Opening Day— Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta

Opening Day— Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta

Join us for the opening day of our newest exhibition, Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta! This exhibition, located in the Rollins Gallery, interprets the major role railroads played in transforming Atlanta into the transportation hub and commercial center it is today.

Come explore and take a deep dive into history with ongoing Meet the Past performances featuring stories from Pullman porter James Stewart, Southern Railway chairman W. Graham Claytor Jr., and pioneering woman switch tender and brakeman Gertie Stewart.

This program is included in the cost of general admission (free to members).


Keynote Lecture: The Texas Locomotive
11:00am & 1:00pm
Rollins Gallery

Join us for one of two keynote lectures with Mark Brainard, former fireman and mechanic for the Southern Railway Steam Locomotive Department and former President of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Historical Society.  Brainard shares the operating history of the Texas locomotive and the how and why it came to be preserved.  He resides in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area where he researches the 19th century railroad history of Chattanooga with the ultimate goal of several books on the subject. As the 4th generation in his family’s lineage to have been involved with railroads, Brainard was honored in 2013 to be interviewed by C-Span on the history of railroads in Chattanooga.

Ask an Expert! On the Cab with Dr. Hal
Rollins Gallery

Climb aboard and learn how a steam engine works! Dr. Hal Raper is on hand to explain how it all comes together. 

Museum Theatre Performances

Gertie Stewart
10:15am, 12:45pm, 3:15pm
Rollins Gallery

Gertie Stewart is preparing to take the Syracuse rail yard to court for refusing to promote her because of her gender, learn of her challenges and that of other women railroaders. Performance based on the true story of Irene M. Ingison.

 W. Graham Claytor Jr.
10:45am, 1:45pm, 3:45pm
Rollins Gallery

W. Graham Claytor Jr., an officer of the Southern Railway, explores his varied occupations and what eventually led him to the life of a railroad man.

11:45am, 12:15pm, 4:15pm
Rollins Gallery

A musicologist explores the impact that the railroads had on the development of American popular music. 

James Joseph
12:15pm, 2:45pm, 4:45pm
Rollins Gallery

James Joseph, a Pullman Porter, trains a new group of recruits and explains the responsibilities and values of this labor based “brotherhood.”

Create Your Own Locomotive!

Stop by this station and make your own locomotive! Stay awhile and play with toy trains!

Southeastern Railway Museum

Check out this small exhibit by the Southeastern Railway Museum and explore a little bit of what they have to offer just 20 miles away!