CONYERS, Ga. — A new railroad will soon be laying track at the Georgia International Horse Park, the new home of the North Georgia Live Steamers.
Formed in 1977, the North Georgia Live Steamers is a club composed of individuals interested in promoting the live steam hobby and assisting others interested in the construction of scale steam engines, diesel locomotives and railroad equipment. The group previously constructed and conducted “open run” weekends where the public was invited to ride on the 7.5 inch gauge, 1.5 inch scale railroad at their former location at the Southeastern Rail and Transportation Museum in Duluth, Georgia.
In its new location, the North Georgia Live Steamers (NGLS) plan to relocate their track and model trains to property at the Georgia International Horse Park along the Yellow River.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about working with the City of Conyers, the Horse Park, the public and local organizations in getting our miniature railroad up and running in Conyers,” said Norm Wizner, board member of the North Georgia Live Steamers. “The location is ideal and we feel that we’ll bring something unique to the community.”
The NGLS is signing a long-term lease agreement with the City of Conyers to lay approximately 7,000 feet of track including railroad trestles, steaming bays, and a yard facility in phase one of the project. Future phases include track extensions, public picnic area, a public station with restrooms and a model train museum. The NGLS is a non-profit organization and on weekends where the trains will operate and transport passengers for free, donations will be accepted. Phase one will begin this fall with a projected opening in the spring of 2009.
“The North Georgia Live Steamers is a natural fit for Conyers, a community that was born alongside the railroad tracks in Olde Town Conyers,” said Mayor Randy Mills. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to add this attraction to our recreational offerings at the Horse Park and tie in the importance of the railroad to our community’s heritage.”
The North Georgia Live Steamers will provide a preview of their operations by having several engines and cars on display and free rides for the public at the upcoming Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival at the Georgia International Horse Park on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission to the festival is $5.00 per person and parking is free.
For more information on the North Georgia Live Steamers, visit www.northgeorgialivesteamers.org and for more information on the Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival, visit www.bighaynescreekwildlifefestival.com.