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'Get it back looking beautiful': Steam train in Carolyn Crayton Park restored

Chico Scott says he's worked tirelessly for years to get the train his father worked on restored.

MACON, Ga. — Back in 2019, we shared the story about a steam train at the entrance of what was Central City Park, now Carolyn Crayton Park. 

Chico Scott's father worked on the train and Scott says it broke his heart to see the train fall into disrepair over the years. 

Now, the train has been restored.

"Every time I do come by just to drop by to see if any progress was made on it, there hasn't been any progress," Scott said. 

Scott's father, Benny A. Scott Senior worked on the railroad and locomotive located in Carolyn Crayton Park for more than four decades.

"My daddy used to actually shovel coal from this chute to this engine," Scott said. 

Scott's father worked as fireman and conductor. He also became one of the first Black engineers for southern railway according to Norfolk Southern. That's why to Scott, the work of getting the locomotive restored felt personal.

"I was thinking that eventually, that the rust was going to cave in and the train was going to be scrapped to metal and shipped off somewhere, so that is what gave me the energy to keep going to the Bibb county commissioner and get this train painted," Scott said. 

Speaking up at county meetings, he got the attention of former Mayor Robert Reichert and Commissioner Virgil Watkins.

"I'm glad we were able to get it done, get it back looking beautiful," Commissioner Watkins said. 

A Bibb County spokesman says the project cost $65,000 and contractors wrapped up the work in February. 

"When I first saw it, I said 'awesome.' That is the word I thought about. I was elated, I honestly got out of my vehicle and sprinted from the parking lot over here," Scott said. 

Scott says he would see contractors working on the train as 2021 wrapped up, but he was still in awe seeing his dad's locomotive restored to its former glory. He only wishes his late brother Benny A. Scott Junior was alive to see it. 

"He would have been elated, because he knew I was on this, he knew it," Scott emotionally said. 

One of the last birthday cards Scott got from his fathers says: "It's natural to be proud of you and all the special things you do." A card he keeps near his heart as a daily reminder to carry on his father's legacy.

Credit: Chico Scott

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