The National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame, Inc. was officially opened in 1976. It is located in the old Seaboard Air Line Railway's depot at the crossing of SAL predecessors. Of the original eight diamonds, only one remains. The depot was built in 1900 and was the home of the North Carolina Division of SAL. A prime example of Victorian architecture, it is one of the most photographed stations in the eastern United States and is representative of the structures of that era.
The purpose of the museum is to create that time when railroads were the main source of long distance travel and passenger train service was at its zenith. Only by recapturing this past can we truly realize how far we've come since that time. In fact, at a time when artifacts of earlier eras should be treasured and preserved, we see them fast disappearing in our quest for more technological advances. It is more important ever to become aware of our beginnings so we can better understand the present and chart more surely our future course.
We feel that with the establishment of this museum on Hamlet, a town once bustling with many passenger trains and still humming with freight trains around the clock, we have the unique opportunity to both preserve a heritage and help create a sense of history, not only within the City and surrounding community, but in the nation as well. We have strived to create an illusion of a time that has already disappeared from the American scene - the era of wood and coal burning steam-driven locomotives.