The South from A to Z

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The South from A to Z
Posted by Deggesty on Monday, November 27, 2017 2:28 PM

Mining Man suggested this topic. Once it is going, do not hesitate to add any tidbits you want to add.

Yes, there were many short lines in the South; some were succesful, others were not. Very few exist today, either because they were swallowed up by larger roads or else died a natural death.

One of the more successful ones was the Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay Railway--which never came closer to Atlanta than Dothan, Alabama, where it had a connection with the Central of Georgia, and did have, for many years, overnight sleeper service to/from Atlanta. However, with the general growing favor of air transportation, this service was dropped, and the road, now is freight only, is known as the Bay Line Railroad, and is a part of the Genesee and Wyoming holdings.

Two other short lines were a part of an important passenger route and together were known as "The West Point Route," for they met in West Point, Georgia. They were, of course, the Atlanta and West Point, and the Western Railway of Alabama though most of its track was east of Montgomery; there was also a line connecting Montgomery with Selma. As built originally, the WRA ran to Columbus, Georgia from Opelika, Alabama; this line somehow became a part of what became the Centgral of Georgia's line between Birmingham and Columbus. 

I am not certain about the operation of freight crews; I do not doubt that it was like that of the passenger crews, which I believe ran all the way between Atlanta and Montgomery--no one asked me for my ticket when passing through West Point. In the fifties, when I became aware of its existence, there were four trains a day each way; in the sixties, passenger service dwindled to one train a day each way, and then died.

These two roads are now a part of CSX.

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, November 27, 2017 3:26 PM

Book is open, ready to take notes.

This should become a very interesting thread, much like String Lining over on the other forum (but hopefully a bit more on topic!).

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:04 PM

There was a group of short lines in Southwest Georgia that was known as the "Pidcock Roads" because members of the Pidcock family were associated with them. Back in 1943, these roads had several trains with passenger service, some of which were mixed trains.

The Georgia Northern ran 68.0 miles from Boston to Albany (and its original name was "Boston and Albany"--perhaps the name was changed because people called to buy tickets from Chicago to Boston?

In Albany, it connected with the Albany and Northern, which ran 35.73 miles to Cordele--and together these two roads ran a through diesel motor train from Boston to Cordele. In Cordele, this train connected with the SAL's Savannah-Montgomery train, making it possible to go between Boston and Savannah or Montgomery with one change of trains. It was also possible to connect with the southbound  Ponce de Leon and the northbound Valdosta-Macon mixed of the Southern Railway. There were other trains on both roads. In Albany, both roads connected, of course with the ACL and CG, there were probably few passengers who took advantage of the connections.

Another was the Georgia, Ashburn, Syvester and Camilla, which ran 49.98 miles from Ashburn on the Southern to Camilla on the ACL's line from Albany to Thomasville, crossing the GN at Bridgeboro. However, there was no coordination between the GN and the GAS&G.

The fourth road was the Flint River and Northeastern, which ran 23.31 miles from Pelham on the ACL's Albany-Thomasville line to Ticknor on the GN; again there was no coordination here between the two Pidcock roads.

Eventually, all of these roads became freight only--and were absorbed by other roads.

As I recall, there was, fairly recently, an article about these roads in Trains or Classic Trains.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:41 PM

Nice, Thanks.

So here are some very naive questions. 

Could you go West from a major Southern city, say Jacksonville or Atlanta to New Orleans or anywhere else in Louisiana? Would this be a direct route or convoluted?

Could you travel by rail to Houston from a major Southern city, say the same as mentioned?

Was New Orleans a "hub" or a terminus? It was the end point for trains from the North, Illinois Central and GM&O, but was it for trains from the  East heading West or could you go through?

Where and how did that Frisco line get to where it got to? Was the Frisco a major player?

Did the Little Rock get into the South? I could probably Goggle this one easy enough but I'd rather hear it from someone who has the real knowledge. 

Inquiring minds wanna know.  

 

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 8:39 PM

Miningman

Nice, Thanks.

So here are some very naive questions. 

Could you go West from a major Southern city, say Jacksonville or Atlanta to New Orleans or anywhere else in Louisiana? Would this be a direct route or convoluted?

Could you travel by rail to Houston from a major Southern city, say the same as mentioned?

Was New Orleans a "hub" or a terminus? It was the end point for trains from the North, Illinois Central and GM&O, but was it for trains from the  East heading West or could you go through?

Where and how did that Frisco line get to where it got to? Was the Frisco a major player?

Did the Little Rock get into the South? I could probably Goggle this one easy enough but I'd rather hear it from someone who has the real knowledge. 

Inquiring minds wanna know.  

