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Tate Depot

The Tate Depot has a new lease on life after being moved and refurbished.

Tate, Georgia was developed as a company town for the Georgia Marble Company founded by Samuel Tate. Built in 1916, the Tate Depot served the small community until 1949 when the L&N Railroad discontinued passenger service on the “Hook and Eye” line. In the years following the building was used for storage, and later as the Maintenance of Way (MOW) office for the Georgia Northeastern Railroad (GNRR). After the GNRR MOW department moved out into its new location in Ballground, Georgia, the building sat vacant for many years and fell into disrepair.

This photo shows the depot in 2013, the year I model, prior to being moved.

The depot was located very close to Highway 53 and blocked the view for motorist approaching the grade crossing. In 2015 a decision was made to move the depot from the northeast corner of the highway and railroad tracks across the road to a vacant lot on the southeast corner. The depot was also set back approximately 100 feet at a slight angle from the tracks. After the depot was moved, it was restored by the Marble Valley Friends group to serve as a community center. The depot has been nicely restored inside and out. It is fantastic that the history of the Tate Depot has been preserved for future generations to see and appreciate.

John, Stefan, and Scott take a tour of the Tate Depot HO scale model railroad.

Recently, Bill Gibson donated his HO scale layout, which was professionally built, to the newly formed Tate Depot Train Society organization. In 2022 the layout was moved from his home to the restored depot, and set up in the large former freight room portion of the depot. The layout room features new lighting, insulation, and is climate controlled.

The layout features a marble quarry, the town of Blue Ridge, a locomotive service facility, a large city scene with high-rise buildings, passenger station, church, city park, and numerous other scenes. The layout is now open to the public.

A calendar of events and more information on the Tate Depot Train Society can be found on the club website at;

The club is also in the process of installing an N scale modular layout in a separate room at the depot. This layout will also showcase the north Georgia area and highlight numerous industries and scenic features.

If you are ever in the north Georgia area I highly recommend making a trip to see the Tate Depot and checking out both layouts.

Until next time stay safe and keep model railroading.

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