Railroad Museum Fundraiser Aims to Save 10 Historic Train Cars

Two cabooses, slated to be scrapped, are equipped with comforts such as a kitchen, air conditioning, bathroom and electric generator and were used by Carolina Power & Light (now Duke Energy) in its operations.

The North Carolina Railway Museum, which operates New Hope Valley Railway, is working to save 10 historic railroad cars from the scrap yard. To preserve these unique pieces of North Carolina railroad history, the nonprofit must raise nearly $100,000.

The 10 cars are currently parked at a disconnected railway siding at Duke Energy’s Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, and they must be moved to the NCRM rail yard in Bonsal, N.C. After the move, the museum hopes to restore the weathered railroad cars and use them in future operations at the railway.

“Donations and funds generated from rides enable our volunteers to preserve railroad history and improve the railway,” said Tom Hutchinson, NHVR marketing representative. “Our revenue significantly decreased last year after canceling most of our ride season due to the pandemic, so we’re seeking donations to help save these unique pieces of North Carolina railroad history.”

Among the 10 railroad cars are two cabooses that Duke Energy is donating to the museum. The cabooses are equipped with comforts such as a kitchen, air conditioning, bathroom and electric generator. The museum doesn’t currently own any other rolling stock with these luxuries, and the cabooses could offer a unique riding experience for passengers.

To learn more about the North Carolina Railway Museum’s Save the Ten fundraising project and see the different ways you can contribute, visit www.triangletrain.com/save-the-ten. There are sponsor-level incentives for larger donations, that range from 10 free train tickets on a regular ride day to a private charter train ride day with 12 Operate-a-Loco sessions.

The New Hope Valley Railway is the operating division of the North Carolina Railway Museum. The railway straddles the historic towns of Bonsal and New Hill, N.C., 30 minutes southwest of Raleigh, off U.S. Highway 1, Exit 89. A real train takes passengers on one-hour scenic rides through the woods in covered, open-air train cars.

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