If you often find yourself humming the theme song of Thomas & Friends, this post is for you. Like most toddler boys, my son is in love with trains. I never thought there would be a day that I would know all of the trains’ names from Thomas the Train, but alas, I here I am. (Edward is my favorite.) And even though I think Thomas and his friends do a lot of dumb stuff, at least the theme song is catchy and I get to hear Alec Baldwin narrate some episodes.
Imagine my delight at finding out there was a train museum just north of Atlanta. Located discreetly off of Buford Highway and the Pleasant Hill Road intersection (by, well, a bunch of railroad tracks), this is an industrial strip that I’ve driven by countless times but never paid much attention to. One recent Saturday morning, James and I gathered the kids, met with our good friend Jungsook and her daughter Elizabeth, and explored the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth.
The museum features over 80 pieces of retired railway equipment for display, including cars like the Private Car Superb, which was built in 1911 and used by President Warren Harding for his 1923 cross-country tour (and later carried his casket as the funeral train from San Francisco to Washington, DC to Marion OH). They also have other transportation vehicles like old Marta streetcars from the 1900s! Many of the trains are completely open for the public to climb in and explore — very hands on.
While the museum was fun for our agile tots, it wasn’t very stroller friendly. Half the museum is an unpaved outdoor lot devoted to cabooses, passenger cars, and locomotive cabs. Aside from the main exhibit hall, poor Amelia was left to bump along the gravel and had to stay put while the rest of us got to explore trains and climb carriages.
Admission fee allows access to the museum grounds, but for a small extra cost, they have a full size diesel locomotive and mini train available for rides.
The exhibit hall included more retired trains and vehicles, along with other displays such as an elaborate train model, vintage fruit and vegetable crates, gift shop, and other railway paraphernalia.
We saw a lot of older folks perusing the grounds, many with their grandchildren. I can only imagine the nostalgia one might feel touring this museum if one grew up riding and conducting these trains. Needless to say, the museum is fun for people of all ages, young and old.
Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Hwy
Duluth, GA 30096
And since we made the trek up to Duluth, of course we had to stop and grab Korean for lunch. Spicy rice cakes and cheap meal combos at Harue!
Quality time with the babes + a quick history lesson + good food = fantastic morning outing with the family. Choo choo!