Celebs & Fame

The Georgia 300 ~ The Presidents Train

By Jueseppi B.





You’ve heard of Air Force One, the Presidential Air Plane. There is also Marine One, the Presidential chopper. Have you heard of The georgia 300?


The Georgia 300  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.




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. Sporting a Packard blue with silver striping livery, the train car operated as a lounge car named the General Polk on the New OrleansNew York Crescent Limited (operated by the L&NWest Point RouteSouthern, and Pennsylvania), 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. It ran until its retirement in 1982 after being made redundant as surplus due to the merger between Georgia Railroad and Family Lines.



Private ownership

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 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. It is Amtrak compliant and compatible to be used on most scheduled Amtrak trains as well as other private venues.


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


The Georgia 300 has hosted/carried Presidents Jimmy CarterGeorge H.W. BushBill Clinton, and Barack Obama. In 2004, presidential candidatesJohn F. Kerry and running mate Sen. John Edwards, traveled aboard the car from St. Louis to Kingman, Ariz., following the Democratic Convention in Boston.



George H.W. Bush


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.


Bill Clinton


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. The 13-car train used the Georgia 300 along with other Amtrak, private, and host railroad CSX equipment and engines.



Barack Obama


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 . The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prevented private planes, news helicoptersballoonists and others from flying anywhere near the airspace above the train route. 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 “for Special Security Reasons”.


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.











































4 replies »

  1. I didn’t know about this train. I hope they can ensure the president’s safety while he is traveling by train. I probably worry too much. I remember being in New York soon after Obama was elected. I was hurrying down the street, and noticed that for blocks all the streets were blockaded. There were police officers everywhere. And so many people!

    I stopped to ask a police officer what all the fuss was about. He said the president was going to be coming in for a meeting at the UN later that day. I felt my chest tighten with anxiety–this was touching upon one of my worst fears–and before I even knew I was going to do it, I said to the cop, “Please, take good care of him.” He was just a young man, and everyone looks like a kid to me these days. But he was so earnest and serious as he said to me, “We will, Ma’am. Don’t you worry. We will.” At that moment I felt a soft spot in my heart for New York.


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