Planning Your Visit
The N.C. Transportation Museum’s exhibit buildings are open to the public with limited capacity:
- 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 www.shopnctrans.com.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, public buildings are limited to no more than 50% of the stated fire code capacity, with space available for social distancing throughout.
TRAIN RIDE SCHEDULE
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.
Passenger seating within each train car will have appropriate social distancing between each group of friends or family as outlined by Executive Order #195.
TSA requires proper wearing of face masks on the train, per federal law. Failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal and may result in penalties under federal law. Children under the age of two and individuals with disabilities who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disability Act are exempt.
Passengers will board and deboard the train in a one-way traffic flow through the rail car. Cars will be sanitized between each ride, including seats, windows, and handrails.
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 onsite, 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. (Sat. only)
Sunday: 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 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.
CONTINUED SAFETY MEASURES
Wear a mask to keep those near you safe.
- Per Executive Order #163, proper face coverings are required of all museum staff and visitors while in buildings and on the grounds. Children under the age of five and individuals with disabilities who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disability Act are exempt.
- Cloth face coverings are available for purchase in the Gift Station.
- Enhanced cleaning of the facilities will take place multiple times throughout the day.
- Hand sanitizer stations are accessible throughout the museum.
- Picnic shelters are open, arranged with fewer tables and greater distances in between.
- Water fountains will not be in use.
- Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services — WEAR a cloth face covering; WAIT in line at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
- If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.
The N.C. Transportation Museum is located about five minutes off I-85, about an hour’s drive from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem.
From I-85, use Exit 79 and follow the brown Historic Sites signs. You will turn left onto Hwy. 29 (Salisbury Avenue). The museum will be on your left.
From Statesville, take I-40 to I-77 South (Exit 152). From I-77 take exit 49A (G. Bagnal Blvd.) which is Highway 70. Travel Hwy 70 for 21.5 miles to the Salisbury Mall. Go straight past the mall and Rowan Regional Medical Center. Turn right onto Clubhouse Drive (at the “To 29” sign). Follow Clubhouse Dr., veering left until you reach the light at Main St. Turn left. Go 2 miles, passing through downtown Spencer. Pass SunTrust Bank and the Fire Dept. on the left and the museum entrance will be on the right. (Approximate drive time: 45 minutes).
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. Parking is free. Spaces are available for buses and trailers. Space may be limited during certain special events.
|Children (Ages 3-12)||$4|
|Children (Ages 3-12)||$8|
*Sales Tax Required
|All ages 3+||$1|
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
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.
Old US 29/70 runs parallel to I-85 on the west side from Lexington to Concord. Most exits between Lexington (Exit 85) and Concord (Exit 60) allow access to US 29/70 (sometimes called Old Salisbury Road).
From Charlotte traveling north, use you may Exit 60, 63, 68, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75 or 76, go west over the Interstate and follow the road you are on until it intersects US 29/70. Turn right (north) and follow U.S. 29/70 through Salisbury (Main Street). Go two miles from downtown Salisbury into downtown Spencer. The N.C. Transportation Museum will be on your right.
From Greensboro traveling south, use Exit 85, 83, or 81, go west and follow the road until it intersects U.S. 29/70. When you enter Spencer, the road will be called Salisbury Avenue. The museum is located at 411 South Salisbury Avenue, with the entrance just north of the center of the town of Spencer.
For maps, call the Rowan County Visitor Information Center at 704.638.3100 or 800.332.2343 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
As a non-profit organization, we are grateful for your support as we recover from an extended closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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 status of reciprocity. 704.636.2889 ext. 239
- 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, Winston-Salem NC
- Discovery Place, Inc, Charlotte NC
- Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium, Gastonia NC