The Historic Railcars Are Home!
The 10 historic railcars were moved from Harris Nuclear Plant five miles down public roadways to the North Carolina Railway Museum/New Hope Valley Railway the week of May 9, 2022. They are now at home in the rail yard awaiting eventual restoration. You may view video footage on our YouTube channel playlist (please subscribe to the Triangle Train New Hope Valley Railway YouTube channel) from the first day when one of two cabooses was moved and a flatcar.
Read more about the historic cars in the following articles:
- Duke Energy’s Illumination newsletter.
- article published in April 2022. Click to read it here: http://apex.suburbanlivingmag.com/save-the-ten-preserves-historic-train-cars-by-janice-lewine/. We are now restoring and preserving these railcars so we are still taking donations. (Please see below)
Thank you to all who contributed in helping us raise a total of nearly $200,000 toward our Save the 10 project, including $50,000 in state appropriations. We are now restoring and preserving these railcars, so we are still taking donation (see below).
History of the Save the Ten Project
Located less than five miles from the North Carolina Railway Museum (NCRM), which is home to the New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR), were 10 historic railroad cars parked at a disconnected railway siding on Duke Energy’s Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant property. Our all-volunteer railway raised funds to save the railroad cars from the scrap yard and moved all 10 cars to the museum’s rail yard in spring 2022. In the mid-1990s, the NCRM acquired four railroad cars which were then stored on Shearon Harris’ property until they could eventually be moved to the museum’s rail yard. Shortly after 9-11 occurred, plant security tightened and we were unable to enter the plant area to visit our cars until late 2019. After visiting the museum’s four cars in fall 2019, NCRM volunteers discovered that Duke Energy had an additional six railroad cars they were willing to donate to the museum—if we could pay to move them. Unfortunately, shortly after discussions began to move the cars, the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020. Nearly all NHVR’s rides during its 2020 season were canceled due to the pandemic, and the few rides that did happen were limited to 30 percent capacity. Since most of the our revenue comes from train ride ticket sales, this left us with a lot of lost income and depleted our rainy day fund.
Below are the 10 railroad cars that were moved to the NCRM rail yard. Items 1-4 are owned by NCRM and are in weathered condition but restorable. Items 5 and 6 were owned by Duke Energy and donated to NCRM.
- Historic ex-Pullman sleeper, originally called the Calais, but later re-named the Alexandria, that was built in 1916. In the late 1940’s it was acquired by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and converted into a foreman/cook car for use on maintenance trains. Much later, one end was altered to appear to be an observation car. Rumor has it, this modification was done so that the car could be used in a movie featuring a presidential candidate speaking from the back.
- Atlantic Coast Line Baggage-Express car, that was used for carrying luggage, baggage and mail on passenger trains. The inside is wide-open and ideal for our eventual use as a new display space.
- Ex-Pullman baggage/RPO car, built in the 1910’s originally for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. It was later acquired by the “old” Norfolk Southern Railway and converted to a “camp car” for maintenance crews to use eat and sleep. Inside are bunk beds, seating, a kitchen and restroom. This car was used in trains with the NS #711 crane tender car currently on the NCRM property.
- Hi-Cube Tall Boxcar, which is believed to be one of the last surviving original paint Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 60-foot-high cube plug door box cars.
- Two cabooses, slated to be scrapped but in great condition. They are equipped with comforts such as a kitchen, air conditioning, bathroom and electric generator and were used by Carolina Power & Light (now Duke Energy) in its operations. The NCRM would hope to eventually restore these cars and used them as part of the operations at NHVR.
- Four flat cars, also slated to be scrapped. These cars are unusual because they have depressed centers from when they were used by Duke Energy for specialized purposes in plant operations in North Carolina. They could eventually be converted by the NCRM to carry passengers on the Triangle’s Triangle’s Train.
Each car was lifted by crane onto a flatbed truck, transported five miles to the NCRM rail yard, and then another crane lifted the cars from the truck to a set of tracks at the railway. If you have any questions concerning “Save the Ten”, please email them to [email protected] and one of our volunteers will respond.
How to Donate
The NCRM is now restoring and preserving these railcars and cabooses. Anyone can donate by:
1. Mail a check (avoid processing fees) to:
North Carolina Railway Museum, Inc. P.O. Box 40 New Hill, NC 27562 Attn: Save the Ten Please note “Save the Ten” in the memo portion of your check.
2. Make an online donation via Network For Good link
Please click the Donate Now to make your online donation!