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Carter Railroad Museum’s November Heritage Day focuses on old and new

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JOHNSON CITY (November 26, 2013) — East Tennessee State University’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum will hold its free November Heritage Day on Saturday, Nov. 30, when the museum presents “(Not Just) Steam’s Last Stand: N&W Railroading Today and Yesterday with Modern Heritage Units in Action.”

Focusing on the N&W, now known as Norfolk Southern (NS) railway, displays will reach into the past as well as across the present day.

In 2012, the NS railroad devoted a group of new locomotives to represent its corporate past. These Heritage Units are painted so that they are similar to engines on their predecessor lines, such as the Interstate, Nickel Plate, Wabash and Central of Georgia. The model trains at the event will include steam engines from the past and these modern Heritage-painted diesels.

 “This will be one of our highlight events for 2013, as there is so much variety between the two eras to focus on,” says Geoff Stunkard, the coordinator of the museum’s Heritage Days program. “The colorful new engines have been seen here on the NS mainline through town and are actively pursued by rail photographers. We have an outstanding group representing them, as well as steam engines from yesterday in operation.”

Covering an area from the deepest coal regions of the Appalachians to Virginia’s tidewater ports and into the Midwest, the N&W worked to get the job done. While other railroads converted to diesels, the N&W steam program allowed it to stay the course until the end of the 1950s.

 Members of the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders (MEMRR) club and the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society are coordinating the program. Photo highlights from the Heritage Unit program will be on exhibit, as will DVD presentations. A special photo session is scheduled for the HO scale roundhouse at 1:30 p.m.

Carter Railroad Museum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. The museum can be identified by a flashing railroad crossing signal over the back entrance to the Campus Center Building at 176 Ross Drive.

The museum includes model railroad layouts and a children’s activity room. In addition, museum volunteers are asking the public for artifacts for the museum’s newest addition, dedicated to the “Tweetsie” line, officially known as the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. The room is still under construction, but guided tours of the room will be offered on Heritage Day.

For online information about the museum, visit http://johnsonsdepot.com/glcarter/cartermuseum.htm.

The MEMRR club works in conjunction with the museum to demonstrate and maintain the model layouts, museum exhibits and other projects. Visit www.memrr.org to learn more about the group.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Fred Alsop, the museum’s director, at (423) 439-6838 or .

For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.