We first stayed a few days with my brother who lives near Cornelius and Davidson, NC and during one of my morning runs I decided to see if I could find the local railroad station.
|Not certain, but I think this may be the (heavily remuddled) station at Cornelius, NC. At least the roof looks railroady enough.|
|The station - excuse me, "Depot" - at Davidson, NC|
|Davidson, NC trackside|
|Close-up of bay window and order board.|
The museum is on the site of the former Spencer Shops of the Southern Railway. Though much has changed since the shops were active (there are a LOT fewer tracks & yards), much remains - including the HUGE backshop, turntable and 37-stall roundhouse. It's an active rail preservation facility even today, which isn't surprising given the great facilities that exist here. Click here for a brief history of the shops.
There is a TRAINLOAD of stuff to see (pun intended) and I took a lot of photos, but here are a few that'll give you a quick overview of what's there...
|You start your visit at the station, which was transplanted from Barber, NC|
|Signal display - you can even operate them!|
|Like the museum at Roanoke, the NCTM is a full transportation museum - so it includes an impressive collection of cars and trucks as well (which my dad and brother especially enjoyed).|
|Need something like this on my layout - HO scale, of course.|
|Overview of the car museum, in the old freighthouse.|
|Spencer Backshop - this photo doesn't do it justice. It's HUGE! I think I read somewhere that at one time it was the largest building in North Carolina.|
|Shop interior - this is just one half(!) It's not hard to imagine the huge cranes moving entire locomotives around here.|
|Next stop was the roundhouse which included a number of locomotives and cars (don't miss the film at the beginning of your tour of the roundhouse - it gives you a great overview of the operation as it used to be).|
|For the blog's obligatory model railroad content.... this is a scale reproduction of the Spencer Shops. What an amazing operation!|
|View from the other end. Even in N-scale, this thing is huge.|
|Southern F unit undergoing restoration in the roundhouse.|
|You don't see too many of these around - looks like a Walthers or Tichy kit(!)|
|Overview of the roundhouse|
But our railroad day wasn't quite over yet.... On the way home, we saw a sign on the highway for a railroad station in Salisbury, NC. So of course we had to make a little detour...
|I want to learn more about Salisbury - it looks like it was quite a railroad town at one time and retains a lot of its old buildings - including these. "Embiggen" the pic to see the cool signs painted on the brickwork.|
|Built in 1908, the station itself is still active, serving both Amtrak and the local commuter service.|
But there's still a bit of railroading going on - as you'll see in the videos below, with which I leave you for now . . .