Jerry Blackwelder

The N.C. Transportation Museum The Museum That Moves You!

Once home to smoking steam locomotives and thousands of skilled workers, the N.C. Transportation Museum is a 60-acre former industrial site that now houses immersive exhibits focusing on all forms of transportation history – railroading, automotive, and aviation. School groups have numerous tour offerings that meet North Carolina curriculum standards for history, arts, or STEM.

Visit the massive 1905 Back Shop, where steam locomotives were once overhauled, to view horse drawn vehicles, trucks, planes and boats. Walk through the largest remaining roundhouse in North America to experience railroad exhibits and the full-size replica Wright Flyer. Take a spin on the 100-ft roundhouse turntable, used to switch locomotives and rail cars from track to track. See automotive exhibits that detail the evolution of cars and trucks from 1900 – 1960s. Enjoy a 25-minute train ride around the historic site, powered by vintage locomotive equipment.

Guided tours are offered each Tuesday and Wednesday, covering each exhibit building, lasting 60-90 minutes.

Thursday and Friday, ongoing activities are offered across the site from 9:30am to 12:30pm, covering a variety of modes of transportation, while engaging students in hands-on learning.

In the Back Shop, you can learn how Native Americans used their natural environment to create a dugout canoe.

In the Bumper to Bumper automotive exhibit, race your classmates to build cars quickly and correctly on a Henry Ford-style assembly line. Focusing on fl ight, learn to steer the Wright Flyer and test a fl ying machine of your own design in the vertical wind tunnel.

In the Roundhouse, they will climb into the cab of an antique steam locomotive to learn how fi re, water, and steam moved these machines down the tracks before working to sort the mail in a restored Railway Post Offi ce car. Students can also use theirimaginations to create their own railroad and design a diesel locomotive paint scheme.

Special group offers are also available for school groups, including THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Student Days, featuring a daytime version of the museum’s immensely popular holiday offering Dec. 3 and 10, 2018.

Beginning in February, 2019, the museum will host 49 Days of Gratitude, with special tours for students that focus on the 70th anniversary of the donation of the Gratitude train from France to each state in the U.S. Students are also invited to our annual Aviation Days March 22, or the annual Tractors and Trains Festival April 12, 2019.

For more information on school tours, please contact Terri Brown at 704-636-2889 ext.270, or visit online at


Carolina Publishing

PO Box 1155
Matthews, NC 28106

(704) 708-6270