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Central of Georgia Railway 390

Reviving Rail History: The Remarkable Journey of the Central of Georgia Railway 390

Crafted in 1947 by the esteemed American Car & Foundry, the Central of Georgia Railway 390 holds a distinctive place in the annals of rail history. Distinguished for its singular design, it stands out in the collection of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) as a unique lightweight coach-baggage hybrid car, a symbol of utilitarian elegance.

The 390 was not simply another face in the railcar crowd. It was an essential component of the illustrious Nancy Hanks II, a distinguished passenger train that used to traverse the historic route from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. The company of coach cars 661, 662, and 907, which also reside within the TVRM’s collection, accompanied this unique combine car on its numerous journeys.

As the years passed, the 390 adapted to the shifting tides of the railway industry, transforming into Southern Railway 726. During this epoch, it carved a niche for itself in the Southern Railway Steam Excursion Program, where it emerged from anonymity to achieve fame as an audio recording car. The spacious baggage area of this versatile vehicle was expertly repurposed to capture the symphony of the steam locomotives as they tackled their rigorous tasks, including Southern Railway 630 and Southern Railway 4501, both of which are noteworthy constituents of TVRM’s present collection.

In 2019, the Western Maryland Scenic Railway bestowed the Central of Georgia Railway 390 to TVRM. With immense respect for its history, the 390 underwent a meticulous restoration process to reclaim its original number and paint scheme. Upon completion in 2020, it was triumphantly returned to service, its gleaming presence a testament to a rich past and a future filled with possibilities.


Car: Central of Georgia Railroad 390

Car Type: Coach-Baggage Combine

Operators: Central of Georgia Railway, Southern Railway, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Builder: American Car & Foundry

Date Built: 1947

Number of Seats: 54

Paint Scheme: Blue and Gray

Lettered: Central of Georgia

Status: Operational