 

 

 

As to service between Jacksonville and New Orleans, the SAL and L&N ran an overnight train, the Gulf Wind, which left each city in the late afternoon and arrived by about nine the next morning. It had sleepers, coaches, dining service, and--after the Crescent lost its observation car, a real observation lounge car until late in 1966. This route went west from Jacksonville to Pensacola, up to Flomaton, Alabama, and on to New Orleans through Mobile; which as direct as you could get it.

Atlanta-New Orleans had two routes: Atlanta & West Point/Western Railway of Alabama to Montgomery and L&N to New Orleans going theough Mobile was one; the other was Southern to Birmingham then down through Meridian, Mississippi.

The Southern had through service Washington-New Orleans through both Atlanta and Bristol, Virginia (the N&W carried the trains between Monroe, Virginia, and Bristol--crews changed in Monroe since that was a division point on the Southern), with New York sleepers. There was also a New York-Shreveport sleeper that ran through Chattanooga and the IC carried it beyond Meridian, Mississippi. Change in Shreveport and take the T&P to west Texas.

To get to Houston from the South, you could go to New Orleans, and then west on either the SP or the MP (day service and overnight service on each line). Or if you started anywhere north or east of Chattanooga or Nashville to Memphis. There was service through Chattanooga from Washington that went west to Memphis on the Southern, and the NC&StL had service Nashville  to Memphis; also the L&N had service Cincinnati-Louisville-Memphis. From Memphis the MP served a good bit of Texas in conjunction with the T&P west of Texarkana. The Cotton Belt also served Memphis and northeastern Texas.

There was no train that ran through New Orleans until Amtrak extended the Sunset Limited, but towards the end of SP passenger service a tri-weekly sleeper ran between Los Angeles and New York City, using the Sunset Limited and the Southern Crescent; the car spent the night in New Orleans in both directions. For a time in the late forties, there was an arrangement in New Orleans that enabled through passengers on the Sunset and the Crescent  to spend an evening in the Crescent City and not worry about their carry-on baggage--personal baggage was transferred between the Canal Street Station (L&N) and the Union Station (SP) and put into an identical space in the new train.

Note: the Crescent went through Montgomery; after it was discontinued the Southerner (Southern all the way south of Washington) was renamed the Southern Crescent.

The Frisco had a line from Kansas City through Springfield, Missouri, Memphis, and through Amory, Mississippi to Birmingham. This line carried the Kansas City-Florida Special, which the Southern carried to Jacksonville. In the winter this train had a Kansas City-Miami sleeper, which the FEC carried south of Jacksonville. The Frisco also went into Pensacola on a line down from Amory, Mississippi, which had a Memphis-Pensacola sleeper. This line passed through Columbus, Mississippi, and Aliceville, Alabama, on its way to Pensacola.

When I came to know the AT&N, it was freight only and carried Frisco traffic between Aliceville and Mobile. Above Aliceville, to Reform (20 miles) there was a six day a week local that took two hours to go up and to go down. I played brakeman, switch tender, and engineer in Reform for about eight years before moving here.

The Rock barely got into the South, coming into Memphis from Little Rock.

I hope I have answered those questions.

Correction (12/8/17) The service in the fifties that provided for sight-seeing in New Orleans came into New Orleans from New York on the Piedmont Limited (morning arrival), and not on the Crescent.

Johnny

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:32 AM

Aside from Midwest to Florida and New Orleans services, which were varied and complex, the only addition I can think of is that you could travel at the same fare from New York to New Orleand via the PRR through Harrisburg and then down the N&W to Roanoke, joining the Pelican's route through Bristol to New Orleans.  Thru sleeper NY - Roanoke and then a sleeper on the Pelican to N O.

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Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 10:13 AM

New Orleans was the largest city in the South for 100+ years, in every census from 1820 to 1920, displaced either by Washington in 1930 or Houston in 1950. https://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0027/twps0027.html 

https://archive.org/stream/neworleanscity00writmiss#page/n27/mode/2up

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:01 AM

daveklepper

Aside from Midwest to Florida and New Orleans services, which were varied and complex, the only addition I can think of is that you could travel at the same fare from New York to New Orleand via the PRR through Harrisburg and then down the N&W to Roanoke, joining the Pelican's route through Bristol to New Orleans.  Thru sleeper NY - Roanoke and then a sleeper on the Pelican to N O.

 

Dave, that looks like a good routing--but it would work only if the passenger wanted to spend a night in Roanoke, for the N&W train from Hagerstown arrived in Roanoke after the Pelican had left; indeed, the Pelican was getting close to Bristol by the time the train with the overnight car from New York arrived in Roanoke.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2:39 PM

Yes.  And at one time the Southern ran a New York - Jacksonville service, I think at one time with a through sleeper, or at least a Washington - Jacksonville sleeper.  But I forget the exact route.  Defeinitely did not go so far west as Atalnata.

