Top Historic Sites in Savannah | Central of Georgia Railroad Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities

655 Louisville Rd, Savannah, GA 31401, United States

Located in Tricentennial Park, Georgia State Railroad Museum is a beautiful National Historic Landmark located in the Old Central Georgia Railway Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities. With a fully operational turntable, you have the opportunity to explore historic railcars, experience a handcar and go on guided tours. Be sure to check out our Train Ride Schedule to experience one of our Train Tours on an historic steam or diesel locomotive!

Central Georgia Depot and Trainshed is a former passenger depot and train station built in 1860 by the Central Georgia Railway (CofG) prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War. This pair of buildings was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, a list that was extended to the Central Georgia Railroad in 1978: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities.

The Museum

Located in the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Louisville Road in the historic city centre, the CofG’s red brick passenger terminal is home to the Savannah Visitor Center and the Savannah History Museum. The site complex comprises several remarkable structures, including a cotton yard, a blacksmith shop, a brick viaduct and a train station, as well as an office car and a caboose. It is owned by the Coastal Heritage Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage of coastal Georgia and adjacent regions.

The Museum of History of Savannah is located at 303 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (Georgia State Road 25 Connector). The museum is located inside the old passenger terminal. It contains artifacts and exhibits relating to the history of Savannah from its establishment to the present time. Shops and terminals were listed separately on 2 June 1978, and the Coastal Heritage Society opened the museum on site in 1989.

A Short History

During the Great Depression, the Central Bank went bankrupt, but continued operations. In the 1940s, Central Georgia began switching to diesel locomotives as steam locomotives had been removed. Following World War II, the Central introduced new streamlined passenger trains, the Nancy Hanks II and the Man O’War, which used diesel locomotives instead of steam locomotives. This signaled the start of the slow decline of the Savannah Shops. 

As diesel locomotives began to replace steam locomotives on American railroads, shop complexes designed to service steam locomotives were found to be inadequate for the maintenance of diesel and were gradually phased out. For a period of time, diesels were being serviced at Savannah, but the work was soon shifted to the Macon stores, reducing the number of employees needed at Savannah.

The last railroad to be bought by the Central was the Savannah & Atlanta Railway in 1951. The Southern Railway acquired the central part of Georgia in 1963 and closed down the Savannah shops, putting an end to more than 100 years of rail activity on the site.

The beautiful Savannah, Georgia features these must-see historical sites: 

  • Savannah Historic District 
  • Savannah Victorian Historic District
  • Forsyth Park
  • Juliette Gordon Low Historic District
  • Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities 
  • Central of Georgia Depot and Trainshed
  • John P. Rousakis Riverfront Plaza and Factors Walk
  • City Market
  • Savannah State University 
  • Wormsloe Plantation

And after your visit make sure to stop by the best CBD Store in Savannah, Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary, on West Victory Drive!

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