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Whistle Stops - News briefs

The Southeastern Railway Museum received cash and in-kind donations during Phase I of its 30-acre site development project in excess of $130,000. SRM wishes to thank Atlanta Carpet, BellSouth Foundation, Georgia Power Company, the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Gwinnett Foundation, Holiday Inn Select, Norfolk Southern Railroad, Richport Properties, Shepherd Construction Company, and Vulcan Materials for their assistance.


The Georgia Army National Guard hosted a national convention in September and, as part of an effort to provide visitors with the “flavor” of Atlanta and its environs, borrowed several display items from the Southeastern Railway Museum to highlight the area’s rail connections.

Vulcan Materials Company donated over 260 tons of rock for use on the museum’s new driveway, pathways, and track beds.

Photographs, timetables, and other images from the museum library were used by Norfolk Southern in an opening collage for a video which was part of an employee “Conrail merger” kit.

Shephard Construction Company donated over 1200 tons of crushed asphalt for use on the museum’s new parking lot.

Museum administrator Lesa Campbell provided the rail history portion for “Images of Gwinnett: A Celebrated Tradition,” a two-hour documentary locally produced by GNET (Gwinnett News & Entertainment Television). The program used on-camera interviews to trace the development of each town in Gwinnett County.

Seven associates from the Federated Department Stores systems group in Atlanta cleaned four coaches, an office car, a troop kitchen and an RPO in July. Participating under Federated’s “Partners in Time” program, the group volunteered its Saturday afternoon to help prepare the cars for the museum’s weekday tour program which resumed on July 12. The group returned later in the summer to help the museum prepare for opening day.

SRM is seeking to raise the $162,000 which represents its share of an $810,000 TEA-21 funded expansion project. The project, which was approved in June, will allow the museum to continue with the Phase II and Phase III development of the exhibition hall sooner than originally planned. These phases include the addition of an audio-visual room, production of a brief “introductory” film for museum visitors, construction of an ADA ramp to provide viewing areas for the interior of historic rolling stock, and additional exhibits to increase public knowledge of transportation history and transportation operations. If you can help, please send your donation payable to the Southeastern Railway Museum to: TEA-21 Project, Southeastern Railway Museum, P.O. Box 1267, Duluth, Georgia 30096 U.S.A.

Tom Cooksey of Lavista Associates received the Alvin B. Cates award from the Atlanta Board of Commercial Realtors for the most outstanding real estate transaction of the year for his role in arranging the donation of the former J. J. Finnigan Industries property in Duluth to the museum. Awards Chairman Fred Glass said that Cooksey's deal was "very unique," involving a lot of creativity and personal involvement.

Cramer Productions of Boston shot commercial video tape footage at the museum to be used by a major developer of enterprise resources planning software at a spring conference. The software company especially liked the museum's velocipede which the CEO rode in the production.

The Southeastern Railway Museum was one of six organizations recognized at the annual Gwinnett Foundation "Appreciation Evening" in March. The ALS Association of Georgia, Rainbows, Inc., Eagle Ranch, Project Read, Gwinnett Ballet Theater, and SRM had each received a grant from the Foundation in 1998. In her presentation, SRM administrator Lesa Campbell, said that the Foundation's $5,000 grant to the museum will be used for the development of exhibition spaces in Building One.

Ten "AT&T Cares" volunteers from the AT&T Network and Computing Services Group in Atlanta spent a Friday in May helping refurbish a baggage car for use by the museum library. Organized by SRM assistant librarian Fred Dodds, the group project focused on preparation of the exterior of the car for painting. "AT&T Cares" is a nationwide program in which the company gives one paid day to each employee for volunteer work at non-profit organizations. "It's a way to give something back to the community," said Dodds. Southern Railway Baggage Car 451 was built in 1916 by the Pullman Company as a 26-chair parlor car. It was converted to a tourist car in 1942 and equipped with 42 triple-deck beds for transporting troops. After the war, the car was converted for baggage use. In addition to the baggage car, the library will continue to occupy Southern Railway RPO 153.

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