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:01 PM

daveklepper

Yes.  And at one time the Southern ran a New York - Jacksonville service, I think at one time with a through sleeper, or at least a Washington - Jacksonville sleeper.  But I forget the exact route.  Defeinitely did not go so far west as Atalnata.

 

It would have gone down to Columbia, S.C. from Charlotte. Depending upon when it ran, it would either have been carried on to Jacksonville by the Seaboard Air Line or gone down to Hardeeville, S.C. and then on to Jacksonville via trackage rights on the ACL.

There was a time when the Skyland Special operated over the SAL from Columbia to Jacksonville.

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, November 30, 2017 8:27 PM

Two shortlines in Georgia that no longer operate under their old names were the Savannah and Atlanta and the Gainesville Midland.

The Savannah and Atlanta ran 144.7 miles from Savannah to Camak, where it connected with the Georgia RR. In 1943, it still had a mixed train from Savannah to Waynesboro (MP 96.1), which used the S&A station in Savannah (there were two other stations there, the CG station and the Union station which was used by both the SAL and the ACL).

On the way out of Savannah, all four roads, except for the SAL’s line from Hamlet, N.C. , through Charleston passed through Central Junction–which made it easy for the CG to use the S&A’s line up to Ardmore for its passenger trains after it bought the S&A in 1951.

The S&A connected with the Sylvania Central at Sylvania, the Georgia and Florida at Waynesboro, and the Augusta Southern near Wrens.

Some time after the CG bought the S&A, it built a connecting track from about two miles below Oliver to the former S&A at Ardmore–and abandoned its track between Central Junction and the new connection just below Oliver. Thus, the S&A gained a streamlined passenger train, the Nancy Hanks II, which ran from Savannah in the morning and left Atlanta in the late afternoon. 

In 1962, the track between Sylvania and East Waynesboro was abandoned, and the track between Ardmore and Sylvania is now operated by the Ogeechee Railroad.

 

The Gainesville Midland came into existence as an operating railroad when, in 1904 it began operating the track that had been constructed by the Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad in the 1870's and 1880's. This was a 3 foot gauge road that ran from Gainesville, on the Southern, through Belmont to Jefferson and to Monroe, on the Georgia. Two years later, new construction, of standard gauge, carried the road from Belmont to Fowler Junction (2 miles west of Athens); and trackage rights over the Seaboard Air Line gave the road entry into Athens. The track from Gainesville to Belmont was relaid to standard gauge in 1908, and the track from Belmont to Jefferson was relaid in 1913. 

The line from Gainesville to Athens was 42 miles long; Belmont was 10 miles from Gainesville, and the line to Monroe from Belmont was 32 miles long. The Monroe line was abandoned in 1948, but the line to Athens was sold to the SAL in 1959, and is still use as a part of CSX–unless the current head of CSX decides that it is a useless appendage.

One of the better known facts concerning the GM is that it operated locomotives that were intended for sale to Russia when they were built–nut were never exported, so the GM bought several “Russian Decapods.”

Johnny

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 01, 2017 11:09 AM

Thanks Johnny....keep going!

Also rather enjoyed the pictures in the new Gallery featuring Central Of Georgia. That is until I came to this one. Now that is a glum looking, very unhappy bunch. It is a bit puzzling. 

CofG
 

Man O’ War

Visitors and CofG officials in Atlanta–Columbus, Ga., Man O’ War’s tavern-observation car at Columbus before entering service, June 1947.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 01, 2017 4:20 PM

Well maybe in all fairness they are not unhappy, just stern, all business, no nonsense.  A few of them are wearing very light coloured suits, would they be white? , I suppose so,...Hot down there. Several have white shoes as well. There seems to be a style of hat that is quite popular, looks like it is white as well with a broad dark band. Most wear thin "Wire" glasses. I'm sure they are all Southern Gentleman Railroaders with VIP guests.

Was hoping to find one dashing Rhett Butler in the group but I don't see it.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 02, 2017 5:04 PM

Also in the image gallery, the first one, is a picture of CofG 4-8-4  #458, a pretty big brute. Did not know, or remember, that CofG had any 4-8-4's. Thats a fairly substantial train it is hauling as well. The caption says 1950, but the loco looks to be in a bit of rough shape. Assume they dieselized pretty early? 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 3:27 PM

Two other short lines that had several different names during their histories were the Tallulah Falls and the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia–both of which met their names, unlike several class ones.

The Tallulah Falls connected with the Southern at Cornelia, Georgia and went north, 57.2 miles to Franklin, North Carolina, stopping at, among other places, Habersham (near the source of the Chattahoochee River), Tallulah Falls, Tiger, Clayton,  Mountain City, Rabun Gap (all in Geogia), and Otto, North Carolina.

