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Roundhouse Railroad Museum

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Hundreds of railroad companies have operated in Georgia since the first train rolled away in the 1830s.

This National Historic Landmark site is the oldest and largest existing nineteenth-century railroad operations complex in the nation. Construction began in 1850. Thirteen of the original structures remain today. The Central Railroad handled freight, passengers, maintenance, and manufacturing at this single location.

Now the State Museum of Railroad History, the complex is owned by the City of Savannah and has been operated since 1989 by the Coastal Heritage Society. Five of the buildings house permanent exhibits, including the roundhouse with its operating turntable. Visitors can see steam and diesel locomotives, rail cars, steam-powered machinery, model railroads, and a 126-foot brick smokestack with privies around its base.

The Roundhouse Railroad Museum is open for self guided tours 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. See the Coastal Heritage Society's website for more information. (601 W. Harris Street in downtown Savannah).

Across Old Louisville Road from the Roundhouse museum is the former Central of Georgia passenger station (301 M.L. King, Jr. Blvd.), now the Savannah Visitors Center. Built in 1860, it is one of the oldest railroad stations in Georgia. Inside are exhibits on the history of the city. Under the train shed is Central of Georgia No. 103, a Baldwin steam locomotive built in 1890.

Across the parking lot from the passenger station are two more former Central of Georgia buildings. The red brick Romanesque Revival structure at 233 M.L. King, Jr. Blvd., designed by Alfred Eichberg and Calvin Fay and built in 1887, once housed railroad offices and an outbound freight warehouse. Rehabilitated by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to house its School of Building Arts, it is now known as Eichberg Hall.

Next door at 227 M.L. King is SCAD's Kiah Hall. This 1856 Greek Revival building was originally the railroad's administrative offices.

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