Georgia 300

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Barack Obama aboard the Georgia 300

The Georgia 300 [1][2] is a privately owned railroad car, owned by John H. “Jack” Heard based in Florida and has been used by several recent presidents for various campaign related Whistle Stop Tours.[3]

History[edit]

Georgia 300, is a classic looking heavyweight observation car from the golden era of rail travel that was built by the Pullman Standard Co. shops in 1930.[1][3] Sporting a Packard blue with silver striping livery, the train car operated as a lounge car named the General Polk on the New Orleans-New York Crescent Limited (operated by the L&N, West Point Route, Southern, and Pennsylvania[4]), and was later purchased by the Georgia Railroad and reconfigured to Office Car 300. The Georgia Railroad used the car in trips to venues like The Masters Tournament and the Kentucky Derby.[2] It ran until its retirement in 1982 after being made redundant as surplus due to the merger between Georgia Railroad and Family Lines.[1][2][3]

Private ownership[edit]

Heard, who owns a rail yard in Orange Park, Florida, purchased the car in 1985 and made a series of refurbishments in 1986, 1989, 1995, 2000[1][3] and 2008. The car has a dining room, an observation lounge, one master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, two bathrooms with showers, a section lounge, crew quarters, and kitchen.[1][3] It is Amtrak compliant and compatible to be used on most scheduled Amtrak trains as well as other private venues.[5][6]

The car is a constant work-in-progress with carpets and fabrics constantly being improved. During 2006–2008, the interior and exterior of the car were completely repainted, along with the addition of new monogrammed linens and bed-coverings in the bedrooms and a recovering of the couch in the observation lounge.

Use by US Presidents[edit]

The Georgia 300 has hosted/carried Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush,[7] Bill Clinton,[8][9] and Barack Obama.[3] In 2004, presidential candidates John F. Kerry and running mate Sen. John Edwards, traveled aboard the car from St. Louis to Kingman, Ariz., following the Democratic Convention in Boston.[3]

George H.W. Bush[edit]

The Georgia 300 was used as a support car during George H.W. Bush campaign to be president in 1992. This use is thought to have prompted further use of the car by other presidents.[7]

Bill Clinton[edit]

The car again was used by Bill Clinton for his 21st Century Express train for the 1996 campaign season, in a nod to his 1992 campaign with a bus.[10] The 13-car train used the Georgia 300 along with other Amtrak, private, and host railroad CSX equipment and engines.[8][9][10]

Barack Obama[edit]

Barack Obama utilized the Georgia 300 twice; first in April 2008 for a trip between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa; and secondly before his 2009 inauguration on a whistle stop to Washington DC, along a similar route to that used by Abraham Lincoln .[3] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prevented private planes, news helicopters, balloonists and others from flying anywhere near the airspace above the train route.[11] These rolling NOTAM flight restrictions prevented general aviation from flying near stations and above the linear route of sections of the Northeast Corridor railroad line "for Special Security Reasons". [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

The train used consisted of two Amtrak GE Genesis locomotives, numbers 44 and 120, several Amfleet coaches and cafes, and the Georgia 300 at the rear.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Georgia 300 (800111) (AAPRCO - American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners)". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Private Railcars Attending the 2002 Convention". Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Rasmussen, Frederick N. (January 16, 2009). "Train car Obama said to be using has long presidential pedigree: The Georgia 300 has served Presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush and Clinton". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2009-01-17. [dead link]
  4. ^ Southern Railway, Ties (company magazine), July–August 1972: The Southern Crescent
  5. ^ "The Private Car Experience - Experience a little magic". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  6. ^ "Chartering a car - some things you should know". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  7. ^ a b "Obama rail car rolling in history". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  8. ^ a b "POTUS* Special to Michigan City, Indiana 1996". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  9. ^ a b "Central Virginia Railfan Page POTUS Special trip report Special edition of the Mid-Week Report August 25, 1996". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  10. ^ a b "CLINTON THE MAN AUGUST 28, 1996 TRANSCRIPT". Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  11. ^ "Obama set to ride rails to historic inauguration". Cable News Network. 2009-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  12. ^ "9/1334 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for VIP (Very Important Person) Movement ... From January 16, 2009 at 2240 UTC (January 16, 2009 at 1740 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 1455 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 0955 EST) 
  13. ^ "9/1325 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons ... From January 17, 2009 at 1430 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 0930 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 1700 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1200 EST) 
  14. ^ "9/1329 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons ... From January 17, 2009 at 1700 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1200 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 2000 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1500 EST) 
  15. ^ "9/1340 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons ... From January 17, 2009 at 2000 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1500 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 2300 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1800 EST) 
  16. ^ "9/1341 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons ... From January 17, 2009 at 2000 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1500 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 2300 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1800 EST) 
  17. ^ "9/1361 NOTAM". Federal Aviation Administration. 2008-01-14. Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons ... From January 17, 2009 at 2030 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1530 EST) To January 17, 2009 at 2130 UTC (January 17, 2009 at 1630 EST) ... 3 nautical miles From any point along the line segments. 

External links[edit]