Fried Green Tomato’s is one of those movies that you just can’t forget. Based on the novel called “Fried Green Tomato’s at the Whistle Stop Cafe”, the movie is set around two female friends. Directed by Jon Avett and written by Fannie Flagg and Carol Sobieski, it stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson, the movie tells the story of a Depression-era friendship between two women, Ruth and Idgie, and a 1980s friendship between Evelyn, a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny, an elderly woman who knew Ruth and Idgie. The centerpiece and parallel story concerns the murder of Ruth’s abusive husband and the accusations that follow.
The Film made great use of an Atlanta based steam locomotive, the Atlanta and West Pointe 290. Her biggest role in the film is at the start, where a one of the main characters brother is killed by the engine after getting his foot caught in in a Frog.
Here’s some information about the A&WP 290.
A&WP 290 (Lima, 1926, Builders Plate # 7008) is a steam locomotive built in 1926 by the Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, OH for the Atlanta and West Point Railroad. The engine is a 4-6-2 Heavy Pacific type steam locomotive, remarkably similar to the Southern Railway’s Ps-4s class Pacific Steam Locomotives. Along with sister locomotive No. 190 built for the Western Railway of Alabama, 290 pulled the Crescent Limited passenger service from Atlanta, GA, to Montgomery, Alabama, until her retirement from revenue service in 1954. Unlike the 290, the 190 was cut up for scrap in 1954.
When she was taken out of service in 1954, fans of 290 established the “290 Club” that succeeded in persuading the Atlanta and West Point Railroad to preserve the locomotive rather than sell her for scrap. 290 remained on static display for several years before she was donated to the Atlanta Chapter of the NRHS in 1961.
In the late 1980s, the New Georgia Railroad, an Atlanta-based steam excursion railroad, had need for another locomotive and 290 was quickly restored. She moved under her own steam for the first time in 1989. After the successful restoration, the 290 pulled regular excursions around Atlanta for the New Georgia Railway and made several longer excursions to nearby cities including a historic trip to Montgomery, Alabama in 1992. In 1991, 290 was sent to the Norris Yard Steam Shop in Irondale, Alabama, for running gear maintenance to resolve hot-running bearings. Shortly thereafter, the New Georgia Railroad stopped running steam locomotives when the State of Georgia discontinued its funding. 290 operated for the last time under steam in 1992.
As of 2010, 290 is currently undergoing preservation at the Southeasernt Railway Museum where it is hoped that renewed interest in steam excursions will result in her return to operational status. Her brief return to steam lasted only 3 years, but the Southeastern Railway Museum hopes to get the engine running again sometime by 2020.
I hope you enjoyed this blog! As always, if you have any leads, let me know and I will see what I can dig up! Happy Railfanning!