News 3 Neighbors: Callaway Gardens train returns - WRBL

News 3 Neighbors: Callaway Gardens train returns

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All aboard! After a four year absence, the Callaway Gardens train has returned. All aboard! After a four year absence, the Callaway Gardens train has returned.
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -

It's a sound that's been missing at Callaway Gardens' Robin Lake Beach for four years.  The train is back!  Only this one is trackless and runs on electricity. 

It's the brainchild of a pair of Pine Mountain residents, City Councilor Warren Aldrich and retired railroad man Curtis Bray. 

Aldrich says he got the idea watching TV one night.  "I was very impressed with the train as it was shown on TV, went to bed that night and before I went to sleep, I got to thinking...train, Callaway, and so forth."

Aldrich and Bray struck up a friendship over breakfast at a local restaurant.  Their friendship spawned a business partnership that grew out of their connection to the railroad.  Aldrich says, "I have a love for trains.  My grandfather was a conductor."  Bray retired from the CSX Railroad two years ago with 35 years of service. 

When Warren called Curtis about bringing one of these new, electric trains to Callaway Gardens, Bray loved the idea.  He recalls, "Once we did all our planning and research and got the blessing of the Callaways, that's when we purchased the train and they delivered it for us.  Warren and Curtis are Robin Lake Beach vendors.  Part of the proceeds from train ride ticket sales go to Callaway Gardens.

The new train bears the name of the old one, the Chickadee Choo Choo.  Bray says, "The design of this train is pretty much the same as the design they had when the old train was here on the track."  Bray remembers bringing his kids to ride on the train when they were little.

The return of the train has been a welcomed sight for beach goers since it made its debut two weeks ago.  Aldrich sums it up best.  "I do think it provides a service to the community and also the kids just love it."

On the back of the caboose you will find a sign that says: "In memory of Bo Callaway."  Aldrich says Mr. Callaway loved the train and it's only fitting that he be remembered in this way.  Bo Callaway died earlier this year after a long illness. 

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