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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: April 8, 2012

Trains, science fun and giveaways. You'll find them all when the New Hope Valley Railway, in Bonsal, N.C., opens its 2012 season on Sunday, April 22, with free demonstrations and kids' activities, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., as part of the North Carolina Science Festival.

The science festival offers statewide events showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and at the New Hope Valley Railway train yard—located 10-minutes south of Apex off U.S. Highway 1—you'll find these demonstrations on the science of trains:

  • Science of Steam Locomotives will reveal the workings of boilers and nozzles, the expansion of steam and science of combustion.
  • Science of Diesel Locomotives will show how a diesel motor turns a generator to create electricity.Science of Railroad Tracks teaches how the track structure distributes and carries the weight of a train. Visitors will get to swing a maul and drive a spike.
  • Children can also take part in hands-on activities, including a Name the Lightnin' Bug contest, Decorate the Lightnin' Bug craft table and Get Your Glow On jewelry making. Families can also register to win train gear and science prizes.

Besides events associated with the science festival, you can also hop aboard any of the regularly scheduled steam and diesel locomotive train rides. Diesel train rides will be departing at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and steam train rides at 12:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children. You can buy tickets at  www.TriangleTrain.com. View a schedule of events here.

On the grounds of the New Hope Valley Railway, you'll also find The North Carolina Railway Museum, a collection of antique train cars and an elaborate G Scale model garden railroad. Visit www.TriangleTrain.com for details.

For more upcoming hands on science activities for kids, visit our roundup.



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