The railroad began as the Northeastern Railroad with a plan to build from Athens to Clayton, opening the track from Lula to Athens (which became Southern’s line to Athens from Lula) in 1876–and the Richmond and Danville purchased the stock in 1881. In 1882, the line reached Clayton, at mile 24.7 from Cornelia. (I found no mention of how the line went from Lula to Cornelia; perhaps it was intended to use the Richmond and Danville?) 

After being chartered in 1887, the Blue Ridge and Atlantic Railroad bought the northern section (Cornelia to Clayton), and planned to build towards Knoxville, so as to connect Savannah and Knoxville. Being in financial difficulties, it built no new track, and in 1897 it was taken over by the Tallulah Falls Railway, which, with the help of the Southern Railroad,  reached Franklin in 1907.

The Southern had a plan to build beyond Franklin, going down to the Southern’s branch to Murphy near Almond, running on that line to Bushnell, which was a junction with the Tennessee & Carolina Southern, which the line would use to Fontana–and then build to Calderwood on the Little Tennessee where, according to http://www.railga.com/tallu.html, existing railroads would connect the line with Knoxville.

 

However, Franklin was the farthest that the railroad went. It operated to Franklin until 3/25/1961–another dream that was never fulfilled.

The Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia was a somewhat different story. It began in Chattanooga in 1890, and in 1891 the track was completed to Gadsden, Alabama, running down along the east side of Lookout Mountain.  However, it then had a much simpler name–the Chattanooga Southern. Its purpose was to move coal, iron ore, and timber from the Lookout Mountain area (I had never thought of the area as being a source of coal or iron). Since it ran along the foot of Pigeon Mountain, it was known as the “Pigeon Mountain Route,” and the emblem showed a pigeon flying by one portal of the tunnel there.

The Chattanooga Southern fell upon hard times, and in 1911 was reorganized as the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railroad–and still had hard times, becoming the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway in 1922.

The line ran 91.7 miles to Gadsden, and was something of a gadfly to the Southern System, whose Alabama Great Southern ran down the west side of Lookout Mountain to Attalla and beyond. Its connections in Chattanooga were the NC&StL, the CNO&TP, and the Southern. At Cenchat, 11.0 miles from Chattanooga, it connected with the CoG’s line from Griffin to Chattanooga . In Gadsden, it connected with the NC&StL, the Southern, and the AGS.

In the sixties, it transported steel products from Siskin Steel in Chattanooga to Republic steel in Gadsden. However, in 1971, the Southern bought it and over time abandoned almost all of it. 

I had one opportunity to ride over it in the late sixties or early seventies, when there was a steam excursion from Chattanooga to Attalla and back, going down on the TAG and back on the AGS, but I was unable to make the trip. In the late fifties, if I had known that there was going to be a line blockage on the AGS one weekend that I was in Chattanooga I might have considered going down to Birmingham in the morning and coming back up, on my way back to Bristol, but I, of course, knew nothing about the detour until I was waiting for #18 to take me from Chattanooga to Bristol–and the young lady I was seeing in Chattanooga would not have been happy if I had made that extra trip.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, December 08, 2017 8:10 PM

The service in the fifties that provided for sight-seeing in New Orleans came into New Orleans from New York on the Piedmont Limited (morning arrival), and not on the Crescent, which arrived in the late afternoon.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:06 PM

Southern Railroading A to Z 5

Two short lines in Georgia that no longer operate under their old names were the Savannah and Atlanta and the Gainesville Midland.

The Savannah and Atlanta ran 144.7 miles from Savannah to Camak, where it connected with the Georgia RR. In 1943, it still had a mixed train from Savannah to Waynesboro (MP 96.1), which used the S&A station in Savannah (there were two other stations there, the CG station and the Union station which was used by both the SAL and the ACL).

On the way out of Savannah, all four roads, except for the SAL’s line from Hamlet, N.C. , through Charleston passed through Central Junction–which made it    easy for the CG to use the S&A’s line up to Ardmore for its passenger trains after it bought the S&A in 1951.

The S&A connected with the Sylvania Central at Sylvania, the Georgia and Florida at Waynesboro, and the Augusta Southern near Wrens.

Some time after the CG bought the S&A, it built a connecting track from about two miles below Oliver to the former S&A at Ardmore–and abandoned its track between Central Junction and the new connection just below Oliver. Thus, the S&A gained a streamlined passenger train, the Nancy Hanks II, which ran from Savannah in the morning and left Atlanta in the late afternoon. 

In 1962, the track between Sylvania and East Waynesboro was abandoned, and the track between Ardmore and Sylvania is now operated by the Ogeechee Railroad.

