Gainesville-Midland 301 – Charlotte, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Gainesville-Midland 301

This steam locomotive served as both an interesting static display and unique playground equipment since 1959.  


This locomotive was designed in Philadelphia in 1920 and shipped to Florida, where it hauled freight along the coast for over 30 years. In 1951, the engine was purchased by the Georgia-based Gainesville-Midland line and given the number 301. The 301 served this role for eight years, before Gainesville-Midland was purchased by Seaboard Locomotive and the engine was donated to the city of Charlotte for display. 

Once gifted to Charlotte, the 301 was installed at Freedom Park, a beautiful 98-acre park in the heart of the Queen City. Since 1959, this display has served as a monument to the importance that engines of this type once played on rail lines across the country. It also serves as a unique piece of playground equipment, as kids and adults can access the engineer’s cabin for a glimpse into the past. 

The engine can be freely visited at the Freedom Park playground at no cost. Nearby parking is also at no cost. 

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July 12, 2023

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