JOHNSON CITY (November 20, 2012) — East Tennessee State University’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum will hold its November Heritage Day on Saturday, Nov. 24, with “Steam’s Finest Hour: Articulated Locomotives from Coast to Coast.”
An articulated locomotive was a reciprocating steam engine with multiple sets of rod-propelled drive wheels. From the diminutive logging models to the Union Pacific “Big Boy” of World War II, these were the ultimate horsepower machines of their age, eventually becoming capable of the same speeds as the fastest passenger trains. Their capacity allowed them to make fast work with less manpower, though they would fall from favor as the diesel age arrived.
“To see one of the locomotives in action is fascinating, and there are only a couple worldwide that are still operational, so this is an excellent subject for the Carter Railroad Museum,” says Geoff Stunkard, the museum’s Heritage Days coordinator. “While we cannot bring a real one here, we will display and demonstrate their operation using movies and models that will help people understand what they were.”
The focal point for the event will be articulated engines from railroads around the nation on the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders (MEMRR) club’s large 24x44 1:87 HO scale layout. This exhibit is one of four different model lines that are housed in the museum. A special photo display showcasing articulated engines on the B&O (Baltimore & Ohio) and C&O (Chesapeake & Ohio) will be exhibited, as will various artifacts in the display cabinets the museum maintains in its main exhibit hall.
The layouts in HO and N scales are operated by volunteers from MEMRR and the Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
The Carter Railroad Museum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free. The museum can be identified by a flashing railroad crossing signal over the back entrance to the Campus Center Building.
The museum includes a growing research library, a National Railway Historical Society chapter, docent opportunities and an oral history archive being established as part of the museum’s programs. Information can be found online at http://johnsonsdepot.com/glcarter/cartermuseum.htm.
MEMRR works in conjunction with the museum to demonstrate and maintain the model layouts, exhibits and other projects. Visit www.memrr.org to learn more about the group.
For more information about the event or special assistance for those with disabilities, contact Dr. Fred Alsop, the museum’s director, at (423) 439-6838.