Todd's Railfan Guide to

In General
How to get here




In General

Spencer NC is best known for the former Southern Railway's shops that were located here.  It is now the North Carolina Transportation Museum. 

The Spencer Shops, as they are known as, was used by the Southern Railway from 1896 until the late 1970's.  It was at one time, the largest facility on the Southern.  It was named after the first president of the Southern Rwy, Samuel Spencer (1847-1906), and was built slightly east of Salisbury.  The town of Spencer itself wasn't incorporated until 1905.  The sight was picked because  it was approximately halfway between Atlanta and Washington DC.

Almost all of the old shops are still there, as is a depot on the way in.  The museum is one of the better ones around and shouldn't be missed.

More info at: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/spencer/spencer.htm

Adjacent to the Spencer Shops is a small 12 track yard.

On the east side of Spencer, if you're travelling WB (or SB as the case may be) on I-85, and get off at exit 82, you'll see a bridge off to the left that the Norfolk Southern crosses High Rock Lake on.  If you're lucky, you might be able to catch an EB train as you go over the tracks on the interstate.

East of Spencer, in Linwood, is a major classification yard, appropriately named the Spencer Classification Yard.  Access look extremely limited except for the east end approach.

Over in Salisbury, you have a historic Southern Railway depot, now used by Amtrak.  It's very picturesque, and easily photographed.  There is a classic WB colorlight signal at the depot. 

West of the depot is a wye.  The north leg of the wye heads up to Statesville, where it splits again.  The west leg heads to Charlotte and then Atlanta.

All my pictures date from 2005.

Norfolk Southern's entire 20 engine Heritage Fleet was introduced to the public at Spencer
on July 3rd and July 4th, 2012
This may be the only time this ever happens!!!

If anyone has pictures of Amtrak's 40th Anniversary Train visiting Spencer, and would like to share them, please check out my contact page.

Getting Here

Spencer and Salisbury are conveniently located right off of I-85, slightly west of central North Carolina.  Exit 79 is best for the Spencer Shops, and exit 76 is good for Salisbury. 

They are about 35 miles north of Charlotte, which gives you access to points north and south of there via I-77.  From the east coast, I-85 from I-95 in Petersburg VA is your connection, or use the I-40 connection from southern NC off I-95 - it hooks up to I-85 just west of Durham NC.

Greensboro is about 45 miles east, Durham about 100 miles, and Raleigh another 20 miles.


The above map in a PDF is here


    1       The North Carolina Transportation Museum, aka the Spencer Shops

I have a few more pictures at https://railroadsignals.us/museums/spencer/index.htm

      Pictures of the depot

    2       The Salisbury Depot


  Seen across from the depot

Signals in eastern Salisbury


Grade Crossing at E 11th St - Salisbury



NS Bridge by I-85

Spencer Classification Yard

Signs in Salisbury


Travel by Train

These signs appear every 10 miles or so on I-85.


    1       Signals at the Salisbury Depot


2005-1016ATL1, 2005-1016ATL2

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New 02/21/2012
Last Modified: 10/07/2013