 

The Gainesville Midland came into existence as an operating railroad when, in 1904 it began operating the track that had been constructed by the Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern Railroad in the 1870's and 1880's. This was a 3 foot gauge road that ran from Gainesville, on the Southern, through Belmont to Jefferson and to Monroe, on the Georgia. Two years later, new construction, of standard gauge, carried the road from Belmont to Fowler Junction (2 miles west of Athens); and trackage rights over the Seaboard Air Line gave the road entry into Athens. The track from Gainesville to Belmont was relaid to standard gauge in 1908, and the track from Belmont to Jefferson was relaid in 1913. 

The line from Gainesville to Athens was 42 miles long; Belmont was 10 miles from Gainesville, and the line to Monroe from Belmont was 32 miles long. The Monroe line was abandoned in 1948, but the line to Athens was sold to the SAL in 1959, and is still use as a part of CSX–unless the current head of CSX decides that it is a useless appendage.

One of the better known facts concerning the GM is that it operated locomotives that were intended for sale to Russia when they were built–but were never exported, so the GM bought several “Russian Decapods.”

 

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:11 PM

Southern Railroading A to Z 6

There was a group of short lines in Southwest Georgia that was known as the "Pidcock Roads" because members of the Pidcock family were associated with them. Back in 1943, these roads had several trains with passenger service, some of which were mixed trains.

 

The Georgia Northern ran 68.0 miles from Boston to Albany (and its original name was "Boston and Albany"--perhaps the name was changed because people called to buy tickets from Chicago to Boston?

 

In Albany, it connected with the Albany and Northern, which ran 35.73 miles to Cordele--and together these two roads ran a through diesel motor train from Boston to Cordele. In Cordele, this train connected with the SAL's Savannah-Montgomery train, making it possible to go between Boston and Savannah or Montgomery with one change of trains. It was also possible to connect with the southbound  Ponce de Leon and the northbound Valdosta-Macon mixed of the Southern Railway. There were other trains on both roads. In Albany, both roads connected, of course with the ACL and CG, there were probably few passengers who took advantage of the connections.

 

Another was the Georgia, Ashburn, Sylvester and Camilla, which ran 49.98 miles from Ashburn on the Southern to Camilla on the ACL's line from Albany to Thomasville, crossing the GN at Bridgeboro. However, there was no coordination between the GN and the GAS&G.

 

The fourth road was the Flint River and Northeastern, which ran 23.31 miles from Pelham on the ACL's Albany-Thomasville line to Ticknor on the GN; again there was no coordination here between the two Pidcock roads.

 

Eventually, all of these roads became freight only--and were absorbed by other roads.

 

As I recall, there was, fairly recently, an article about these roads in Trains or Classic Trains.

 

Johnny

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, December 18, 2017 10:10 AM

I believe that Georgia Northern and GAS&C were among the last operators of FT's, secondhand from Southern.  There was an article in TRAINS in the late 1960's about these gems.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:32 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
There was an article in TRAINS in the late 1960's about these gems.

Memorable for the crotchety engineer who yelled something like "I don't want my pitcher took!" and threw an apple core at the photographer.  Reminiscent of all too many of the modern concerns about railroaders vs. railfans!

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, December 25, 2017 2:08 PM

Southern Railroading A to Z 7

Two other short lines that had several different names during their histories were the Tallulah Falls and the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia–both of which met their names, unlike several class ones.

The Tallulah Falls connected with the Southern at Cornelia, Georgia and went north, 57.2 miles to Franklin, North Carolina, stopping at, among other places, Habersham (near the source of the Chattahoochee River), Tallulah Falls, Tiger, Clayton,  Mountain City, Rabun  Gap (all in Geogia), and Otto, North Carolina.

The railroad began as the Northeastern Railroad with a plan to build from Athens to Clayton, opening the track from Lula to Athens (which became Southern’s line to Athens from Lula) in 1876–and the Richmond and Danville purchased the stock in 1881. In 1882, the line reached Clayton, at mile 24.7 from Cornelia. (I found no mention of how the line went from Lula to Cornelia; perhaps it was intended to use the Richmond and Danville?) 

After being chartered in 1887, the Blue Ridge and Atlantic Railroad bought the northern section (Cornelia to Clayton), and planned to build towards Knoxville, so as to connect Savannah and Knoxville. Being in financial difficulties, it built no new track, and in 1897 it was taken over by the Tallulah Falls Railway, which, with the help of the Southern Railroad,  reached Franklin in 1907.

The Southern had a plan to build beyond Franklin, going down to the Southern’s branch to Murphy near Almond, running on that line to Bushnell, which was a junction with the Tennessee & Carolina Southern, which the line would use to Fontana–and then build to Calderwood on the Little Tennessee where, according to http://www.railga.com/tallu.html, existing railroads would connect the line with Knoxville.

