SRM Crossings Monthly Newsletter - August 2016
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The Newsletter for Georgia's Official Transportation History Museum

VOL 1602, ISSUE 2                                                                              SEPTEMBER 2016   


Randy Pirkle, SRM Administrator

A tremendous THANK YOU to everyone involved in Trains, Trucks & Tractors. This year marked our tenth year of having this event and it was a huge success! This year we extended the event by adding a day to the event and the impact was huge.

We had over 1750 visitors, over 1400 rode the train and many rode the handcar between the 3 days.  We had lots of smiling faces and a lot of team work by volunteers & staff. At the high point on Saturday we had 20 exhibitors and 24 pieces of equipment on exhibit.  We had vendors selling lunch, ice cream & shaved ice. Again THANK YOU to those that helped make the weekend a huge success!

The month has continued building from its successful starting weekend.  Our 2nd Thursday Pre-school program featured tractors this month and was a huge success! Coming up in September we'll be focusing on school buses.
Around the museum SRM volunteers are working on a lot of projects. We replaced the mainline switch that services storage track 26 improving the train ride and drainage.  Our shop forces continue to make progress on a number of key projects including the rebuild of the wheels & trucks on locomotive 8202 (our green & white EMD switcher), a project that received a lot of support from Norfolk Southern & MARTA.  Our library staff have been working to organize & rationalize collected material as well as selling some of the duplicated items. Also, our very dedicated team are making tremendous progress in rehabilitating the miniature train (both the train set & track), with plans to have in service later this year.  In addition, though still a work in progress, the SRM website team has gotten the new site up and running.

Of major note this month, we received bids for our new construction project. This project will be erecting a new large equipment exhibit building west (behind) current exhibit building 2 in the coming months. Our goal is to provide additional covered storage space for exhibits and we've planned this one to be large enough to also allow for better covered exhibit of the transit exhibits that are currently in building 2. This project continues to need support as it's funded by a DOT matched grant that has taken longer to execute than anticipated and construction costs have risen in during the 5 years of paperwork. We're asking for your support to help us ensure it's completed to the quality you expect. Please consider a donation. As a 501(3) organization, your donation may be eligible for tax deduction.

Join us at our next major event at the Southeastern Railway Museum, the Classics at the Crossing on September the 24th. We are also gearing up for Christmas festivities, tickets will go on sale during the first week of September.  We look forward to your next visit and hope you enjoy seeing the museum grow and evolve.



John Pollock & Cheryl Hardt

One of the most important goals of the National Railway Historical Society, Atlanta Chapter and the Southeastern Railway Museum is to preserve and protect our collection. Of course, to do so, we need to increase the amount of covered exhibit space at the Museum. As many of you know, an effort has been underway for a number of years to make that dream a reality with a third, large exhibit building.
The new exhibit building will sit behind and to the West of Building 2.  It will contain four tracks as well as a 48 foot wide central area to be used for transit and other exhibits. At 175 feet by 120 feet, the covered space will be an impressive 21,000 square feet. This will increase the amount of covered exhibit space at the Southeastern Railway Museum by almost 50%.  In addition to the space for 8 full length railcars that can be displayed in the new building, we will free up space for two more railcars in Building 2 by relocation of transit equipment.  

Of course, it’s no secret that this project has hit a few bumps in the road, and we hope that’s now behind us. Let’s look at our progress to date:
  • May 2011:Atlanta Chapter NRHS is proud to be awarded a $500,000 Federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) grant towards construction of new building – a dream come true – with the stipulation that $125,000 also be raised locally.
  • November 2011: Local match achieved! More than the required $125,000 is raised ahead of the required date.Thanks to all the donors that helped!
  • December 2013: The Atlanta Chapter is just about ready to “go to bid” and begin construction when the Federal Government puts a freeze on funds.
  • January 2016: Grant recipients (including Atlanta Chapter) are given the green light to “go to bid” for TE grants, unfortunately, the funds set aside in 2013 are now too small to cover the costs of labor and materials in post-recession 2016.
  • March 2016: A redesign process helps us reduce costs and eliminate items from the base bid.
  • July 2016: After a second round of bids based on the stream-lined design, we receive a bid that is still higher than we would like.
  • August 2016: Both boards meet to hash out the situation. It is decided that except for canceling the project entirely (and giving up the $500,000 grant), the only real option is to accept the bid and move forward with the project – even if it means having a shortfall of (possibly) $200,000.
As of now, a $200,000 fundraising goal has been set for the project. This will enable us to complete the building and also have some funds available for track and electrical work.
At this time we expect to break ground in October. We also would like to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for our many donors, supporters and friends. A date has not yet been set for that, and we hope you will be able to attend.  Next month’s Crossings should have a firm date for this event.
If you would like to know more about this project or how you can help, please contact either John Pollock (for questions about the project) at 770-634-1176 or or Cheryl Hardt (for how you can help) at 678-770-6608 or . To make a donation, please visit the museum's website


The Southereaster Railway Museum has over 125 volunteers collectively contribute over 1200 hours per month. Valuing at over $20,000. Without our volunteers, the museum would not function like a well oiled machine.

Our friend Ken is a native of Chicago. In grade school, he lived 500 feet from the Rock Island Suburban Line, which is where he first took an interest in trains. With more than 30 trains passing each day, hanging around the tracks was a great pastime for Ken. He also saw the change from steam to diesel.

Ken has enjoyed trains since he was a kid and he recalls playing with his Lionel for hundreds of hours. He also enjoyed model railroading including OH, N, and G. At present, Ken is modeling an ON30, which are narrow gauge logging and mining railroads. Ken and his wife Beth (also a veterinarian) have four adult daughters. As the girls were growing up, the “Sleeping Chessie Kitten of the C&O (now CSX) was their family "logo".

Ken’s "day job" has been as a veterinary surgeon for the past 42 years and he established Northlake Veterinary Surgery, LLC in 1980. His associate of 12 years now owns the hospital and Ken is able to work part-time, so he is able to pursue some volunteer opportunities. One of those volunteer opportunities is at MedShare, which is a non-profit that sends medical and surgical supplies to third world countries.  

In addition, Ken has always been a big DIY person and loves building and fixing things. He felt it was time to have some fun with trains. What better place than SRM! As a volunteer at SRM, Ken hopes to be a good pair of hands to help the shop crew. Ken came to SRM a month ago and the shop crew immediately put him to work and made him feel very welcomed. Trains, Trucks and Tractors challenged all the volunteers with a large number of guests and for Ken it was good to be able to lend help where Sue needed him. It was also great to be welcomed by the train crew and have the opportunity to learn some of their skills.

Thank you for all that you do, Ken.
You are greatly appreciated!



Did you know that the museum hosts birthday parties for children of all ages? For one group rate you get 20 people into the museum, train rides for everyone and 2 hours in an airconditioned railcar to have your party. Stop by or call us for more details!




Home School Open House

Sep 22, 2016 - 10:00am - 1:00pm

Classics at the Crossing

Sat - Sep 24, 2016 - 11:00am

2nd Thursday Pre-Schooler Day

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 - 10:30am - 12:00pm

Train or Treat 2016

Sat - Oct 29, 2016 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Read Later
The mission of the Southeastern Railway Museum is to provide an educational atmosphere that will vividly bring to life the cultural, technological and historical importance of transportation to our region. This is accomplished through the preservation, conservation and display of publications, memorabilia and equipment; operation of historic equipment; and the portrayal of the lives of those people who created and provided that transportation.
Copyright © 2016 Southeastern Railway Museum, All rights reserved.

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