SRM OPENS EXHIBIT HALL - 30th SEASON KICKOFF
For Immediate Release
The Southeastern Railway Museum will open the first of two exhibit halls during its 30th anniversary season opening April 8.
The 28,000 square foot building is one of three formerly used by a rail car repair shop on a 30-acre site donated to SRM in 1997. The museum closed its former 12-acre site in May, 1998, and reopened on the new site October 16, 1999, after moving its shop, over 80 pieces of railway rolling stock, and other large transportation related artifacts.
Only a small portion of the exhibit hall has been open to the public during the winter: the 1911 Pullman private car Superb, used by President Warren Harding in 1923, has been positioned near the building’s front doors.
The exhibit hall will feature two passenger trains. The first, showcasing railway equipment common in 1930, is made up of the ex-Savannah & Atlanta steam locomotive #750 (built by ALCO, 1910), the first-class sleeper/lounge Washington Club (built by Pullman, 1930), and the Superb (built by Pullman, 1911). The second train, with railway equipment common to the 1950s, is headed by ex-Southern Railway diesel locomotive #6901 (built by GM’s Electro-Motive Division, 1951), and consists of ex-Norfolk Southern 10 bedroom, six roomette sleeper Tugalo River (built by Pullman, 1949) and ex-Atlantic Coast Line private car #307 (built by Pullman, 1924, renovated 1980s).
Green-and-white locomotive #6901 and the silver-sided Tugalo River are old friends; both served on Southern Railway’s Crescent passenger train until the service was turned over to Amtrak in 1979. In fact, #6901 was pulling the Crescent from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., the day the train was turned over to Amtrak management.
Each rail car or locomotive will be accompanied by an “exhibit information station” containing documentation about the equipment, photographs, and other artifacts.
Other transportation-related items have been moved into the exhibit hall, including a 1906 Ahrens fire engine and a Case tractor – both steam powered, wooden and metal baggage carts, and a wooden spring wagon.
A display of early track construction tools and methods is also in place in the hall, the first of many educational exhibits to be built. The hall will also eventually house an audio-visual room.
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