Urbex Photographer Discovers Eerie ‘Train Graveyard’ in North Carolina Forest


One of the draws of Urban Exploration photography, or Urbex, is the chance that you’ll discover and photograph something truly strange and unique. A building abandoned for so long that nobody realizes the treasures hidden within. Or, in this case, a ‘train graveyard‘ with over 70 dilapidated subways, trains and busses in the middle of a North Carolina forest.

This particular find belongs to 24-year-old Urbex photographer Johnny Joo of UrbanExplorationUS, who stumbled across the trains on a snowy day 5 months ago, and ended up spending the entire day there.


The trains come from everywhere — from Philadelphia to New York City — and if you’re wondering how they all arrived in North Carolina, Joo has the answer for you. Speaking with the Daily Mail, he reveals that they were collected by a man who once fixed them.

Over the years, he explained, certain trains were no longer needed and so the mystery repair man allowed nature to do its thing.

And in case there’s any doubt, these photos should alleviate it: nature does its ‘thing’ very well… ruthlessly even.














“This is by far one of the greatest places I have had the chance to experience and I can’t wait to go back in the spring/summer,” wrote Joo wrote on the Urbex Facebook page. “Due to the nature of this location, I am keeping it near and dear to me.”

And it’s a good thing he is, because telling anyone about it might put them in danger. “Apparently they have been having some trouble with a scrapper recently,” he explains, “which is what we learned when a dude startled us standing at the end of a train car holding a lead pipe…”

To find out more about this scary adventure or see more of the photos from the set, click here. And if you’d like to see more from Joo, head over to his website, check out the Urbex US Facebook page, or follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

Image credits: Photographs by Johnny Joo and used with permission

  • mary

    I know where this place is. I am going to tell everybody.

  • Adam Cross

    these look like trams to me, not trains

  • Strappster

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Mason


  • Jay

    5 minutes online and I found this place. Lots of pics of the cars on various rail forums. I even found a manifest of all the cars that are there. Very interesting.

  • Rodrigo Abello

    Cool pics. Thanks.

  • Messenger

    North Carolina? Are you sure? I may be also Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia or any other state.
    To find the exact location, like Jay mentioned, it takes just 5 minutes.

    But better use Bing because its Birds eye shows that nice graveyard.

  • Jay

    Bing was what confirmed it for me once I found it. The manifest I found gives a little bit of history – how old the cars really are, etc.

  • MEEfO

    Not trying to be contrary, as I haven’t yet looked into it. But is it possible these are two separate train graveyards?

  • Jay

    No. If you look at the pics on the original Facebook post, one of the last images shows the newest part of the building where (I’m guessing) they used to fix the cars, etc. It has a very distinct roofline and you can make it out in the photos we’ve posted in the comments.

  • MEEfO

    That’s interesting. Well done making the connection. Again I didn’t have a chance to look into it at all so I’m not throwing shade

  • Jay

    Oh no worries – I think it’s amazing the distance some of those cars had to travel (how DID they get there anyway?) to get to PA. Some of the comments I’ve seen claim the cars were in use as far away as Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario.

  • MEEfO

    It’s fascinating. And I’m glad folks like you are pointing urbexers to the location. It is a community after all, and folks like this Johnny Joo are not doing the community favors trying to keep places like this to themselves. The site could benefit from a more trained and discerning eye, particularly in the areas of composition and detail. So much to learn here. Reminds me of the infamous car graveyard in Belgium, with a dark history. Photographers managed to locate and preserve this piece of history before the ruins were cleared in 2010.

  • Jay

    I will say he’s FAR from the first person to find this place. I found plenty of pics of individual cars from years back. He might be the first one to document it like this, but the first to discover it, he is not. Now off to dinner, I am.

  • MEEfO

    Wish I still lived in the Northeast. Wouldn’t hesitate to make the trip out there

  • markz

    yeh looks like trams and trolly cars for the most part in the above pictures but some light rail and commuter stock in the link

  • Edgar Allan Bro

    There is some kind of weird anomaly I have noticed; whenever a location is abandoned, the atmosphere in the surrounding area somehow turns really grungy and HDR.

    Kind of like the Aurora Borealis, but with sliders further to the right.

  • Apul_MadeeqAoud

    The dude with the lead pipe story sounds fabricated LOL.

  • John Shaffer

    It’s not in the Carolina’s! And it’s NOT ABANDONED!

  • Lois Bryan

    beautifully photographed … fascinating find!!!

  • EleanorENewsome

    like Anna
    explained I am impressed that a stay at home mom can get paid $8280 in 1 month
    on the internet . see this J­a­m­2­0­.­C­O­M­

  • ZePreem

    Its on UER. Deal.

  • Jeremiah True

    I’ve wanted to go to this location for a while. Some of the old cars are amazing and that style is missing in todays locomotives.

  • Jeremiah True

    I heard there is one in Penn also

  • Julio Cesar Pereira

    This was a result from a post-war campaign to replace trains by busses and cars, so that gigantic car manufacturers like GM would not either resort to mass layoffs or banckrupticy. Said, but true.

  • LDB

    I know where it is too. It’s in Windber PA and is well known. Not anything new or forgotten and not in NC.

  • LDB

    This is the one in Windber PA. I traced the car numbers down to the ones there.