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Industrial and short lines steam into Carter Railroad Museum’s Heritage Day

Contributed • Updated Feb 24, 2018 at 7:24 AM

Short lines and industrial railroads will be the focus of Heritage Day at East Tennessee State University’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum on Saturday, Feb. 24.

A collective group of smaller railroads and industrial-oriented operations on the North American continent will be on display, including private equipment operated around factories and mills, trains that ran through smaller locales with a single connection to a larger line, and non-interchange lines such as the narrow-gauge East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (Tweetsie).

The smaller 36-foot cars could not be sent forward on standard-gauged 54-foot track size, a feature that is modeled extensively at the Carter Railroad Museum’s display hall.

“We are very proud of this particular model project of Tweetsie, which has been covered in several national magazine stories,” said Geoff Stunkard, coordinator of the Heritage Days program.

“In fact, it is believed to be the largest such model of this real railroad in existence in this scale. It is called HOn3, and features a large amount of one-off buildings and scenes that are almost breathtaking. If you have not been here yet to see this 1,300-square-foot exhibit, this will be a wonderful chance to view in operation.”

Volunteers from the Mountain Empire Model Railroad club will be leading Heritage Day, along with members from the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Models of short line and industrial trains will operate on the museum’s 24x44-foot HO standard scale operation as well as the ET&WNC exhibit and the museum’s G-scale logging railroad. Display cases will showcase the remainder of the exhibit.

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 museum is also seeking artifacts for display, including the newest addition dedicated to the 'Tweetsie' line, the ET&WNC, 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.

Members of the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and MEMRR coordinate the exhibits. For more information, visit www.memrr.org or www.glcarternrhs.com.

The 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 to 176 Ross Drive, adjacent to the flashing RR crossing sign.

For more information about Heritage Day, contact Dr. Fred Alsop at 423-439-6838 or [email protected] For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

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