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Visitors Can Change Out Railroad Tracks at Museum of Agriculture on May 27

May 11, 2017

The railroad will occupy the spotlight at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on May 27 when visitors will help to celebrate “Labor and Industry Day: A Celebration of The Day They Changed the Gauge.”  Visitors can interact with items from the Museum’s railroad industry collection and try their hand at “re-gauging” a section of railroad track.

This event is included as part of the regular Saturday admission cost.  Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, and $5 for children five and up.  Children four and under are admitted free of charge.

Museum Director Garrett Boone said the event commemorates one of the greatest engineering achievements in American history that happened right here in Georgia.  On May 30, 1886, crews of laborers moved over 11,500 miles of railroad track to ensure that the railways in Georgia would be re-gauged to match the width of tracks in neighboring states.  The process took just over 36 hours.  The workers moved enough track to stretch from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Calif., four times.

On the special day of May 27, visitors will visit the Historic Village’s Industrial Area and try their hand at working as a team to re-gauge railroad tracks and experience what the crews of 1886 accomplished.  By special permission from Whitestone Motion Pictures based in Atlanta, the Museum will also have two screenings of the short film, “John Henry and the Railroad: The True Tall Tale,” at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. inside the Historic Village’s Train Depot.

Guests can also ride train cars pulled by the Museum’s 1917 steam-powered locomotive which is representative of logging trams used to transport logs to the sawmills, timber to the towns, and men to and from the logging camps. The Vulcan Ironworks 0-4-0 engine has 11×16 inch cylinders, 30 inch drivers, and weighs about 20 tons. Train rides are available every Saturday from the Country Store to the Historic Village.

For more information on this event, interested persons can contact the Museum at (229) 391-5205.
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