Coming to you in Hickory NC in September 2011. The national Narrow Gauge Convention arrives in the East!
The largest railroad event to hit the Carolinas in this century will hit Sept 7 to Sept 10, 2011, the National Narrow Gauge Convention will be held in Hickory, NC. This convention represents some of the finest modelers in various scales from all over the world, as well as some unique prototype opportunities that will exist only at this convention.
You already know how the NC Railroad Expos in Hickory take up one hall, filled to the brim. Well, imagine the WHOLE CONVENTION CENTER filled up with trains for four days!
For a modest registration fee, you will have four days to meet major manufacturers directly, including Bachmann, Accucraft, Micro-Engineering, and so many more. We will have over 20,000 square feet devoted to modular railroads from all over the country, in all scales, including the famous "Muskrat Ramble" layout from Australia. Across the week, we will have nearly 100 clinics put on by some of the most talented modelers and well-known historians from the railroad hobby.
Special events such as double-headed steam at Tweetsie Railroad (where else can you see THAT in the Carolinas?), special diesel and motor car excursions along the old ET&WNC right of way in the Doe River Gorge, TN, steam trains at the Handy-Dandy Railroad in Denton, narrow-gauge industrial operations in South Carolina, as well as a couple of other surprises I can't mention yet will be available as well.
On top of all this, throw in nearly 3 dozen home, club, and live steam layouts from the finest modelers the region has to offer, and now you get an idea of the scope of this event.
A closing banquet with photo and model contest awards, as well as live entertainment, will put icing on the cake, and the southeastern USA on the map in terms of international railroad exposure.
This year's convention, just concluded in St. Louis, had attendees from 42 states and 12 countries.
This is not a used-car sales pitch- having this convention in our back yard is truly very likely a once-in a lifetime event. Conventions are planned 5 years out and on a competitive bid basis. There has NEVER been an event like this awarded to the southeast in the past 30 years.
Please plan on attending, and showing these folks from all over the world how railroading- real and modeling- is done in Carolina!!!
A tractor trailer with a low boy trailer hauling an excavator got stuck on a well marked crossing in downtown Mebane NC. The train rounded a bend, saw the obstruction. At that point the engineer placed the train in emergency, and headed to the back of the cab to hopefully avoid flying debris
The train was moving at 79 mph when he hit the brakes. It was moving along at roughly 70 when the train hit the trailer.
The end result? The excavator apparently became airborne, coming down with a glancing blow on the first car, taking a large divot out of the roof. The engine rode up over the trailer, and left the tracks.
The entine and trailer stopped 200-300 feet further along the line. The fuel tank ruptured and there was a fire. All cars had at least one wheel off the track.
The engine appears to have been destroyed. The fire also got to the first car.
12 passengers and the engineer went to the hospital, most with bruises.
That was the only engine in the NC "fleet" (if 3 engines counts as a fleet) that he had the option to escape easily, so he is lucky to be alive.
At dusk, a "hospital train" from Durham arrived to pull the train back to Raleigh for examination.
I arrived two hours after the accident, and caught this footage. Sorry about it all being hand held, but there was no space on the side walks for tripods (other than the acreage taken up by news groups... there were about 10 sat trucks there.)