However, Franklin was the farthest that the railroad went. It operated to Franklin until 3/25/1961–another dream that was never fulfilled.

The Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia was a somewhat different story. It began in Chattanooga in 1890, and in 1891 the track was completed to Gadsden, Alabama, running down along the east side of Lookout Mountain.  However, it then had a much simpler name–the Chattanooga Southern. Its purpose was to move coal, iron ore, and timber from the Lookout Mountain area (I had never thought of the area as being a source of coal or iron). Since it ran along the foot of Pigeon Mountain, it was known as the “Pigeon Mountain Route,” and the emblem showed a pigeon flying by one portal of the tunnel there.

The Chattanooga Southern fell upon hard times, and in 1911 was reorganized as the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railroad–and still had hard times, becoming the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway in 1922.

The line ran 91.7 miles to Gadsden, and was something of a gadfly to the Southern System, whose Alabama Great Southern ran down the west side of Lookout Mountain to Attalla and beyond. Its connections in Chattanooga were the NC&StL, the CNO&TP, and the Southern. At Cenchat, 11.0 miles from Chattanooga, it connected with the CoG’s line from Griffin to Chattanooga . In Gadsden, it connected with the NC&StL, the Southern, and the AGS.

In the sixties, it transported steel products from Siskin Steel in Chattanooga to Republic steel in Gadsden. However, in 1971, the Southern bought it and over time abandoned almost all of it. 

I had one opportunity to ride over it in the late sixties or early seventies, when there was a steam excursion from Chattanooga to Attalla and back, going down on the TAG and back on the AGS, but I was unable to make the trip. In the late fifties, if I had known that there was going to be a line blockage on the AGS one weekend that I was in Chattanooga I might have considered going down to Birmingham in the morning and coming back up, on my way back to Bristol, but I, of course, knew nothing about the detour until I was waiting for #18 to take me from Chattanooga to Bristol–and the young lady I was seeing in Chattanooga would not have been happy if I had made that extra trip.

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:25 PM

Southern Railroading A to Z 8.

 Some  more Georgia short lines, particularly some that connected various towns with longer roads that bypassed the towns. 

 

The Sandersville Railroad ran 4.0 miles from Sandersville to Tennille, where it connected with the Central of Georgia and the Wrightsville and Tennille. While looking for information of this road, I found several sources. One, http://www.railga.com/sandten.html does not mention why the road was built; another, https://www.american-rails.com/sandersville.html does not mention a previously existing road, the Sandersville and Tennille, which is named in the previous source. (That first source lit up when I pasted it; the second did not–Highlight it and do a right click to go to it) The second source tells us that when the CoG was building towards Macon, the residents did not want the railroad in their town, so the road went through Tennille instead. This source does not name the first road that was built to connect the two towns–the Sandersville and Tennille (http://www.railga.com/sandten.html) For further information of this, you can go to http://railga.com/augsou.html.

 

http://www.railga.com/sander.html gives more information as to the origin of the road. The S&T refused to grant trackage rights to the CoG–so the CoG saw to it that the Sandersville road was built, and it began operation in 1893, and was operated by the Tarbutton family. The road more or less struggled until the mid-fifties, when a 5 mile line to a kaolin deposit more than doubled the length of the road. It is an oddity among the many short lines that were built in Georgia–it is still a prosperous road, with much industry in Sandersville that uses the railroad in addition to the kaolin traffic.

 

The Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad ran 36.3 miles from Tennille, where it connected with the Sandersville R.R. and the CoG, through Wrightsville to Dublin, where it connected with the Macon, Dublin and Savannah R.R. 

The road was chartered in 1883 to build 16.5 miles from Tennille, where it connected with the CoG, to Wrightsville–and in 1886 it merged with the Dublin and Wrightsville Railroad, which carried the track a further 19.4 miles to Dublin. In 1896, the Dublin to Hawkinsville line of the Oconee and Western Railroad was bought, more than doubling the length of the road, making it about 75 miles long. Again, in 1907, another 28 mile stretch was added through the acquisition of the Dublin and Southwestern Railroad, which ran to Eastman. 

However, these two acquisitions were abandoned in 1941, leaving the 1886 track–which is now a part of the Norfolk Southern.

 http://railga.com/wt.html

 

The Wadley Southern Railway, along with the  Louisville & Wadley Railroad, and the Sylvania Railway Company, were all under the same management as the Wrightsville and Tennille in 1943.

 

In 1943,the Wadley Southern ran 19.8 miles from Wadley, where it connected with the CoG and the Louisville and the Wadley RR to Swainsboro, where it connected with the Georgia and Florida Railroad. However, it began life in 1906 as a much larger railroad when the Wadley and Mount Vernon Railway and the Stillmore Airline Railway were merged.

