From Our Editors
As impressive as the reconditioned, fully operational trains at Southeastern Railway Museum are, the trains that remain perfectly still may be even more spectacular. Where the former takes visitors on a pleasant ride and a offers a glimpse of railroading, the latter takes them into Georgia's past. There, visitors find glimpses of the state's burgeoning infrastructure: drive wheels taller than a car, dozens of antique locomotives and railway cars, and a restored 1871 passenger depot. One of the gems of this collection is the 1911 Pullman private car, Superb, which holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places for carrying both Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding. The collection also includes historic buses, fire-fighting equipment, vintage cabs, along with one of the original people movers from the Atlanta airport. All of these fit into the museum's 35 acres—a large chunk of space, but just a blip when compared to the ground once covered by its displays.
Steel and steam aside, train enthusiasts can interact with the museum's subject matter in other ways. A variety of education programs are offered regularly for kids and the gift shop features train-themed hats, books, toys, and more. Rides are available on antique railroad cars year round—restored cabooses during the summer months and heated passenger cars during the winter—and are pulled behind a vintage locomotive. Riders can also hop aboard a park train, which returned to the rails in 2012 after 36 years of retirement from its original route at the Birmingham Zoo.