7 to 8 hours
9:30 am on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Mid-February through Mid-DecemberThis tour does not offer hotel pick-up. Rate includes coach class train fare and 7% tax. Children under 12 qualify for the child rate. There are no refunds for cancellation. Cancellations more than 72 hours in advance of departure may be rescheduled for a future date. Please reserve online, or call us toll-free at ^tollfree^.
What You'll See on the Southwest Georgia Train Excursion from Cordele Georgia
Cordele - While you can board the train at any of its stops, the official beginning is at Cordele. Come early and have breakfast with us. While you are waiting for the train to depart, you can enjoy a cup of hot coffee and pastries at the adjacent Hobo Cafe. Browse through the unique shop located next door to the depot at 103 East 9th Avenue in Cordele.
~ 12 Hotels
~ Historic District with walking tour - Main Street Community
~ 8,700 acre Lake Blackshear: trophy fishing, boating, skiing, picnicking, camping
~ State Farmers Market shipping more Watermelons than anywhere in the World
~ Watermelon Capital of the World
~ Cordele Motor Speedway
Georgia Veterans State Park - Next on the route is Georgia Veterans State Park, one of Georgia's most-visited state parks, featuring championship golf, sparkling Lake Blackshear, and fascinating military exhibits.
Leslie - Your next stop will be Leslie, home of one of Georgia's most unique museums. The Rural Telephone Museum is situated in a beautifully restored cotton warehouse that showcases antiques, switchboards, classic cars, colorful murals, and, of course, antique telephones(admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students).
~ Georgia Rural Telephone Museum
~ Annual Dogwood Days Antique Show and Sale (March)
Americus - The Victorian town of Americus is your next stop. Tour Habitat for Humanity's new Global Village and browse quaint shops. The award-winning 1892 Windsor Hotel & Spa is the perfect place to turn your train excursion into a relaxing weekend vacation. You can even take in a show at the breathtaking 1921 Rylander Theatre.
~ Habitat for Humanity - International Headquarters and Global Village and Museum
~ Windsor Hotel
~ Rylander Theatre
~ Historic district
~ Shopping and restaurants
~ Hotels, bed & breakfast inns
~ Souther Field - site of Charles Lindbergh's first solo flight
~ Georgia Southwestern University
~ South Georgia Technical College
Plains - The small Georgia town made famous by President Jimmy Carter is your next stop. While in Plains, browse President Carter's campaign museum and an antique mall, then buy a bag of peanuts from local merchants. Visit the Plains Trading Post to see the latest trading items. A must place to visit is the Plains Inn recently refurbished and tastefully decorated.
~ Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
~ Plains Depot (campaign museum)
~ Plains High School (visitor center)
~ President Carter's current home
~ Main Street shopping
~ Plains Inn and Antique Mall
~ Plains Trading Post
~ Billy Carter's service station
~ Plains Baptist Church
~ Golden Peanut Company (former Carter warehouse)
~ Maranatha Baptist Church
~ Georgia Visitors Center
~ Annual Peanut Festival (September)
Archery - A bit further down the tracks is the community of Archery, featuring the president's boyhood home. The train will stop just steps from his old front porch, and you'll have plenty of time to explore the farm before the train returns to Cordele.
Note: This is a sample schedule. The train does not always stop in every town.
The train stops at each town long enough for passengers to get on and off the cars, usually 5 minutes. If you would like to tour one of the towns, you may catch the train back on its return trip, or even the next day (if scheduled to run that day). Our staff will let you know what time to catch the return train. Please make sure that the staff is aware of your plans so we can reserve you a seat.
Many attractions are within walking distance of the depots, while others require transportation. Some attractions may be able to provide transportation for their customers. The railroad does not provide shuttles to attractions.
For those who do not wish to walk long distances, the closest attractions are:
~ Hobo's Cafe and Gifts (Cordele)
~ Georgia Veterans State Park and Military Museum
~ The Rural Telephone Museum (Leslie)
~ Habitat for Humanity Global Village (Americus)
~ The Beautiful Rylander Theatre (Americus)
~ The Windsor Hotel (Americus)
~ President Carter's Campaign Museum (Plains)
~ President Carter's Boyhood Home (Archery)
~ Andersonville National Historic Site and National POW Museum (11 Miles from Route)
Tips for a Comfortable Ride:
Riders should wear comfortable shoes (Please note FLIP FLOPS and sandals without backs are not allowed on the train for safety purposes. Closed toe shoes or sandals with stap backs are considered the safest.) Dress in layers. Rain gear is suggested since most depots are not covered and the train runs rain-or-shine. Hot dogs, sausage dogs and barbeque sandwiches are available on the train. Drinks, ice cream, chips, and hot popcorn, plus numerous souvenirs are ready for you to purchase in the Leslie Car aboard the train. Some towns have restaurants, but riders with special dietary needs may want to pack a picnic lunch. Box lunch options are available for groups of 20 or more with advance purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I dress for the trip?
Since some shoes could get caught in select areas of the train, we ask that you do not wear flip flops or sandals without a strap. Tennis shoes or closed-toe shoes are safest. While the train does have air conditioning, you should dress in layers to ensure that you are not too warm or too cold. Rain gear is suggested since the train runs rain-or-shine.
Are restrooms available?
Yes, there are restrooms on the train, the depot in Cordele and in each of the communities.
Can I bring food or drink?
Coolers and picnic items are allowed on the train provided that they fit under the seat. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed. Hot dogs, Sausage dogs, barbeque sandwiches, drinks, and snacks are available for purchase on the train.
Can I walk between cars while the train is moving?
When coach seats are purchased, reserved seating is not included. If the train is not filled to capacity, riders are usually free to explore the different cars.
How accessible is the train?
The SAM Shortline is a vintage train; therefore, accessibility is limited. Passengers in wheelchairs may use the wheelchair lifts at each boarding platform. This will allow wheelchair-bound passengers to board and detrain. While the space between seats is limited, parts of the aisles on three cars are accessible, as well as three bathrooms. Passengers needing assistance should make us aware of their needs and plans when making a reservation. We also have a wheelchair on the train for guests with walking restrictions.
Who operates the train?
The SAM Shortline is operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) under the guidance of the Southwest Georgia Railroad Excursion Authority.
Why is the train named SAM Shortline?
The train tracks that ran from Savannah to Alabama were used by the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railroad Company during the 1880s, headed by Colonel Samuel Hugh Hawkins of Americus. Many towns along the tracks were born from the railroad, so it was appropriate to name this new excursion train in honor of the original railroad and its leader. Directions
Cordele is 143 miles from Atlanta, 66 miles from Macon, 188 miles from Savannah, 95 miles from Columbus, and 132 miles from Tallahassee. To reach the Cordele Depot from I-75, take exit 101/Hwy 280 west to Hwy 41. Turn North onto Hwy. 41. The depot is 105 East 9th Avenue, Cordele, Georgia.
This tour does not offer hotel pick-up. Rate includes coach class train fare and 7% tax. Children under 12 qualify for the child rate. There are no refunds for cancellation. Cancellations more than 72 hours in advance of departure may be rescheduled for a future date. Please reserve online, or call us toll-free at ^tollfree^.
If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Use the form below to select the date for your reservation. Calendar defaults to first available date. Please verify your date selection prior to submitting your order.
If you are unable to select a date, it means the tour is unavailable on that date.