The North Carolina Railway Museum, Inc., home to New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR), received a national grant to help restore a historic depot in its rail yard that will be used to educate visitors.
A 2019 National Railway Historical Society, Inc. (NRHS) Heritage Grant was awarded in May for the restoration of the 1884 Goldston Depot, which was gifted and moved to the museum’s rail yard in August 2017.
The NRHS, which is the longest operating organization in the United States dedicated to preserving and restoring railway equipment, buildings and artifacts, awarded the museum $3,500 for work that will be done to the historic railroad building.
Once final permits are secured this summer, the funds will be used for interior work including electrical wiring, chimney repair, masonry, woodwork, exterior drainage and decking.
The depot will eventually be used to store and display railroad artifacts and memorabilia.
“Our goal is for visitors to our museum and vintage railway to experience a historic, small-town depot that once served a short-line railroad in our state,” said Chris Tilley, president of the North Carolina Railway Museum. “One of the most interesting artifacts of the depot that we’re preserving is the handwritten messages on the interior wall left by railroad employees, townspeople and others passing through Goldston, N.C. more than 100 years ago.”
The old train depot originally served the community of Goldston from 1884 to 1973. In the mid-1970s, the building was saved from demolition by Goldston resident Jerry Gaines, who moved it a few blocks away and used it for storage for many years. Jerry’s son, Todd Gaines, then gifted the 23’ x 58’ building to the railway in 2017 so it could be restored.
The move of the nearly 140-year-old building from Todd’s Goldston property to Bonsal, cost the museum more than $50,000, all of which was raised through grants and donations. Since the move, the museum’s volunteers have made many exterior updates, such as repairing the original exterior woodwork, painting the building in typical Norfolk-Southern Railroad colors of the 1950s, window repair, and securing it to its new foundation.
The $3,500 NRHS Heritage Grant is the starting point of more than $25,000 additional funds the museum estimates are needed to finish restorations to the historic railroad building. Once donations and final permits are secured, Tilley says 500-600 volunteer labor hours will be necessary to complete the work, which the organization hopes to finish in time for its operating season in April 2021.
“Grants, donations and passengers on our tourist railway enable our all-volunteer organization to not only preserve railroad history, but to keep the spirit of railroading alive in the Triangle and beyond,” said Tilley. “The NRHS Heritage Grant recognizes the historical significance and importance of preserving the Goldston Depot.”
Anyone interested in making a donation may visit www.triangletrain.com/donate, send a check to the museum’s mailing address 5121 Daisey St., P.O. Box 40, New Hill, NC 27562 or bring a check to the ticket office during ride days. Please designate that donations are intended for the Goldston Depot.
NHVR, which is the operating division of the museum, is in the middle of its train-ride season which runs through December 2019. Upcoming operating days include Slow Down Sunday rides on July 14 and August 11, and Brew ‘n’ Choo ride events on July 27 and August 31.
All monies generated from ticket sales and contributions for Brew ‘n’ Choo ride events benefit restoration and construction projects underway at NHVR. The last Brew ‘n’ Choo event of the year is planned for Sept. 28 and proceeds from this ride will go toward the restoration of the Goldston Depot.
Read more about the Goldston Depot and donate at https://www.triangletrain.com/goldstondepot/
About New Hope Valley Railway
New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR), the Triangle’s Train, is the vintage railway operated by the North Carolina Railway Museum, Inc. NHVR straddles the historic towns of Bonsal and New Hill, North Carolina, 30-minutes southwest of Raleigh, off of U.S. Highway 1, Exit 89. A real train takes passengers on one-hour scenic rides through the woods in covered, open-air train cars. The 501(c)3 organization was chartered in 1963 as the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in Greenville, NC, and in 1983 relocated and began its current all-volunteer operated public train ride days. Also available are opportunities to operate a locomotive, host a birthday party in an historic caboose, and visit the North Carolina Railway Museum, Garden Railway (G Scale) and gift shop.
Learn more at www.TriangleTrain.com or connect on social media:
About the National Railway Historical Society, Inc.
The National Railway Historical Society, Inc. (NRHS) was established in 1935. It is an international organization, and the largest rail enthusiast organization in the United States. The NRHS is dedicated to train, railway and station preservation projects with hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded in Heritage Grants. It also offers educational programs such as its annual teen Rail Camp, maintains photographic archives, organizes special rail events, publishes several publications, supports standards definition and shared resources. The NRHS is a nonprofit section 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about the NRHS, visit www.nrhs.com