HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg celebrated National Train Day with its new train exhibit. The train was recently restored thanks to city officials, train enthusiasts and a Hattiesburg business.
The train was built in the 1920s and has been sitting in the Train Depot since the '70s, slowly rusting away. However, after several months of hard work, the train finally restored to its former glory.
General Manager of Parks and Recreation Ann Jones said the train is an important part of Hattiesburg's history.
"Hattiesburg is synonymous with trains , timber and trains, and I think its good way to reconnect the young and heart with the young and age with you know the history of Hattiesburg and trains," Jones said.
Back in the day, one of the locomotives hauled freight, the other was used at the former Hercules plant and the baggage car was originally a Pullman sleeping car.
Hattiesburg business Warren Paving funded the project, which took about 15 months to finish. Warren Paving CEO Lawrence Warren said he started the project because didn't want the old train rust anymore.
"My theme is more you take, the more you give back, and Hattiesburg has been very good to me and my family," Warren said.
At the event, Mayor Johnny Dupree also honored the memory of Christine Brown, a former administrator at the Train Depot who worked on the project.
"We were able to do that and then pulling it all together and making sure we had something here that we would be proud of, Christine was right in the middle of all of it," Dupree said. "Nothing happened unless Christine said so."
Overall, the event brought families and friends together to celebrate the city's new and improved historic landmark.