Summerville GA Turntable
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Tattered01
N 34° 28.729 W 085° 20.793
16S E 651837 N 3816489
Quick Description: Boyles Yard Turntable Named Summerville Railroad Turntable. Summerville Historic Site
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 5/27/2019 2:31:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM10ME4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SearchN
Views: 1

Long Description:
Restored to its current site in 2003, the historic Summerville Railroad Turntable was made during an era when railroads served as the primary means of long-distance commerce and travel. From the days of railroad yards and roundhouses, the turntable was used to rotate locomotives and place them in the desired direction while using a lesser amount of land than otherwise needed to maneuver such a turn This massive 90 ton steel structure was built in 1916 in Ambridge, Pennsylvania by the American Bridge and Iron Company, which later became part of US Steel. Measuring 100 feet in length, the turntable was constructed of two steel I-beams and connected by support beams which were riveted together to form its fish-belly design.
For many years, this turntable served in the Boyles Yard in Birmingham as part of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. There it was surrounded by the largest roundhouse on the L&N system having 36 stalls. During the height of the railroad era, the turntable was used to direct the steam locomotives of such famous L&N passenger trains as the Pan American, the Azalean, and Florida Arrow as well as the Silver Bullet fast freight train and numerous other regional and local freight and passenger trains The turntable continued to operate at the Boyles yard after L&N was merged into CSX Railroad. It was retired from the Boyles Yard in the late 1900's
As a donation from the CSX Railroad, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum acquired the historic turntable and saved it from being turned into scrap metal. The massive load was moved from Birmingham to Lafayette, Georgia by large truck and then placed on a railroad car and transported over the rails to J.R. "Dick" Dowdy Park in downtown Summerville. Appraised as a railroad artifact at $1,250,000 the turntable was used by Summerville as the matching funds for two grants from the Georgia Department of Transportation. The installation of this railroad antique restored one of very few operational turntables in the United States.
Extensive engineering and support were required for the foundation of the completed structure which holds the turntable and includes a large circular concrete pit, drainage system, peripheral track and electric motors. Steel pilings were driven eighty feet into the earth to support the weight of this massive structure as well as the weight of the diesel or steam locomotives it must turn which weigh approximately 150 tons.
Since its dedication and renaming in May 2003, the Summerville Railroad Turntable has provided growth in local civic pride and growth in tourism. It has been used to turn steam locomotives on excursions from the Tennessee Valley Railroad, diesel locomotives on local passenger excursions, and railcars on excursions by the North American Railcar Operators Association.
Further information on the steam locomotive excursions from Chattanooga to Summerville is located on the website Information on local diesel excursions may be found at and information on railcar excursions at
The Summerville Railroad Turntable has provided both pleasure and income to the present generation and shows great promise for a source of tourism and civic pride for future generation. The restoration of this valuable railroad antique has contributed to the establishment of Summerville as a historic railroad town.
What Best Describes This Location: Siding\Holdout

Other Describe: Turntable

Is this rail location handicap accessible?: viewable from several locations

Related website: [Web Link]

If there is a fee how much?: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
When logging a visit please include your own pictures and details of your experience. Pictures of rail activity in action are greatly encouraged and appreciated!

Try to provide the time of day you visited and how much activity you witnessed.

By providing times and activity in your details, the next visitor might have a better idea of when to make their visit.

Keep this in mind when you visit an Active Rail Locations waymark, the railroad determines how much activity there is on any given day.

Thank You!
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Active Rail Locations
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.