A local resident donated materials for the platform, and labor to build it was provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections. Additional funds for building it came from a local hotel tax. The city also built additional parking adjacent to the platform and a new crosswalk connecting it to local businesses. The platform is intended to aid in the growth of Locust Grove as a destination for visitors, inspired by similar train watching sites in other places like Folkston in southeast Georgia and others throughout the Midwest.
Traffic on the line totals 25-30 trains a day and includes manifest freight, intermodal, and unit trains of various commodities. There’s also a McDonough-based local that serves local industries on the line. (The roughly parallel Griffin District also runs between Atlanta and Macon further to the west.) Visitors can hear the operations through a scanner mounted at the park.
Of interest are unit coal trains with BNSF Railway power, which come from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coalfield and are destined for a power plant north of Macon, operated by Georgia Power.
The line runs primarily north-south through town, curving away towards the southeast at the south end of town. The train-watching platform is on the west side of the railroad with largely clear views in both directions, making afternoons an ideal time to visit for photography. However, there are public streets on both sides of the tracks providing access for photographing trains from wherever the light is best.