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Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities

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Built  1853
Designated NHLD  June 2, 1978
Area  13 ha
Added to NRHP  2 June 1978
NRHP Reference #  78000970
Opened  1853
Architectural style  Victorian architecture
Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Location  West Broad Street and Railroad Avenue Savannah, Georgia
Similar  Georgia State Railroad, Telfair Academy, Savannah Victorian Historic D, Congregation Mickve Israel, Central of Georgia Depot an

Central of georgia railroad savannah shops and terminal facilities top 6 facts

The Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities is a 33.2-acre (134,000 m2) National Historic Landmark District in Savannah, Georgia. It is dominated by the Central of Georgia Depot and Trainshed, and was constructed in 1853 by the Central of Georgia Railway (CofG) before the outbreak of the American Civil War. This pair of buildings was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, a listing which was expanded in 1978 to include additional buildings described here.


The Georgia State Railroad Museum (formerly called the "Roundhouse Railroad Museum") of the Central of Georgia Railway (CG) in Savannah, Georgia. The complex is considered the most complete antebellum railroad complex in the United States. The museum, located at 655 Louisville Road, is part of a historic district included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The historic railroad structures at the Georgia State Railroad Museum site include a partial roundhouse with operating turntable, partial machine shop, Tender Frame Shop, Blacksmith Shop, Boiler House, Storehouse & Print Shop, Lumber and Planning Sheds, Coach and Paint Shops, and a partial Carpentry Shop which now houses Savannah Children's Museum. Many of these structures are open for visitors to explore.


The Historic Railroad Shops complex is among the finest remaining examples of Victorian railroad architecture and design and is the most intact antebellum railroad repair complex in the country. It was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. On-site displays include antique shaft driven machinery, locomotives and railroad stock, model train layouts, an operating turntable, and the oldest portable steam engine in the United States. The Historic Railroad Shops offers a valuable educational experience for students and has also become a popular local tourist attraction.

The complex has been maintained as the Georgia State Railroad Museum and a general industry museum by the Coastal Heritage Society with the assistance of the City of Savannah.

Site history

The Central of Georgia Railway started as the Central Rail Road and Canal Company in 1833, and built a passenger station, freight terminal and some shops in the Louisville Road area of Savannah around 1836. However, none of those structures remain today. By the mid-1840s the railway had expanded to 190 miles (310 km) of track, and the CG began construction of new shops in 1851. The first completed building was the carpenters' shop in 1853, followed by the original roundhouse, machine shop, tender frame shop, blacksmith shop and several other buildings in 1855. Additional buildings were constructed at the complex into the 1920s.

The roundhouse, turntable and other structures were rebuilt in the late 1920s after a major fire in 1923, as well as to accommodate larger locomotives and rolling stock.

Transition to museum

The Southern Railway purchased the CG in 1963 and closed the Savannah shops. Subsequently the railway transferred the complex to the City of Savannah. The Coastal Heritage Society, a non-profit organization, opened the museum on the site in 1989.

Museum facilities

Museum attractions include:

  • Massive roundhouse with an operating turntable (length 85 feet (26 m))
  • Numerous historic railroad buildings
  • Historic machinery and stationary steam engines
  • Steam and diesel
  • Office cars and cabooses.
  • Daily tours and activities, sometimes including a short site tour by rail.
  • References

    Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities Wikipedia

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