Locomotives tell of railroads’ influence on Georgia towns (Part I)

CONYERS — So many towns across Georgia owe their existence to the railroad.

While trains still operate in a number of those cities, railroads are a distant memory in others. But a handful of cities in Georgia have a memorial dedicated to the role railroads played.

Here is a brief overview of steam locomotives on public display throughout Metro Atlanta.

Winder: Gainesville Midland 208

Gainesville Midland No. 208 was built by Pennsylvania-based Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1930. The decapod – as the locomotive is known because of its 10 drive wheels – originally operated as No. 530 on the Seaboard Air Line.

The Gainesville Midland purchased the steamer during the 1950s, and the locomotive operated until 1959. After its retirement, No. 208 was given to the city of Winder. No. 208 was originally displayed near Athens Street and was moved to its current location in 1981.

Conyers: The Dinky

Between 1948 and about 1960, this small 0-6-0 steam locomotive served on the 3-mile-long Milstead Railroad between Callaway Mills in the small community of Milstead and nearby Conyers, where the line interchanged with the Georgia Railroad.

Engine No. 104, built in 1905 by Rogers, is, according to some sources, one of only a handful of this type locomotive still in existence. The engine apparently picked up the nickname “Dinky” because of its short stature.

The West Point Railroad originally owned the Dinky. Callaway Mills, formerly the Milstead Manufacturing Co., bought the locomotive in 1948 and put it into service hauling cotton over the Milstead Railroad. The locomotive is today on display in downtown Conyers, the town the Dinky once served.

Marietta: Glover locomotive

Locomotive No. 81421 was built in 1916 by Marietta’s own Glover Machine works. The 2-6-0 narrow gauge steam engine operated as Coulbourn Brothers No. 4 starting the following year. In 1921, the locomotive returned to Glover Machine Works.

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About Todd DeFeo 345 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.