The Wadley and Mt. Vernon ran 37 miles to Rockledge, where it connected to the Macon, Dublin & Savannah, passing through Adrian at m.p. 27, where it connected with the CoG, and the Stillmore Airline ran 53 miles from Wadley to Collins, where it connected with the Seaboard Airline Railway and the Collins and Reidville Railroad, passing through Swainsboro at m.p. 20, where connected with the Midville, Swainsboro and Red Bluff Railroad (which later became the G&F), and through Stillmore, where it connected with the Millen & Southwestern RR (which also later became a part of the G&F) and the CoG.

However, by 1930, all but the Wadley- Swainsboro line had been abandoned, and that part was abandoned in 1964.

www.railga.com/wadsou.html1. 

The Louisville & Wadley Railroad ran ten miles from Louisville (a former capital of Georgia) to Wadley, where it connected with the Wadley Southern and the CoG. It began operation in 1879, and in 1961 was sold to a company which operated it as the Louisville and Wadley Railway. Service to Louisville was discontinued in 1971 when a bridge failed. 

http://www.railga.com/louwarr.html  http://www.abandonedrails.com/ar/Louisville_and_Wadley_Railroad 

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, January 12, 2018 12:02 PM

Southern Railroading A to Z 9

The Sylvania Railway Company ran 14.7 miles from Rocky Ford, where it connected with the CoG, to Sylvania. This road began n 1884 as the Sylvania Railroad Company and, amazingly, was completed (with the help of the CoG) by April of 1885.  http://railga.com/sylvrr.html

 

In 1903, the property was reorganized as the Sylvania Central Railway, and so operated until 1915, when it was leased to the Sylvania and Girard Railroad Company, which was dissolved in 1915 whereupon it operated again as the Sylvania Central Ry–and in 1935, the line was leased to the Sylvania Railway Company–and again became the Sylvania Central Ry in 1944 and so continued for another ten years until it was abandoned.  http://railga.com/sylcen.html

 

The Talbotton Railroad ran 8 miles from Talbotton to Junction City, where it connected with the CoG. It took almost nine years from its being chartered in 1872 until it opened in 1881. At the time of its construction, it connected with the Southwestern Railroad, later was absorbed by the CoG –and the junction was known as Bostick (and the inhabitants seemed not to be satisfied with that name, for it was later named Paschal–and eventually was given the name of Junction City.

http://railga.com/talbot.html

 

The Bowdon Railway ran 12 miles from Bowdon to Bowdon Junction, where it connected with the CoG. It was incorporated in 1910–and began operation in January of 1911. The road was abandoned in 1963 after struggling for many years. http://railga.com/bowdonry.html

 

The Hartwell Railroad ran 10 miles from Hartwell to Bowersville, where it connected with the Southern. The road was chartered as the Hartwell Railway in 1878, and was opened as a 3 foot gauge road in 1879. Apparently it had, as many other short, short lines did, financial difficulties, and became the Hartwell Railway in 1898. Four years later, it came under Southern control, and was widened to standard gauge in 1905. In 1924, it was sold to a group of local businessmen, and in 1990 one man purchased it–and it is still shown in the SPV Southeast Atlas.

http://www.greatwaltonrailroad.com/hartwell.html

 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, January 25, 2018 10:31 AM

I'm thinking that Southern ruled the roost in the South. Did ACL or SAL get far into the heartland of the South or did they pretty much stay within the confines of Florida. 

GM&O must have some major presence. 

All the majors dieselizied quite early. You would think tradition and a slower and more thoughtful pace of life would have done just the opposite. 

Any thoughts and insights on these things Johnny?

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:54 AM

It does seem that the Southern System took in more shortlines than almost any other system or road. In Virginia, there was the Danville and Western, which served the towns of Leaksville and Spray (later merged, to become Leaksville-Spray until the name was changed to Eden). There  were several shortlines in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. The Carolina and Northwestern ran from Chester, S.C. to Lenoir (and beyond), N.C. The Blue Ridge, which for a time provided a short cut between the Asheville-Columbia line and the Southern's main line for the overnight Columbia-Atlanta sleeper, also was in the Southern's fold. At the moment, I cannot think of any other shortline that was closely associated with the Southern.

