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Birthday Caboose

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Do members get a discount for the Birthday Caboose?

Yes, members receive a $25 discount on the rental of the Birthday Caboose. For more information about membership and its benefits, check out this webpage or contact Elaine Holden at elaine.holden@nctransportationmuseum.org or 704-636-2889 ext 232.

What all is included in the rental?
  • 2 hours for the party in one of our historic cabooses
  • 15 tickets for admission to the N.C. Transportation Museum
  • Two 25-minute train rides for 15 passengers, in an authentic vintage train caboose.
  • Birthday Caboose t-shirt for the birthday child.
How early can I board the caboose to decorate it?

The train will be at the Barber Junction Visitor Center 45 minutes prior to the start of your party. Once you check in with the staff at Barber Junction Visitor Center and receive your wristbands for museum admission, you will be directed to the caboose to begin decorating and set-up for your Birthday party.

Is admission to the museum included in the Birthday Caboose package?

Yes, for up to 15 people (for ages 3 and up). Children under the age of 3 are free. Additional museum admission and train ride tickets can be purchased at the Barber Junction Visitor Center when checking in upon arrival. Pricing is available on the Birthday Caboose main webpage.

Can I have more than 15 people on the Caboose when the train is sitting at the depot?

While the caboose is stationary, you are welcome to have additional guests in the caboose.

Do I have to buy tickets for any additional guests (above the 15 that come with the Birthday Caboose package)?

If your additional guests want to ride the train and/or visit the museum, then you will need to purchase museum admission (no train rides) or museum admission and train ride combination tickets. You would need to purchase all extra tickets at the Barber Junction Visitor Center, at one time, on the day of your Birthday Caboose to receive the group rate. Pricing is available on the Birthday Caboose main webpage.

If I have more than 15 people for the party, where do they ride?

If train ride tickets are purchased for your additional guests, they will ride in one of the passenger cars in front of the caboose. There are no walk-throughs from car to car, but everyone can gather in the caboose when it is stationary between rides.

When should I have my guests arrive?

Your guests need to be in the boarding area near the caboose at least 10-12 minutes before the first train departure time.

Does the Birthday Caboose actually run on the train?

Yes, the caboose is part of the 25 minute train ride that tours the museum’s 60-acre site.

How many train rides are included with the Birthday Caboose package?

You receive 2 train rides, so if you have more than 15 people attending your party, you are permitted to have part of your group in the caboose (up to 15 people ages 3 and up), and the other ticketed guests will ride in the passenger car. On the second train ride, you can select to have different guests ride in the caboose and passenger car.

What kind of seating is available on the Birthday Caboose?

Guests are seated on the main level as well as in the cupola of the caboose.  The cupola is the upper level observation area of the caboose, and requires climbing up vertical stairs for access.

Are there any tables on the Birthday Caboose?

There is a serving area approximately 70”x 36”, as well as a small built desk approximately 24”x18”

Can I bring food and drinks to serve on the caboose?

Yes, you are welcome to bring food or have it delivered (use 1 Samuel Spencer Dr., Spencer, NC 28159 to Barber Junction Visitor Center as the delivery address), as well as any non-alcoholic beverages. Small coolers are also permitted on the caboose.

Can we set up a pop-up tent outside on the platform and have our party extend to this area?

Yes, pop-up tents, folding tables and chairs are permitted in a grassy area close to the end of the boarding area near the caboose. The museum also has picnic shelters and conference rooms which can be rented for an additional fee. For information and more details on these options, contact Mark Deaton at mark.deaton@ncdcr.gov or 704-636-2889 ext. 225

What kind of decorations are allowed?

You may decorate the inside of the caboose with any type of temporary decoration other than glitter, confetti, or piñatas.

When do I get the t-shirt for the birthday child?

You will receive a voucher when you check-in at Barber Junction Visitor Center that can be redeemed for the t-shirt in the Gift Station.

Is the caboose handicapped accessible?

 The N.C. Transportation Museum cabooses 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. In order to board the caboose, riders must be able to climb steps onto and off the caboose. Infant and toddlers may be carried on the caboose by an adult.

Is the caboose heated?

Yes, it is heated.

Does the caboose have air-conditioning?

No, but the windows do open for cross-ventilation.

Will anyone besides my party be occupying the caboose?

There will be a museum host or train crew member on board the caboose for safety reasons and to answer questions as needed. That person may need to be inside the caboose or out on the loading platform of the caboose during operation. There may be times when the crew member is unavailable due to the need to carry out an operating duty while on board. We ask that you observe all safety requirements and take direction from the host or crew member in regards to safety. There will not be other museum visitors on your caboose during your birthday party.

Additional Questions?

Please contact Elaine Holden at elaine.holden@nctransportationmuseum.org or 704-636-2889 ext 232.