Valley Railroad (NHV) was organized in 1904 by W. Roscoe Bonsal, Samuel O. Bauersfeld, and Henry A. London. Bonsal and Bauersfeld were originally from Baltimore, but came south to Hamlet, NC in 1895 as civil engineers to work on the railroads then building across the South. London was from Pittsboro, NC, and among many other achievements in his life, owned or controlled the timber rights in the New Hope River Valley. Bonsal had been very successful in the railroad business, and by 1898, was a vice president of the Seaboard System with an almost exclusive contract to supply ties for the expansion of that railroad.
Two of the largest railroad festivals in NC are this weekend and next weekend.
First, the establishment known as Tweetsie Railroad will host its annual Railfan Weekend this Saturday/Sunday, September 12th & 13th. Tweetsie breaks out #12 (Tweetsie) and also 190 (Yukon Queen) for a double-barrelled shotgun full of fun on their historic steam locomotives. For more, visit: www.Tweetsie.com!
And if that’s not enough…Great Smoky Mountains Railroad holds its annual Railfest on the following weekend. Friday/Saturday/Sunday, September 18th – 20th will be a three day gathering for railroad enthusiasts and history buffs from around the world provides an opportunity to ride special excursions, see railroad memorabilia and experience music of the rails. For more, visit www.GSMR.com!
Featuring, The Handy Dandy Railroad, The Southeast Threshers Reunion is the greatest steam, gas and antique farm machinery show in the Southeast, featuring 800 antique tractors and gas engines, arts & crafts, border collie demonstration, 15 restored buildings, music, food and more. The festival is held in Denton Farm Park in Denton, NC, which is located in southern Davidson County.
Bryson City, NC – June 2009 – Railfest 2009, a Great Smoky Mountains Railroad festival, will return to the Bryson City Depot, September 18th through 20th. This three day gathering for railroad enthusiasts and history buffs from around the world provides an opportunity to ride special excursions, see railroad memorabilia and experience music of the rails. Thousands return each year along with first time visitors to enjoy a taste of railroad food, storytelling, dancing, live music, special excursions and events unavailable any other time of the year.
The 28th Annual Fireman’s Day highlights Railfest on Saturday. Festivities will include rides on the 1939 Dodge American La France Fire Truck, the Firecracker 5-K Run, All-Male Miss Flame Beauty Pageant, and their famous Bar-b-que. Remember to purchase a Bryson City Firemen’s Tee Shirt.
Saturday festivities include special train rides, motorcars on display, seventh annual mountain craft fair with over fifty vendors, a children’s talent contest along with the winner’s jamboree, and a bouncy train for children to enjoy. The popular Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot Band will be the headliner of the event’s musical entertainment.
Sunday features a Nantahala Gorge “Photo Special” Excursion. This eight-hour roundtrip excursion takes passengers from Bryson City to Andrews, and includes two photo run-by opportunities, as well as a picnic lunch. Visitors to Bryson City will enjoy gospel music throughout the day.
Source: Salisbury Post
By Mark Wineka
SPENCER — Never go to the Family Rail Days Festival at the N.C. Transportation Museum without riding the rails.
Don and Anne Sebastian settled into an open-air passenger car Saturday and gave 4-year-old grandson Jacob a window seat.
“There’s a lot of history here, and a lot of people don’t realize how far back this goes,” Don said before the train rocked to a start.
Don Sebastian can’t help but be nostalgic when he visits the museum grounds, where Rail Days will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
Thousands of men used to work here in the days when Spencer Shops served as Southern Railway’s major steam locomotive repair facility between Washington and Atlanta.
And one of those men was Sebastian’s father, Walter, who worked at least 40 years at the Roundhouse. Don grew up in Spencer, when the shops were central to everyone’s lives.
As the museum passenger train made its trip around the grounds Saturday, everything seemed to stir a memory for Sebastian.
At lunchtime, workers would play horseshoes on the hill next to the Master Mechanic’s office.
Over there, across the street from the Roundhouse, used to be the YMCA, which stayed open practically all night.
Southward, Don recalled how he and friends would make elaborate tunnels in the mountains of hay stored on the shops site. They did, that is, until railroad detectives caught them.
Their punishment — the worst thing of all — was that the detectives called their fathers.
In the steam engine days, Sebastian said, smoke and cinders blew all across town. Women in Spencer would time the hanging of their wash by how much smoke was in the air, Sebastian said.
He and Anne later had a home on Hudson Avenue. They bought the house next to them and eventually tore it down to salvage the wood.
Cinders from the steam engine days were accumulated in the house’s attic, Sebastian said.
You only learn these kinds of things riding a train.