About the Conference Site


Established in 1896, through the first half of the twentieth century Spencer Shops was Southern Railway’s major steam locomotive repair facility between Washington D.C. and Atlanta. At its height, the facility operated a 37-bay roundhouse, a machine shop, wood working shop, a smith and boiler shop, a power plant, an automotive repair facility, storehouse, and office building, and employed between 2500 and 3000 workers. The widespread appearance and use of diesel locomotives in the 1950s caused the facility to be gradually phased out and eventually closed. Today the surviving buildings of Spencer Shops, including the locomotive round house, are part of the North Carolina Transportation Museum.