In August of 2011, Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, donated a Central of Georgia 40′ steel underframe flat car to the Central of Georgia Railway Historical Society. At that time, the flat car had been at Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond for about 30 years. According to plant personnel, the car was used at one time for moving large equipment into the main building at Plant Hammond. However, the use of trucks and lifts meant the car was no longer needed, so it sat outside on a siding unused for a number of years.
Although the car’s road number has not been determined, it is belived to be from the CofGa’s 10701-10800 series, built in 1925 by Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company in Fairfield, Ala. The car still has its original “K” brakes, Andrews trucks (with cast CofGa letters), and Simplex bolsters. All major dimensions match a CofGa data sheet for that series. Additionally, the faint remains of the word “Georgia” can be seen stenciled on the center sill of the car.
The Society entered an agreement with the Georgia State Railroad Museum (formerly the Roundhouse Railroad Museum) in Savannah, Ga., for space to restore the car, with it eventually being on display at the museum. However, the Central of Georgia Railway Historical Society is responsible for the restoration of the car, including logistics and funding.
In December of 2011, the car was moved by truck to the museum. It was placed on a track leading to the turntable, where it remained for a couple of months. Once space was prepared, the car was moved into the former CofGa Passenger Car Shops, where restoration work will take place.
CGRHS Director Stephen Syfrett was named Chairman of the Flat Car Restoration Committee, as well as Project Manager. He will direct the overall restoration, coordinate volunteers, and act as a liaison between the Society and any outside contractors.
At present, expenses for the restoration of the flat car are estimated to be approximately $40,000 (in addition to the $2,700 spent to move the car from Rome to Savannah), including:
- Rebuilding the badly corroded center sill – $13,150.00
- Replace oak decking, floor timbers, and fasteners – $9,375.00
- Rebuilding trucks (including journal brasses) – $11,000.00
- Painting (incl. primer and rust removal) and stenciling – $4,325.00
The majority of funds for the restoration will need to come from donations. The Society is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and donations may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor). Donations may be made in the Society’s online store here. Members are also encouraged to participate in “matching gift” programs through their employers.
If you’d like to help with the flat car restoration, please contact Flat Car Restoration Committee Chairman Stephen Syfrett at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to monetary donations, we need members to help with labor.