Educating and entertaining audiences of all ages with a nod to the company’s heritage on its 30th anniversary and with new displays showcasing the benefits of rail freight transportation, the Norfolk Southern Exhibit Car has launched a 10-state, 15-city public tour.
The Exhibit Car is a restored 1926 Pullman passenger car that was converted to a mobile museum in 1971. In its 41 years of service as a display car, it has traveled to hundreds of cities across Norfolk Southern’s railway system and has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people.
Among new features for the 2012 tour is a display featuring the company’s heritage locomotives. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Norfolk Southern this year, the company is rolling out 20 locomotives painted in the color schemes of some of its most prominent predecessor companies. The Exhibit Car displays models of the locomotives, along with historical information about each railroad and a flat-screen monitor showing images of the real locomotives.
Also new in the car: a game, community focus, and a photo booth. The game, Load the Line, challenges players to match freight products with the correct type of rail car in a race against time. The community area displays images and information about Norfolk Southern’s employee volunteer program and its sustainability and safety initiatives, all demonstrating the company’s commitment to the communities it serves. Visitors to the car can view Explore the Line to learn about how Norfolk Southern benefits local communities and creates jobs; and through Protect the Line, they can find out how to keep the rails safe. The photo booth takes four quick pictures of guests against a train backdrop and emails the photos. An electronic guestbook allows visitors to comment about their favorite display.
The 2012 improvements complete a two-year upgrade to the Exhibit Car to enhance the experience for guests. The work was done at Norfolk Southern’s Juniata Shops at Altoona, Pa., one of the largest railroad mechanical complexes in the world.
Everyone’s favorite display - the locomotive simulator - remains in the car, complete with throttle, brake, and horn putting guests in control of a virtual freight train.
The Exhibit Car’s first appearance this year was at Chicago May 12 for National Train Day. The car will tour through December on the following schedule, with all events open to the public unless noted otherwise:
- June 2, 3: Strasburg, Pa., Norfolk Southern Days at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
- July 3, 4: Spencer, N.C., North Carolina Transportation Museum
- July 7: Roanoke, Va., Employee Appreciation Day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
- July 21: Norfolk, Va., Girl Scouts Council of the Colonial Coast’s observance of 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts (by invitation only)
- July 23: Norfolk, Va., Lionel Collectors Club of America Convention (private ticketed event)
- Aug. 4: Milan, Mich., Discover Milan Day
- Aug. 10-12: Orrville, Ohio, Depot Days
- Sept. 1, 2: Scranton, Pa., Lackawanna Railfest
- Sept. 8: Fort Valley, Ga., 7th Annual ComSouth Hambone Jam
- Sept. 19: Louisville, Ky., Grade Crossing Collision Investigation Course (private event)
- Sept. 29: Old Fort, N.C., 100th Anniversary Celebration of Andrews Geyser and Old Fort Railroad
- Oct. 13: Hendersonville, N.C., 5th Annual Bazaar
- Oct. 20: Oliver Springs, Tenn., October Sky Fall Festival
- Dec. 1: Hopkins, S.C., Annual Holiday Taste & Tour - Lower Richland Heritage Corridor
- Dec. 6: Landrum, S.C., Landrum Christmas Stroll/Parade
Norfolk Southern provides the Exhibit Car at no cost for community events throughout its service territory. To request the car for 2013, click here.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.
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