Can you imagine my excitement when the day arrived for my first trip on a train? I was only 12. My close friend’s dad worked as an engineer on the New York Central, so we got to ride up front in the engine! It brought back warm memories when I got the assignment to take photographs at the in Duluth and much to my surprise, I got another train ride!
There are silent steel-and-steam horses here at rest on rails leading back into history. The spirit of a golden era remains, and a 12-year-old-boy-turned-man can still feel it. There are about 90 pieces of retired railroad equipment on the 12-acre museum located off Buford Highway.
It is fitting that these old steam engines and cars stand proudly parallel to the active tracks where a modern double diesel-electric whistles and roars by with a train load of freight as I await the opening of the museum.
I meet ticket agent Rick Muszynski, and he introduces me to Sam, a locomotive engineer. Sam and Rick are filled with facts and figures about these old trains and their enthusiasm pours out faster than the train that just raced by.
I’m then introduced to Burt who will be running 8202, a giant green machine used by the Southern Railway that was built about 1950. Burt corrects my erroneous information about train diesel engines. They’re really diesel-electrics with a 1200 horsepower Diesel engine generating electricity to power the electric motors that actually drive the wheels and move the train forward.
The best way to learn about train history and equipment is to visit the useum yourself. Call up the website for more information.