Dr. Richard Banz, executive director of the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, will be the featured guest speaker during an event commemorating the 151st Anniversary of the Great Locomotive Chase.
The Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) will host an all-day event in Paterson, New Jersey, on April 13, featuring re-enactments, model trains and educational presentations. Banz will make a pair of brief presentations – titled “Stealing a General in Georgia” – about the Great Locomotive Chase, also called the Andrews Raid.
At 6 a.m. on April 12, 1862, in what is present day Kennesaw, Georgia, Union spies under the leadership of James J. Andrews stole The General, a Confederate locomotive. The episode is memorialized in film, books and at the Southern Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate that is home to The General.
The General locomotive was built in 1855 by Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor locomotive works in Paterson. The works’ former facility is today home to the Paterson Museum, which will offer free admission from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 13.
During the festivities, the LCCA will also host an event at the NJ Hi-Railers Club in Paterson for “The General Day.” As a part of the day, scheduled from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 13, Lionel train enthusiasts can run their General model trains on the 185-foot-long NJ Hi-Railer's layout.
Admission to the Hi-Railers Club event is $7 for adults. Children are free with an accompanying parent.