JOHNSON CITY – The quiet thunder of today’s high-horsepower engines will start off a two-weekend celebration of railroading. The George L. Carter Railroad Museum at East Tennessee State University will present “Modern Diesels in Action” on Saturday, May 25 and the action moves to the Mini-Dome on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 for the annual Big Train Show.
This year is special as the 150th anniversary of the first Transcontinental railroad’s completion,” noted Geoff Stunkard, coordinator of the museum’s Heritage Days program. “We have a number of local lines and will be hosting trains from those and other operations nationwide.
After the Carter Railroad Museum celebrates a day of current era trains on the 24×44 foot HO scale layout in the Fred Alsop Exhibit Hall, exhibitors from around the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states will gather to showcase both railroading equipment for sale as well as displays and other attractions at the Big Train Show from noon to 6 p.m. on May 31 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 1.
The Carter Railroad Museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Heritage Day is held the last Saturday of each month. There is no admission fee to the museum, but donations are welcome. Admission to the train show is $6 daily for adults, and children 12 and under are free. Proceeds will benefit the museum’s yearlong program.
Volunteers from the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders (MEMRR) club and the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will be on hand to operate the equipment and staff the special show. For more information, visit www.memrr.org or www.glcarternrhs.com.
The museum is also seeking artifacts for its displays, including the newest addition dedicated to the “Tweetsie” line, the ET&WNC, which is open for guided tours during event days. In addition to the displays, there is a growing research library, and an oral history archive is being established as part of the museum’s programs. For more information, visit www.etsu.edu/railroad.
The Carter Railroad Museum can be identified by a flashing railroad-crossing signal at the back entrance to the Campus Center Building. Visitors should enter ETSU’s campus from State of Franklin Road onto Jack Vest Drive and continue east toward 176 Ross Drive, adjacent to the flashing RR crossing sign.
For more information about Heritage Day or the Big Train Show, contact Dr. Fred Alsop at 423-439-6838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.