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“Stroll down memory lane”

North Carolina Transportation Museum
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Spencer
Attraction details
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Stroll down memory lane”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2012

The NC Transportation Museum is a neat place to go - particularly if you are fascinated by history or if you love to reminisce. You'll also learn a great deal!

Visited July 2011
Thank rmm75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Salisbury, North Carolina
Level Contributor
468 reviews
133 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Excellent Exhibits”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2012

A great experience for the whole family. Lots of exhibits on all forms of transportation, especially trains and cars.

Visited March 2012
Thank Gene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great place if you love railroad History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2012

If you like trains and railroad history, this is a great museum to remember the past. The museum is on the grounds of the old Southern RR (now Norfolk Southern) service facilities in Spencer, NC. There is a huge roundhouse filled with historic steam and diesel locomotives as well as some rolling stock. While the museum is focused on railroads and trains, there is also a nice car museum on the premises too. There is an operating turntable at the roundhouse also. The museum is a "work in progress" as they keep expanding and hopefully in the somewhat near future be able to move into the old railroad backshop where they did heavy repairs on steam locomotives prior to the railroad moving to diesel power. The museum used to be free but state budget cuts have forced them to charge a modest admission fee (currently at $5). They also offer train rides on weekends for another $5.

Visited March 2012
Thank trainlover45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe, NC
Level Contributor
75 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Have probably been 50 times already- but still love it every time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2012

My 7 year old son has very mild autism and has always been obsessed with trains. Therefore, we have visited every train museum around in a several state territory. The NC Transportation museum is by far the best.

For starters, the roundhouse is just fantastic. It is huge. And it is not just sitting full of rusty relics. These trains are real rolling stock. Every time we have been there, they are moving one in and one out and you can see them turning on the turntable too. There is also a big workshop area where you can see current restoration taking place. You can pay a small fee (I think $1) and take a ride standing on the turntable too. You can walk through a caboose, hospital car and a mail car. And there are stairs to walk up and look into the windows of several other cars. There is an area for kids too- where they can play with switches on several authentic displays of train controls and yard controls.

You can also take a train ride for an additional small fee. This is a very short train ride on the museum property. It is exciting enough for small kids but not for anyone much older.

There is also a good bit of airplane history on display. There is a Wright flyer replica too which is pretty cool.

They also have quite a few nice cars on display. Some very early cars including Model As and several interesting model T's. They have a display of cars from every decade through the 1970's including some old police cars. They also have some old fire equipment, ambulances and the like.

They have snack machines several places on the property that sell canned drinks for $.65 (yes I said $.65 in 2012) and packaged snacks from $.50 to $1.00. I have never seen drinks and snacks cheaper at any tourist attraction. They also have packaged ice cream at the gift shop. The gift shop has a nice selection of t-shirts, books, and children's toys. It is better than your average gift shop.

There are three different sets of restrooms on the property and they are all nice.

As I said, I have been here MANY times. This is a super place but understand that most of the buildings are of the indoor/outdoor type. So if it is really hot outside then it is even hotter inside. It is very hot here on a hot day. It is also pretty cold on cold days. Just dress for whatever the outside weather is and you'll be fine. Be advised that there is a lot of walking here if you take the normal route. I think there is some alternate parking arrangements that can be made for those who need it. You can also ride the train to the other side of the property and back to avoid some of the walking. The train stops at the roundhouse and then you can just take the next train back to Barber Junction (where you buy tickets).

If you are into model trains, there is also a pretty nice store across the street (in downtown Spencer) that carries a huge selection for hobbyists. It scares me for my husband and son to go into this place with a credit card if you know what I mean.

Have a great time!!

Visited February 2012
2 Thank tarheelluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Choo Choo!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2012

Nowhere can one learn more about trains than this place. Every kid who had a train set growing up, and those of us who always wanted one, will revel in the display here. Worth a destination trip.

Thank viceechanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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