The ACL (which did not approach the coastline until it reached Charleston, originally it went through Wilmington, N.C. and then to Florence, S.C. on its way south) had one road, the Charleston & Western Carolina (not such a short line, extending from Port Royal, S.C. to Anderson and Spartanburg by way of Augusta) associated with it. The Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic (later, the Atlanta Birminham and Coast),which did reach the coast, was a Class I which became a part of the ACL (it carried the Dixe Flagler out of Atlanta to Waycross while it was still more or less independent)

The SAL, which said "Through the Heart of the South" reached the seaboard with its branch to Portsmouth, Va. and a branch through Charleston that ran between Hamlet, N.C. and Savannah, and did, of course, run to Savaannah on its way to Jacksonville.

Both the ACL and the SAL combined existing roads in Florida to form their lines as they existed in the fifties, as well as constructing their own track here and there in the twentieth century.

As to the GM&O, it was mainly a north-south road, running from St; Louis to Mobile (two routes into Mobile) and New Orleans, with a branch to Montgomery, Alabama. This road was a twentieth century merger of the Mobile & Ohio and the Gulf, Mobile and Northern, both of which were the results of mergers of shorter lines.

At the moment, I cannot think of any more  associations.

Johnny

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 25, 2018 12:00 PM

Miningman
Did ACL or SAL get far into the heartland of the South or did they pretty much stay within the confines of Florida.

Oh, my.  Look at their histories and see.  ACL didn't go south of Charleston, SC until close to the turn of the 20th Century.  SAL likewise had considerable presence north of Jacksonville, including the famous 'air line' part.  Both were major east-coast partners in trains from northern and eastern points -- look at the route of the Silver Meteor as a case in point.

All you really have to do to understand dieselization of Florida passenger trains in the '30s is to look at the color schemes.  An E unit was described (in the Trains article about this years ago) as a kind of large rolling billboard that it would be a mistake not to fill with colorful promotion. 

Meanwhile, look at ACL's encounter with 'modern' 4-8-4 design, which even after being corrected left you with something not as stylish as those E units...

... and Mr. Champion?  Conservative?

Incidentally, if I remember correctly the ACL controlled the L&N and NC&StL from early on; the L&N revenue in particular being a major factor in keeping ACL out of receivership in the extraordinarily rotten (for them) years of the Depression.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 25, 2018 12:42 PM

The ACL matched the SAL Silver Meteor and its EMD E-unit diesels with its Champion and its EMD E-units.  Both were initially all-coach trains.  But while the ACL continued to use steam on its other through pasenger trains, the SAL dieselized the heavyweight all-Pullman Orange Blossom Special, reduced its running time, and was an earlier purchaser of freight diesels than ACL.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:24 PM

Yes, Overmod, the SAL and ACL were latecomers to Florida. In 1892, the ACL trains used two roads to get from Charleston to Jacksonville--and the SAL was a Richmond/Portsmouth to Birmingham road with its associated roads--the SAL did not even get to Columbia, S.C., then but when it did reach Columbia, it made use of the Southbound RR (Ry?) to get to Savannah.

Once they did get to Florida, they made use of various existing lines to reach their destinations--and some of the junctions, such as Sanford, remained as division points for many years. Seaboard did construct its own line into Miami; Tampa was the original (as well as I can determine) end of the line.

Yes, as to who owned whom, the ACL was a big shot. The Clinchfield was, as I recall, also a joint ACL/L&N affair.

I wonder how Champion Davis really felt about the ACL=SAL merger. I understand that when he headed the ACL, he always referred to his principal competitor as "That Other Road." He liked the color purple, and heavyweights were, I understand painted purple, and his diesels were so painted. So, his successor was called by some, "The Purple Diesel Eater"--around the time the song "The Purple People Eater" was popular.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:30 PM

Deggesty and Overmod-- Thanks to both, ...I understand that you might percieve the question's and inquiries a bit basic and I do know some things about SAL, ACL and Southern but it's always something racing down the coast with New Yorkers getting away from winter or something coming out of Washington. 

Really and truly I know very little of the South, especially freight operations and where track went. 

I mentioned GM&O simply because of those scenes in Sparta, Miss in the movie "In the Heat of the Night"

Did they even get into Mississippi?. ...assumed they did. 

It's more your weight of the words from both of you and the importance attached to them that gives me some good basic insight. 

I can well understand the colourful Diesels carrying important trains to the sunshine but why so fast to dieselize in the vast sleepy territory with freight and locals all the way to Louisiana. Thats a lot of track, states and territory, a lot of it rural and well out of the limelight. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 25, 2018 2:21 PM

Yes, the M&O ran from Mobile up through eastern Mississippi to East St. Louis and had a branch from Artesia, Miss., to Mongomery Ala. (and a short stub from Artesia to Starkville). The GM&N was a Jackson, Tenn. to Mobile line, running west of the M&O, with a branch from Union, Miss., over to Jackson, Miss., and down to Slidell, La., and then trackage rights on the NO&NE (Southern Ry System) into New Orleans. There were other short brancehes here and there.

Johnny

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