Operate-a-Loco

Volunteers at the North Carolina Railway Museum are resuming the Operate-a-Loco program at New Hope Valley Railway, with guidance and safety measures implemented to protect participants and volunteers.


1 – A face covering is required for the participant and the supervisory (volunteer) engineer.
2 – The participant/purchaser of our Operate-a-Loco activity and ONE guest will be allowed in the cab with the engineer.
Read about our other COVID-19 Safety Measures.

Drive a diesel locomotive! Operate-a-Loco Diesel fare is $175.

The North Carolina Railway Museum’s Operate-a-Loco program puts YOU in the engineer’s seat of one of our diesel locomotives. Spend an hour at the throttle on the 8-mile round trip New Hope Valley Railway route through the North Carolina piney woods. Experience the thrill of driving a real railroad locomotive.

Our steam engine is in the process of undergoing refurbishment and will not be part of our Operate-a-Loco program. However, we’ve added additional times to drive our diesel locomotives as part of this program.

The Operate-a-Loco program is open to anyone aged 18 and up with a valid driver’s license. Participants will operate a diesel locomotive that is not connected to other train cars.

Operate-a-Loco participants  are required to wear closed-toe shoes. Long sleeve shirts are also recommended.

Please report to our Dispatcher’s Office, 5121 Daisey Street, New Hill, NC  27162, fifteen minutes before your scheduled time. You can park along the fence adjacent to our parked passenger cars.

Please purchase an Operate-a-Loco experience via the available dates and times on etix here.
https://www.etix.com/ticket/e/1013369/2020-operatealoco-new-hill-new-hope-valley-railway

A wonderful video from Our State Magazine – Best-Kept Secrets in the Triangle: North Carolina Railway Museum. At the 2:40 mark in the video, reporter Elizabeth Byland experiences our Operate-a-Loco opportunity.