Remove Ads
266 votes

North Carolina Transportation Museum

1 Samuel Spencer Boulevard, Spencer, North Carolina 28159 USA

Open Now
Sat 9a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
Add to Trip

Heads up!

Due to the spread of COVID-19, some points of interest may be closed or have restrictions. Please stay safe and call ahead to get the latest information.

Remove Ads

“learn the history of the rails”

The N.C. Transportation Museum is located on the site of what was once Southern Railway Company's largest steam locomotive servicing facility. J.P. Morgan, Southern's owner, chose the site because of its location midway between the railroad's major terminal points of Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga. Construction of the Shops began in 1896, and they were named in honor of the first president of Southern Railway, Samuel Spencer. During its peak, Spencer Shops employed nearly 3,000 people, which directly and indirectly provided most of the jobs for the towns of Spencer, East Spencer and other surrounding Rowan County communities.With the advent of the diesel locomotive, Spencer Shops went into decline. The repair facility closed in 1960, but the classification (freight) yard remained open until the late 1970s.In September 1977, Southern Railway donated four acres of the site, including three buildings, to the state of North Carolina. A second donation in 1979 included several additional historic structures and land. The entire site was eventually placed under the administration of the Historic Sites section of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The first exhibit area opened in 1983. Numerous restoration and exhibit improvements have occurred over the years, resulting in the museum's growth in size and popularity. The museum broke its annual visitation record in 2001 with 129.597 visitors, surpassing the old mark - set in 1999 - by nearly 15,000 visitors. The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation, a support group for the museum, was created in 1977 and is a key factor in the museum's success. More than $2 million in transportation artifacts have been acquired through the group's efforts. Foundation members and volunteers assist in the restoration and operation of these artifacts, which include trains, airplanes, trolley cars, wagons and automobiles.The museum and the Foundation achieved restoration success with the completion of the Roundhouse, exhibits, Barber Junction Depot, turntable, parking lots and overhead bridge in 1996. The total cost of the restoration projects was $8 million. The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation continues to pursue funding for the Back Shop project, as well as artifacts and rail equipment that keep the museum moving.  

Read More >
Add Review
Your Rating

Reviewed by
Chini Tiongco

  • 211 Reviews
  • 99 Helpful
August 23, 2014
Rated 4.0

Great museum! They offer train ride, turntable, and exhibit tour.The train ride was great. You'll be able to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride and the view. Don't forget to bring your camera with you! There were also multiple exhibits. The restored locomotives were impressive and interesting.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 14, 2014

Little engineer heaven

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 13 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 12, 2017

Awesome place and a train ride. We could have stayed a lot longer if we had more time. There was a place for kids and we had to pull her away to leave.

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

North Carolina Transportation Museum

1 Samuel Spencer Boulevard
Spencer, North Carolina
28159 USA


Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
See More Details (9)


Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Clemmons, North Carolina
Lexington, North Carolina
Salisbury, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina

Click to discover a
great deal!

Clemmons, North Carolina

Click to discover a
great deal!

Related Trip Guides

  • Trip Guide

The top things to do on an East Coast road trip

  • 32 Places
  • 48:54
  • 2,584 mi
  • Trip Guide
  • 1 Week

The top things to do on a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip

  • 47 Places
  • 25:00
  • 990 mi
  • Trip Guide

The top things to do on an I-95 road trip

  • 50 Places
  • 37:29
  • 1,979 mi
  • Trip Guide

The top things to do on an I-40 road trip

  • 35 Places
  • 48:03
  • 2,843 mi
Remove Ads