About Us - the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum
Although we've enjoyed 30 years of experience as a National Railroad Historical Society Chapter, we realized that we could better serve the community by establishing a railroad museum that would allow an up-close look at the region's railroad history and the restoration of vintage rail cars. We are achieving that mission through the activities noted below.
Our Mechanical Staff, composed of dedicated members, have successfully restored two vintage coaches, a vintage dining car, and a vintage lounge car that have traveled across the United States and are well respected among the Railroad Historical community. Our Mechanical Staff diligently works to keep our four vintage cars in operating condition and ready for lease status.
We have an active public excursion program that ranges from visiting scenic railroads and mainline excursions to carpool tours for members only.
We hold membership meetings every fourth Monday of the month (excluding December) at the Johnson City, TN Public Library, and work sessions on the cars are held every Tuesday and Saturday at our coach yard in Jonesborough, TN.
Members receive the “Whistle Stop”, our monthly newsletter containing photos, historical archives, railroad news and up-to-date news of upcoming events.
We look forward to our partnership with the Town of Jonesborough, TN in establishing the Jonesborough Railroad Museum in the Chuckey Depot, a former Southern Railway depot, which was recently moved to Jonesborough. This museum will house the many artifacts that have been donated to us over the last 30 years for everyone to enjoy.
While moving forward with our museum effort, we are proudly retaining our association with the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), and are pleased to announce our recent affiliation with the Railroad Historical Alliance (RHA).
Our membership is diverse and comes from many different backgrounds and occupations. We are working hard to ensure that the sound of a steam whistle will once again echo through the mountains of our region. We extend a welcome to you to join us so you won′t miss out on all of the exciting things that we have planned. Membership includes:
- Monthly copies of our newsletter, the "Whistle Stop".
- Monthly membership meetings with railroad programs, DVD′s or special speakers.
- A chance to get your hands dirty working on authentic and vintage railroad passenger cars.
- The opportunity for fellowship with fellow railroad enthusiasts.
- The ability to volunteer on museum sponsored railroad excursions.
If this sounds appealing to you, and we hope it does, click here for a membership application.
Note that membership in the National Railway Historical Society and Railroad Historical Alliance is open to WVRHS&M members. For more information on those two organizations, go to the NRHS and RHA sites.