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.

Johnny

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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.

Johnny

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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.

Johnny

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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.

Johnny

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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.

Johnny

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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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