Historic Markers Across Georgia

Central of Georgia

Marker ID:  
Location: on the grounds of the Georgia State Railroad Museum, 655 Louisville Road, Savannah, GA
County: Chatham
Coordinates: N 32° 04.549    W 081° 06.069
  32.07581666    -81.10115
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMKFM7
Central of Georgia Marker  


Central of Georgia

Welcome to the Central of Georgia Railroad Repair Shops and Savannah.

You are entering the heart of the central of Georgia railroad complex in Savannah. This "miniature city" produced much of what was needed for the construction and repair of locomotives and train cars. It handled administration, passenger, and freight activities. Most of these buildings were constructed in the 1850s or 1920s. The central of Georgia was a major employer and a driving economic force in the state and region. The move from steamed to diesel locomotives shifted work to the Macon complex. The Savannah facility closed in 1963.

Today the complex is owned and operated by the City of Savannah. The Coastal Heritage Society began restoration and rehabilitation activities in 1989. This massive effort continues, along with increasing visitor opportunities. In 1996, the Georgia State Legislature designated yet the Georgia State Railroad Museum.

This 1891 "bird's eye" view of Savannah shows the Central of Georgia facilities. Note the smoke stack in railroad shop buildings (A) near the Roundhouse. The Passenger Station (B) and administrative buildings (C) are located along what was West Broad Street and is now Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. A steam locomotive pulling several cars has just crossed the main line viaduct (D).

1833 - State of Georgia charters Central Railroad and Canal Company
1836 Railroad shops construction begins north of Louisville Road
1843 railroad track to Macon completed
1855 Railroad shops completed south of Louisville Road
1866 Repairs made after Civil War damage
1895 Central Railroad enters receivership, reorganizes as the Central of Georgia Railway
1910 Macon rail shops built
1923 Fire partially destroys Savannah shops
1927 Company builds employee hospital in Savannah
1940 First use of diesel locomotives
1952 End of steam locomotive use
1963 Southern Railway buys and closes Savannah shops
1967 Citizens commission begins acquiring site
1972 City of Savannah acquire site
1978 Passenger station and rail shops designated National Historic Landmark District


Central of Georgia