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Planning Your Visit

Face masks are optional for the train ride and in all areas of the N.C. Transportation Museum. As COVID-19 protocols can change, visitors to the N.C. Transportation Museum must follow requirements in effect at the time of their visit.

  • Barber Junction Visitor Center – Ticket sales and visitor orientation
  • Back Shop – Large displays of railroading, automotive and trucking, and aviation equipment
  • Bob Julian Roundhouse – Steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, aviation displays surrounding the Wright Flyer replica, railroad restoration bays, and private and specialized railroading equipment
  • Flue Shop – Bumper to Bumper automotive exhibit
  • Master Mechanic’s Office Exhibit Spaces – Used to host traveling and temporary exhibits
  • Gift Station – Variety of souvenirs, snacks, and transportation-related products. You can also shop online at https://shopnctransportationmuseum.com/

TRAIN RIDE SCHEDULE

Thursdays & Fridays June – Labor Day: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

The museum offers online, reduced contact ticket purchases. Just click the link at the top of the page. Tickets can also be purchased onsite at the Barber Junction Visitor Center, where social distancing markers and plexiglass shields will separate staff from visitors.

TURNTABLE RIDES SCHEDULE (tickets sold on site, not in advance)
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday: 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Experience a ride on the 1924 turntable, the centerpiece of railroad operations at the largest remaining roundhouse in North America. The turntable was used to move steam locomotives to and from the 37-bay Bob Julian Roundhouse when they were brought in for maintenance and to turn them around between runs. Unlike diesel locomotives, steam locomotives were designed to pull trains in only one direction, making the turntable a necessary part of operations at railroad yards like Spencer. Still in operation today, this Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark is used to position locomotives and rail cars for display and for use on the museum’s passenger trains. Take a spin as the turntable operator explains the history of this 100 foot long rotating bridge and its importance to the operation of Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops and today’s North Carolina Transportation Museum.

Directions and Parking

The N.C. Transportation Museum is located approximately five minutes off I-85, about an hours’ drive from Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.  The easiest way to find the museum is by using Google Maps, which will bring you directly to our main parking lot, next to the Barber Junction Visitor Center.   The address is 1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer, NC, 28159.

From 1-85, take Exit 79 and follow the brown Historic Site signs.  Turn left on Hwy. 29 (Salisbury Ave.) Go 3/10ths of a mile and the museum entrance will be on the left.

From Statesville, take I-40 to I-77 South (Exit 152-A).  From I-77, take Exit 49A (G. Bagnal Blvd.) which is Highway 70.  Take Hwy. 70 East for 23.7 miles to Clubhouse Drive.   Turn right onto Clubhouse Drive (at the “To Main Street” sign).  Follow Clubhouse Drive, veering left until you reach Main Street.  Turn left onto Main Street.  Continue 2 miles, passing the Spencer Fire Department (on left) and the museum entrance will be on the right.  (Approximate drive time: 45 mins.)

From Salisbury, take Main Street north towards Spencer.   Go 3 miles, passing through Downtown Spencer.  Shortly after passing the Fire Department (on left), the museum entrance will be on the right.

Ride aboard Amtrak to the Salisbury Depot, then take public transportation or an Uber to the museum.

Parking is free!  Spaces are available for Buses, RVs, and trailers.  There is no overnight parking or camping on site.  Space may also be limited during certain special events.

 

For more information, feel free to call the museum at 704-636-2889 during regular museum hours (Monday – Saturday 9am-5 pm and Sundays 12-5pm) or email info@nctransportationmuseum.org.  To explore hotels, dining, shopping and other attractions in Rowan County contact the Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 704-638-3100 or 800-322-2343.

Normal Admission Rates and Parking

Visitors can choose to view the museum exhibits or combine admission and the onsite train ride with a single ticket.  Admission varies for special events. 

Admission Only
Adults $6
Seniors/Military $5
Children (Ages 3-12) $4
Admission With Onsite Train Ride
Adults $12
Seniors/Military $10
Children (Ages 3-12) $8

*Sales Tax Required

Turntable Rides
All ages 3+ $1

Accessibility

The North Carolina Transportation Museum is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The train ride is able to be boarded by wheelchair lifts and the train ride’s ADA car provides wheelchair tie downs for a smooth ride. Other rail cars are not wheelchair accessible due to the use of historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment, which is exempt from ADA regulations under US Code:  Title 42:  Section 12184.

Wherever possible, access to exhibits is accessible to those with disabilities, however, certain exhibits and programs do have limited accessibility due to narrow door openings on railroad passenger cars. For additional details, please contact us.

The site is walking-intensive, but wheelchairs are available on loan and handicapped persons or those with difficulty walking may drive between facilities (please contact one of our friendly visitor services staff upon your arrival).

 

Animals on Property

Animals are not allowed in visitor centers, museum or historic structures, unless the animal qualifies as a service animal under Federal or State law.

 
 

Also in the Area

Find out more about where to stay while you’re here and other places to visit at the Rowan County Visitors Center.



ASTC Reciprocity

Reciprocal memberships for participating Association of Science – Technology Centers (ASTC) outside 90-linear-miles of the N.C. Transportation Museum will be accepted provided the member follows the following guidelines:

  • You must have your membership card with you.
  • The membership card must be in your name.
  • You must present a photo ID.
  • The expiration date on the membership card must be valid.

To find out if your museum is part of the reciprocity program, view the lists online: ASTC
Please note the exceptions below for centers within 90-linear-miles of the N.C. Transportation Museum. Reciprocity is subject to change.

It is recommended that you call the N.C. Transportation Museum prior to your visit to confirm the status of reciprocity. 704.636.2889 ext. 239

Benefits using the ASTC Travel Passport Program membership can only be completed on-site at the Barber Junction Visitor Center; no online reservations accepted.

 

Reciprocity

  • Catawba Science Center, Hickory NC
  • Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro NC (50% off admission and train ride for up to 4 people from one household on non-special event days)
  • Kaleideum North, Winston-Salem NC
  • Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium, Gastonia NC

No Reciprocity

  • Discovery Place, Inc, Charlotte NC