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Tuesday, March 29

Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)

Welcome to the North Carolina Transportation Museum......known to us only as 'Spencer.'  Four large exhibit buildings represent the remaining structures of the historic Spencer Shops, once Southern Railroad's largest steam locomotive repair facility on the east coast.  Buildings include the Back Shop, the Master Mechanic's Office, the Flue Shop and the 37-stall Bob Julian Roundhouse.  The museum is a source of education and fun for the young and old.

We checked in at the train station, purchasing tickets for a train ride, and then perusing the gift shop.  One of the most fascinating finds was this old trainspotter's guide.  We studied up in preparation for the big tour!
We used our ASTC passport to get free tickets for the train ride!  (I cannot tell you how much we save each year with this membership.  If you travel, you should have one.)  This railroad car was remodeled in the late 1940s, and boasted all of the luxury from the golden age of railroad travel!
I love this picture.  Isn't it funny when you get a momentary glimpse of the future?  Like us, our son has inherited the wanderlust.  I can easily see him boarding the Eurorail someday and touring the countryside by himself.  When I asked what he was thinking, he said he was trying to figure out how they had connected one of the tracks out there...
The Roundhouse Tour is a special treat at the end of your train ride.  Lots of history in the photos, printed stories, and activities that they guide you through!  There are also hands-on exhibits.
At the 'model' center, you can see a layout of the original train station.  They also have several model airplanes, including Eastern and Piedmont Airlines - two smaller airlines that eventually merged with companies such as US Air.
We started the afternoon with Bojangles, that southern fast food staple, and ended it with Monk's (that's Lexington BBQ...only the best barbecue on earth).  We're having a gastronomic adventure through the foothills of North Carolina, and it's fantastic!!

Rail Travel unit study :
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