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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obama inauguration train car has Georgia heritage

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President-elect Barack Obama today is traveling by train from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. for Tuesday's inauguration. And "Georgia 300," the train car carrying Obama and his family, has Georgia roots.

From the Associated Press:

The car was first built by Pullman Standard for the Southern Railway, when the car was known as the General Polk and used by railroad officials.

Georgia Railroad later acquired it in 1954, and [John Heard, the car's current owner], who is president of First Coach Rail Inc., bought it in 1986. It was a prized purchase for a man who recalls seeing the car as a boy in Atlanta.

Heard has made a series of electrical and plumbing upgrades to the car over the years.

"It had deteriorated and I completely rebuilt it," said Heard, of Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Here are some interior shots of the train car.

(Photo by Tony Bucca used with permission)

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