SPENCER, N.C. – All aboard!

In the final installment of our One Tank Trips, we’re taking a quick trip 50 miles out of Charlotte to a town that’s both fun and educational — Spencer, N.C.!

Surely you’ve heard of the famous Polar Express? Well, did you know you can hop aboard and take a ride from Spencer? Visit the National Transportation Museum, where you can see exhibits and special events, as well as take a ride on the family favorite holiday train.

National Transportation Museum Fun Facts

  • The complex opened in 1896 and the town of Spencer quickly sprung up where there was once only farmland. The town was incorporated in 1905.
  • The Atlantic Coast Line 501 diesel locomotive has the notoriety of being the highest mileage diesel passenger engine in the world, with more than six million miles. This colorful purple, silver and gold engine still operates, and will be open for tours during Rail Days.
  • Barber Junction, the visitors center, was not original to the site. It served as the train depot in Barber, N.C. and was moved to the site in 1980. The building was cut into three sections for the move.

There are also plenty of hiking trails to enjoy, making Spencer an ideal destination for a small day trip for the family.