On The Road: Railroad museum in Valdese

VALDESE, NC (WBTV) - Many people say the state of North Carolina was built by the railroads. And one hundred years ago, it was considered the "in" style way to travel.

Times have changed though, and unfortunately, many of us don't have time for a leisurely trip on the tracks. But a group in Burke County is keeping the tradition alive with a display you just have to see.

"You get infected with this hobby. It never goes away," said Ken Humphries with the Western and Piedmont Railroad Museum in Valdese.

In the basement of the Old Rock School in Valdese, Ken's love of trains moved in, and turned into an obsession.

Along with several other members of their Model Train Club, they built an entire region of train routes, complete with scenery, towns, people, and everything else it takes to make it look real.

can and if you do the job right somebody looks at a photo and they have a though time telling that it's a model and not the real thing," said Humphries.

The model is just the beginning of the Western and Piedmont Railroad Museum.

"Everything in here is authentic, including the telephones, which people always find interesting," Humphries said.

The museum houses a life-like ticket booth, a train station office and a lantern display that dates back to the late 1800's. Railroads helped build the country, and these are some things that helped build the railroads.

Most everything in this museum is donated, given by people who want to see the history of the North Carolina railroads preserved and appreciated.

For more information on the museum and tour opportunities, visit the Piedmont and Western Railroad Club and Old Rock School Railway Museum website or call 828-879-2129.

Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.