TIFTON — For train lovers, it was Christmas.
Locomotive enthusiasts celebrated National Train Day on May 13 at the Tifton Terminal Railway Museum.
National Train Day is the day to celebrate their love for the locomotives that connected the United States from East to West. On May 10, 1869 the golden spike was ceremoniously driven into the ground connecting the first Transcontinental Railroad.
Situated in the heart of downtown, the old railway platform has been transformed into a museum. For National Train Day, the museum teamed up with the South Georgia Model Railroad Club, bluegrass musicians and combustion engine fans to create their own celebration.
While the bluegrass group Old Friends played renditions of “Ring of Fire” and other classic country songs, visitors were welcome to tour the museum. Inside were artifacts on display like the old train log book, luggage that travelers used, and controls with colorful wires, buttons and nobs.
Also inside the museum was a model train built by the South Georgia Model Railroad Club. On it, model trains made their laps between miniature storage buildings and homes. Club members were letting visitors control their trains around the bends of the landscape.
Don Perla was there with his train. Explaining his fascination with trains was nearly inexplicable. Perla said he had been interested in them since he was 12 years old. This was a day for him to get out and share his enjoyments and watch others take over the throttle to operate a mini locomotive.
Samuel Latham, one of the youngest members of the club, brought cars, buildings and engines to the model train set. He helped build the layout that the trains were operating on.
They’ve been working on it since August.
The club teamed up with the Georgia Museum of Agriculture too. The GMA was offering free train rides for…