21st Century Steam Excursions Come to the NCTM!

Release date: 5/25/2012

SPENCER, N.C. – For the first time since 1994, you can ride behind a real coal-fired steam locomotive on mainline tracks in North Carolina when the N.C. Transportation Museum hosts passenger train excursions June 16 and 17. Part of the 21st Century Steam program, the trips are being offered in cooperation with Norfolk Southern Corp. and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. 
            Three one and a half hour round trip journeys will be offered each day from the N.C. Transportation Museum to the town of Barber, N.C. and back. Power will be a genuine Southern Railway steam locomotive, No. 630, built in 1904 and once used to pull freight trains in North Carolina.
These will be the only such trips offered in North Carolina in 2012 and are not expected to be repeated.
            Trips will be offered both Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Coach seating is $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12. Kids ages 2 and under who will ride on the lap of a parent or guardian do not need a ticket.
A circle of history will also be completed with these trips. As passengers depart the museum grounds, they will pass by the Barber Junction Depot. This building was moved from the town of Barber, our excursion turnaround point, where it served as an arrival and departure station for train travelers through 1968.
Eventually, restored to its original luster, Barber Junction Depot now serves as the N.C. Transportation Museum’s Visitor’s Center and departure point for the on-site train ride.
A bonus trip is scheduled June 23. Passengers can ride along on a one way trip from Spencer to Winston Salem with a bus trip back to the museum. This one way trip departs from the museum at 10 a.m., with arrival in Winston-Salem at 2 p.m. The train will again be pulled by the SR #630 with a diesel engine assisting. The $80 fare includes a box lunch and return shuttle to museum.
The 630 is a Consolidation-type (2-8-0) locomotive built at the Richmond, Va. works of American Locomotive Co. The locomotive operated throughout the Southern Railway system, including the famous Murphy Branch from Asheville, N.C., to Murphy, N.C., Additionally, Southern Railway used the locomotive from 1968 to 1977 on excursions, and TVRM concluded a 10-year restoration in 2011 at the Soule Shops complex in Chattanooga.
Tickets are available at for online purchase by clicking here or by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 237.
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About the N.C. Transportation Museum
The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, N.C., and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.

About Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded in 1961 in Chattanooga to create an interpretive operating museum of historic equipment and artifacts in an authentic setting. Today it operates an extensive schedule of historic and scenic trains in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, supported by its East Chattanooga locomotive and shop complex. TVRM is the largest operating historical excursion railroad in the Southeast.