Rail Fan Day - Kelly Cox

 Come Celebrate Rail Fan Day & Thomasville’s Train Heritage 

Rail Fan Day held this November 3, 2018, is a Saturday event in downtown Thomasville that you don’t want to miss! Rail fans and those that want to learn about our town’s train history are invited to take part in the fun of this special day. Come to join us from 9 am – 2 pm at 44 West Main Street, Thomasville, NC 27360 to hear about the historical significance of our town’s rail heritage! 

Our Train Heritage 

David Yemm, Chairman of the Historic Preservation Committee, weighed in on some of the train heritage that Thomasville is known for. He shared that the first train engine called Traho arrived in town on November 9, 1855. Years ago, every train engine had a name. It was packed with men and women that were thrilled to be a part of this significant moment. 

Mary Green Matthews wrote Wheels of Faith and Courage which is an amazing book about the history of Thomasville (and can be purchased at the Visitors Center). The book has a section about the town’s train heritage and the day that Traho first came through. The railroad’s location was extremely wooded at the time. However, more than 5000 people came out to attend this first-time event of the train passing through Thomasville. 

On this historically significant day, the townspeople had a cookout and celebrated this noteworthy moment and what it meant for the future of Thomasville. Matthews explained in her book that John W. Thomas, the founder of Thomasville, made sure this was a celebrated event. In her book she wrote, “Mr. Thomas and his friends, his neighbors and their families, did all they could to render the happiness and pleasure of all that had assembled at their most beautiful and charming place. And most fortunate were they. All were pleased and happy.” 

Thomasville is Rail Fan Friendly 

Jackie Edwards, the owner of Mike’s Trains, weighed in on our railfan friendly town. Her store has become quite the hub for rail fans in Thomasville and beyond. She said, “Regularly, we are seeing families come on the weekends from areas such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Hickory, and beyond to visit our store and watch the trains. 

Edwards says that they sell train parts, make repairs, handle special orders, and sell train sets and a variety of other accessories. They encourage their store’s patrons to visit local shops and restaurants while in the area and to enjoy all that downtown Thomasville has to offer. You can follow Mike’s Trains here on Facebook. 

Come Out and Enjoy Rail Fan Day! Mark your calendar for November 3rd so that you won’t miss this exciting event. Here are just a few of the opportunities that you can enjoy: 

• The model train show (Cost is $5 per person) 

• Open House at the Visitor’s Center 

• The unveiling of the new Thomasville calendar 

• Winners of the calendar train picture contest will be announced 

• Enjoy the sounds and sites of the trains and fellowship with other rail fans 

Be a part of this special day and the history of Thomasville’s train heritage that makes our town unique.