Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County News

Fort White Train Depot
Trains arriving soon

Fort White train depot
The train depot in Fort White is slated to have the tracks instaledl soon and is being discussed to be a museum.

According to Tourist Development Council Director, Harvey Campbell, trains will be arriving soon at the Fort White Train Depot.

Three trains are expected, a steam locomotive, a box car and a caboose. 

Mr. Campbell said, Anderson Columbia is donating material, flatbeds, a driver and cranes, to unload the trains onto the tracks in Fort White, which the Columbia County Public Works Department is going to build.

Kevin Kirby

The County Public Works department is under the direction of former Anderson Columbia employee, Kevin Kirby.

The trains will be headed west away from the railroad depot in a straight line on Town right of way.

Mr. Campbell said the plan is to turn the depot into a museum in the south end of the County.

Fort White train depot glimmers.
The metal roof glimmers in the afternoon sun and the depot appears to be fully ADA compliant

The project is slated to begin this week, although there may be a holdup waiting for Progress Energy to move a power line that is in the way.

Mr. Campbell explained that the locomotive will come from one of two places. There is an old historic steam engine that was pulled out of the Suwannee River at Laurelville. It is in Tallahassee. He said, "We are going to look at it."

Mr. Campbell continued, "There's also a locomotive in Blackshear, Ga. We're going to look at an old steam engine that CSX has there."

The Observer: "Will the steam engine actually run?"

Answer: "No. It is a static display."

The Observer: "Can you tell me a little bit about how you acquired the train depot?"

Mr. Campbell: "I wrote a $275,000 grant to buy the railroad depot a few years ago.  Then Columbia County gave the town of Fort White $10,000 in March of 2008 to help with the project."

Mr. Campbell explained the museum will be done in conjunction with the School Board and that Board member Glenn Hunter has been a "pusher" on this project.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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