Georgia railroading has its beginnings dating back to 1833 when the Central Rail Road & Canal Company of Georgia
was chartered. This little line was the earliest history of the later
Central of Georgia Railway, and was created to compete with Charleston’s
new South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company to the north. Today,
only the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway truly attempts to preserve some part
of the Georgia's history with trains operating the Louisville &
Nashville's historic "Hook & Eye" line north of Atlanta. It has
also become the state's most popular tourist train providing not only
wonderful scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains but also offering
passengers several different excursion options. The SAM Shortline Excursion Train should also be mentioned as they offer
guests many different events and specials throughout the year as well.
It is also the only Georgia train ride located out of the mountains,
south of Macon. For instance, they offer the "Day Out With Thomas"
event for the kids, which is a huge draw when and wherever it is held.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Perhaps the most popular tourist railroad in Georgia is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The railroad is located in the northern mountainous regions of Georgia and operates over 13 miles (a 26-mile round trip) of a former Louisville & Nashville Railroad branch line (originally part of the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad). The railroad has become quite a popular tourist destination in general since 1998 when it first began. Part of the railroad’s success has come from its breathtaking scenery afforded from the Blue Ridge Mountains located in the northern regions of Georgia although another reason for its popularity has come from its friendly service and nearby attractions like whitewater rafting and cabin rentals.
Georgia Museum Of Agriculture & Historic Village
museum, based in Tifton, preserves the early history of Georgia's
agriculture industry and what it was like to farmstead in the 19th
century. They also have an operating tourist train on-site pulled by
authentic, three-foot narrow-gauge steam locomotives (there are two in
service while several more are stored on the grounds). To learn more
about the museum please visit their website.
Georgia State Roundhouse Railroad Museum
The Roundhouse Railroad Museum is based inside the Central of Georgia's old roundhouse and shops in Savannah. According to their website the facility, "is believed to be the largest and most complete antebellum railroad repair facility still in existence, in the world." They also feature a collection of historic equipment on the property and are open nearly year-round except for major holidays.
Misty Mountain Model Railroad
A model railroad group located in Blairsville that offers an O-gauge layout display. To learn more about visit them please visit their website.
Okefenokee Heritage Center
This museum is located in Waycross and helps preserve the local region's history. They also feature a small display of rolling stock including an historic steam locomotive on the grounds, housed under shed.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train
The SAM Shortline Excursion Train, located in Cordele, Georgia is
a beautiful operation that features nearly a 70-mile round trip that
makes stops along the four small towns that dot the line while also
traveling through the Georgia Veterans State Park. The tourist train
also hosts a number of special trains and events throughout the year.
Southeastern Railway Museum
This museum is one of Georgia's more prominent such facilities. It is located in Duluth and houses a large collection of rolling stock and various railroad displays. They also offer train excursions throughout the year. To learn more please visit their website.
Southern Museum Of Civil War & Locomotive History
its name implies this museum, located in Kennesaw, tells the history of the Civil War and how
it affected the South. They also bring to light the effect of
railroads on the war and display one of the country's most famous
locomotives, the 4-4-0 "General" involved in the legendary Andrew's Raid.
St. Marys Railroad
The St. Marys Railroad is
long-time, short line freight carrier serving the local region around
St. Marys near the coast. However, recently they have branched out into
the excursion business and now host a various selection of train rides
throughout the year, some of which are special events. To learn more
please visit their website.
Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad
Part of the Stone Mountain Park and resort this excursion train
visitors on a half-journey through the park in open-air cars (covering
about 5 miles) and
operates every day the park is open. The equipment sports a gorgeous
livery of green with grey and yellow trim that is loosely based from the
historic Central of Georgia's design.
Thronateeska Heritage Center
This history museum, based in Albany, generally looks to preserve the history of town and surrounding region. They also feature a train exhibit including historic rolling stock and model layout.
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Tourist Train Information