Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse Museum
1507 Camden Road
Charlotte, NC 28203
The Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the area streetcars. Three streetcars were upgraded and integrated into 2.1 miles of Charlotte’s transportation corridor, including uptown to Dilworth. Trolley #1, the little red car, arrived on the streets in the Queen City in 1989. Back in 1914, it ran the streets near Athens, Greece as a convertible. Trolley #85 had a prior life as a diner and concession stand near Huntersville during the 1940s. Then, there’s #17. It was top of the line back in the day — mahogany wood interior and windows with hardwood floors. It operated on the streets in Asheville.
1900 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28205
The central park of Charlotte is Freedom Park. On display is one of the last steam locomotives used in this region. The Gainesville Midland 301 was built by Baldwin in 1920. The Seaboard Airline Railroad Company presented it to Charlotte in 1959. The cabin is open for kids to explore and dream. The park is 98 acres of two playgrounds, walking trails and paths, a lake, a concession stand and five outdoor shelters with grills.
L&C Railway Railroad Museum
512 S. Main St.
Lancaster, SC 29721
The L&C Railway is 42 miles from Charlotte and the closest train ride. The Lancaster & Chester Springmaid Line began back in 1873. The 59+ miles of track services two to three trains per day. The museum features a scale model replica, hundreds of photos and artifacts from its origin to present day. Luxury charters are available for business trips, vacations, family reunions and more. It’s like a rolling hotel on wheels, featuring gourmet meals and sleeping quarters with full bath facilities.
North Carolina Transportation Museum
411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, NC 28159
Visit the North Carolina Transportation Museum for a fantastic train experience. It’s 48 miles from Charlotte. Rise early in the morning and make it a day. Learn how trains talk to each other with whistles and horns. Get a 25-minute tour of the 57 acres on cars pulled by a real diesel engine and hosted by a train engineer. The Birthday Caboose is a real, retired caboose available for parties. The event will include a 25-minute ride. Let the kids take a diesel cab ride with an engineer for $25 per person. Put this on the calendar. Thomas the Tank Engine will be there on September 20-22 and 27-29. The storybook character event will include rides and a day full of activities.
1914 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
North Carolina’s Amtrak has an uptown Charlotte station. Plan a day trip to Salisbury and back for a train adventure. One-way trips are as low as $15. This Quick Trip option departs Charlotte on train #80 at 7 a.m. or noon. The #75 departs Salisbury at 2:08 p.m. and arrives back in Charlotte by 2:55 p.m. While in Salisbury, visit the Dan Nicholas Park and grab a bite to eat. The park offers a nature center, a miniature train, paddle boats, playgrounds and a small aquarium.
Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.