Museum of Life and Science Train Ride Maintenance

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham has temporarily closed its popular train ride in order to perform track maintenance originally scheduled for later this year.

Accelerating this scheduled maintenance supports the recommendation of Thursday’s inspection from the North Carolina Department of Labor. The Museum’s track did not pass this inspection, and as a result the Museum is replacing 25 railroad ties. The Museum’s 1-mile track has about 2,000 railroad ties.

“Visitor safety is always our top priority, and the Museum has an excellent history of safety. Replacing railroad ties is part of regular maintenance, and we want to be more than just in compliance with the State’s regulations – we strive to exceed the safety requirements of the State”, comments Taneka Bennett, Museum spokesperson.

The Museum wasn’t due for its annual state inspection until September of this year. With heightened concern following a train accident in Spartanburg, SC, North Carolina is now inspecting all train rides across the State, according to South Carolina news outlets.

The Museum’s procedures include a daily visual inspection by the train driver of the track and the train, a weekly inspection of train and track by a Museum technician and quarterly preventative maintenance on the track and regular preventative maintenance on the train. Drivers receive training and are required to regularly perform tasks listed on a regular checklist. Train drivers undergo several weeks of rigorous training and do not drive solo until they are fully comfortable and competent. Facilities department personnel have received training through the train manufacturer, Chance Rides.

“We’re also taking a proactive approach and plan to accelerate maintenance and some drainage work planned for later this year to earlier in the season,” says Bennett.

Image: Museum of Life and Science

The Museum expects the train will be running again in early April. For updated information, visit to learn more.

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