Central of Georgia in Chicago???

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  • Member since
    May 2019
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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, December 8, 2019 5:22 PM

I went to college at the University of Georgia in Athens. Directly adjacent the football stadium, beyond one end zone, was a track, on a very high embankment, which, I believe, was Central of Georgia. But this was after SOU had taken over, so all I ever saw on this track were SOU units, IIRC usually Alco road-switchers. I don't think I have ever seen a unit painted for CofG, anywhere. I did see CofG-lettered boxcars.

In those days ('68-'72) there were only modest bleachers at the end zone. So a lot of people would stand on the railraod tracks to watch the game free (the games were always sold out, so those folks could not have gotten in anyway). Inevitably, a train would come along. I am certain that the train had a bulletin about fans on the tracks on fall Saturdays, because the train would start blowing long before it arrived there, and when it finally showed up it was barely creeping. Sometimes the spectators were very slow to leave. And everyone would return after the train passed. Often the scenario, in reverse, was repeated during the same game. It never looked to me like anyone on the train ever scolded the fans. I think it was all in good fun, even for the crews. Sometimes the engine stopped and the crew watched a few downs themselves! Lord, that was along time ago.

I am pretty sure that view is gone now, as the stadium became a giant bowl, with both ends as high as the sides. What I am not sure of is if the SOU still serves anyone in Athens, and still interchanges with CSX (then SCL) there. Last time there, I did note that the GARR Athens Branch was long gone; I couldn't even find remnants, not even traces.

Athens was really an interesting place for railroads back then, despite its small size.

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