The North Carolina Transportation Museum is located on the site of Southern Railway's steam locomotive repair facility on Spencer, N.C. The Spencer Shops complex, begun in 1896, is located halfway between Atlanta, Ga., & Washington, D.C. When Southern Railway switched to diesel locomotives in the 1950s, the railway attempted to convert the shops to repair diesels. These locomotives, however, required far less maintenance than steam, & Spencer Shops eventually closed. The site was donated, through two gifts in 1977 & 1979, to the state of North Carolina for use as a transportation museum.