National Train Day celebration this weekend
SPENCER — The N.C. Transportation Museum will celebrate National Train Day on Saturday with additional train rides, special food and a host of offerings.
National Train Day also coincides with the museum’s annual Membership Day, featuring special activities for members only and the annual Volunteer Open House, with museum staff available to discuss the benefits afforded to those who help keep history in motion.
National Train Day is Amtrak’s seventh annual celebration of travel by rail. According to Amtrak, it’s an opportunity for lovers of trains across the country to “learn more about why trains matter to our towns, our communities and to people everywhere.”
The N.C. Transportation Museum honors the occasion with special rides aboard the Caboose Train. A classic diesel locomotive will pull five colorful cabooses to provide a colorful and unique rail-riding experience.
A cake to honor the occasion and crafts for the kids will come with the price of museum admission. Operation Lifesaver will be on hand in the Wagons, Wheels & Wings exhibit with safety information for all. Amtrak schedules, time tables and more can be gathered at the Barber Junction Visitor’s Center.
For those traveling by rail, the museum will offer a shuttle service for those arriving at Salisbury Station during event hours.
For Membership Day, museum members can enjoy free train rides aboard the passenger and caboose trains and take a short trip aboard the hand pump rail car.
The museum also will offer tours of the Piedmont Airlines DC-3 restoration and special tours of the museum’s most beautiful private rail cars. The Doris, once owned by business tycoon James Duke, and the Loretto, owned by Charles Schwab and Colonel Leroy Springs, owner of Springs Industries in South Carolina, showcase the height of luxury business travel during the heyday of railroading.
Members can also see museum volunteer Chris Lainis’s track work demonstrations, showing how the museum keeps the trains on the tracks.
Kids will go home with goody bags filled with a collection of fun things and treats.
Throughout the event, museum staff will be available to discuss volunteer opportunities, including interpretive volunteers who lead tours and help with programming, rail operations volunteers who keep the trains rolling, automotive volunteers who work with the museum’s extensive automotive collection and aviation volunteers who are working to restore the Potomac Pacemaker DC-3.
Members can enjoy all events free of charge. Admission for non-members, including the train ride, is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors/active military, $8 for children 3-12. Age two and younger are free. Those purchasing train ride tickets can choose to ride the passenger train or caboose train. An extra train ride ticket is $6/person.
Admission only without a train ride is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors/active military, $4 for children 3-12. Those 2 years and younger are free.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with both trains running at 11 a.m. and 1, 2 and 3 p.m.