Sir Topham Hatt’s Big Top Spectacular next at Carter Railroad Museum


JOHNSON CITY (April 4, 2014) — East Tennessee State University's George L. Carter Railroad Museum will present "Sir Topham Hatt's Big Top Spectacular" on Saturday, April 12, when the museum will host special circus-themed displays.

This event highlights the Little Engineers Room, a place filled with toys and creative train activities, designed for young railroad enthusiasts, especially those who are fans of Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas-related crafts and videos will be offered.

An array of circus equipment in miniature provided by museum volunteers Duane and Harriet Swank will make a rare appearance. The HO scale circus exhibit includes train sets, tents, parade displays and circus artifacts set up in the Fred Alsop Gallery's 24-by-44 layout.

Geoff Stunkard, coordinator of the museum's special programs, notes, "We love to have families come to see the Carter Museum, so we are following up on a program devised by our college students who administer the running of the Little Engineers Room. We look forward to having a sizable group of young people here, enjoying the railroad hobby just like some of us older folks do. Somehow, these trains seem to make all of us feel younger!"

Members of the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and the Mountain Empire Model Railroaders (MEMRR) club will be on hand to demonstrate the model layouts, museum exhibits and other projects. Visit to learn more about MEMRR.

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. Visitors should enter ETSU's campus from State of Franklin Road onto Jack Vest Drive and continue east to 176 Ross Drive.

The museum also 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

For more information about the event, call Dr. Fred Alsop, the museum's director, at (423) 439-6838. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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