Take the Train to This Year’s NC State Fair (Amtrak Station: NSF)

North Carolina State Fair Amtrak Station Stop

Every year some of the North Carolina passenger trains pick up and drop off at the NC State Fair’s seasonal train stop. The special station has its own Amtrak booking code: NSF for NC State Fair. Crews have been prepping this temporary stop location for the past few weeks outside of Gate 2 and 3. It is wheelchair accessible.

Warning: The trains sells out fast! If you’re considering taking the train, make sure to check schedules and ticket availability in advance. It’s a popular method of transportation during the fair, especially to avoid traffic and parking hassles.

In the past, I have taken the train from Durham to the fair and then returned via Uber because the last departure is fairly early (at 5:44 pm).

Passengers can board these stations: Charlotte, Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, and Cary.

You cannot book a trip between Raleigh Union Station and the State Fair, presumably because it’s so close by and they want to reserve seats for passengers coming in from farther locations.

NC Piedmont Train in Downtown Raleigh
NC Piedmont Amtrak Train in Downtown Raleigh

Trains to and from the State Fair

  • Take Carolinian train 80 departing Charlotte at 6:45 a.m., arriving at the fairgrounds at 9:53 a.m.
  • Take Piedmont train 72 departing Charlotte at 10:25 a.m., arriving at faigrounds at 1:37 p.m.
  • Board Piedmont train 77 departing the fairgrounds at 3:29 p.m., arriving in Charlotte at 6:29 p.m.
  • Board Carolinian train 79 departing the fairgrounds at 5:44 p.m., arriving in Charlotte at 9:04 p.m.​​

Remember that schedules, availability, and services might change from year to year, so always check the latest updates from NCDOT and the NC State Fair’s official website before making your travel plans.

How to Book

You can book with Amtrak’s official site or on the official website of North Carolina’s Train Service (NCByTrain.org)

Station Location Map

The Amtrak stop is located outside Gate 2 and Gate 3:

NC State Fair map showing location of Amtrak train stop
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