27 October 2007

Savannah Railroad Museum

Ok, so right next to the Savanah History Museum and Springhill Redoubt is the Savanah Railroad Museum Roundhouse. For those not familiar with train terminology, a roundhouse is a place at the end of a major rail line where trains are put on a large rotating piece of track, allowing them to turn around, or be put into any one of several repair shops inside the roundhouse. This roundhouse was built in 1835 by the Central Canal and Railroad Company. By 1859, the company had the longest stretch of railroad under one management in the world. Most of it was destroyed by Sherman in the Civil War. But the roundhouse was spared along with the rest of the city. In 1866 William Wadley took over the company and rebuilt the railroad and extended it. In 1895, the company became the Central of Georgia Railway and was the area's largest employer for over 100 years. The company was bought in 1963 by Southern Railway, who then closed the roundhouse and its shops. Seen above is the massive smokestack amidst the derelict shops, the focal point of a unique system that allowed smoke from all the machine shops to go out through the one chimney.
A rail Crane
Diesel Electric engine, built in 1964 after the compant was bought by Southern Railway, and thus has the SR paint scheme.

Steam locomotive built in 1907

Central of Georgia affice Car, used by the company president.
Small engine used for switcher service at Atlantic Steel in Atlanta until WW1
This garden is the area where company employees would relax in their off time.
Some of the heavy machinery in the machine shops.
Looking back at the roundhouse. Note in the middle forground is the actual rotating track.

A railway portable power generator built in Charleston between 1858 and 1860.

An old fire engine near the museum

The rounhouse structure was actually changed twice. It was originally smaller and a full circle. In 1926, the back half (the part seen now) was made larger. Then by the late 1950s, the smaller front portion was torn down, leaving only the larger, half circle seen today. This picture shows some of the foundation from the original wall.

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