The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders have built an impressive model of the Western North Carolina Railroad at their clubhouse in Vienna, Virginia, and the above video does a good job of showing you around it. The club has a website that promises more information for those who want it.
The original Western North Carolina Railroad (WNCRR) was first built in 1855 and sold to the Richmond and Danville Railroad in the 1880's. [wikipedia]
An act to incorporate the Western North Carolina Railroad Company was ratified by the General Assembly February15, 1855. The railroad opened Fall 1858 with 84-mile line from Salisbury to within four miles of Morganton. The first train arrived in Marion in 1870 and Old Fort in 1873.
The state of North Carolina officially took over the operation of the Western North Carolina Railroad in 1875. The state operated the Western North Carolina Railroad until 1880 when it was sold to a local group (". J. Best), which immediately resold its interest to owners of the Richmond and Danville Railroad.
On Oct. 2, 1880, the Western North Carolina Railroad was completed into Asheville. On April 5, 1882, the line was completed to Paint Rock.
In 1894, the Richmond & Danville Railroad became part of the Southern Railway Company. Southern Railway took over operation of the Western North Carolina Railroad in 1896.
Source: History NC (check it out for more information on this and other railroads in North Carolina)
Below is a video of the eventual successor to the WNC RR, the GSM RR (Great Smokey Mountains Railroad) on one of the runs of the dinner train I captured in 2007 before it was shut down a year or so later: