On Saturday, July 29, the George L. Carter Railroad Museum at East Tennessee State University will host its monthly Heritage Day focusing on the American West.
The event will showcase the colorful and popular lines that stretched across some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Railroads in the American West were characterized by specialized equipment such as giant steam engines, multiple-unit diesels and huge landmark-level infrastructure like the Donner Pass. Heritage Day visitors will be able to see replicas of some of these machines in action thanks to participating members of the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders club.
Tourism lines to Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific are another important aspect of the American West railroads. In addition to amenities, they used style and color to attract potential customers. The rugged terrain led to highly-developed horsepower units like the 4-8-8-4 wheel-arrangement of the Union Pacific’s Big Boy steam engine, the world’s largest, and experimental gas turbines that superseded them. Models of these trains will be in operation by volunteers on the museum’s 24×44 foot HO scale layout.
Located in the Campus Center Building at ETSU, the Carter Railroad Museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes model railroad layouts, a children’s activity room, and ongoing programs. Heritage Day is held the last Saturday of each month. There is no admission fee, but donations are welcome. The Carter Railroad Museum can be identified by a flashing railroad crossing signal at the back entrance to the Campus Center Building at ETSU.
The museum is also seeking artifacts for display, including the newest addition dedicated to the ‘Tweetsie’ line, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad, which will be open for guided tours during event days. In addition to the displays, there is a growing research library, and an oral history archive being established as part of the museum’s programs. For more information, visit www.etsu.edu/railroad.
For more information, visit www.memrr.org or visit www.glcarternrhs.com to learn more about the Carter Chapter, which helps demonstrate and maintain the model layouts, museum exhibits and other projects.
For more information about Heritage Day, call 423-439-6838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.