The 37-bay Bob Julian Roundhouse, one of the largest remaining such structures, was built in 1924 and is one of the few preserved roundhouses remaining in the country. The building houses about 40 restored locomotives and rail cars.
Exhibits at the Roundhouse focus on the lives of the men who made Spencer Shops run and the history of railroads in North Carolina. Stop by the orientation room to get a map of the building, watch the orientation film, and ride the 100-foot turntable.
The Bob Julian Roundhouse was dedicated as a Historical Mechanical and Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers March 19, 2011. Click below for a video of the dedication ceremony.
The Bob Julian Roundhouse is also home to:
Rolling Stock Collection
Mammoth steam and diesel locomotives, cabooses, freight cars and passenger cars fill the first 16 bays of the Roundhouse.
The Spencer Worker
Housed in what was once the wash room for workers at the site, this exhibit depicts the lives of the men who worked at Spencer Shops and tells the story of the town that grew up around the industrial site.
The African American Community at Spencer Shops
The interactive kiosk provides visitors with an understanding of the African-American work experiences that took place here at Spencer Shops and includes first-person histories.
The Railroad and North Carolina
This exhibit shows how the railroad developed in North Carolina, and how it affected passenger travel and the transport of goods. A highlight of the exhibit is a large-scale model of the Spencer Shops site as it once stood.
The Restoration Shop
Here volunteers restore and maintain rail cars and locomotives for future display in the Roundhouse or use on the train ride. The most active work days are Saturdays, and large viewing windows let visitors watch. Learn about becoming a rail operations volunteer.
Riding The Rails
This exhibit features two lush private rail cars, a rail post office car and an Army hospital car from World War II. Interactive displays explain the role of a caboose and show how rail communications kept things running smoothly on the tracks.