Central of Georgia Railroad

Central of Georgia Railroad

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The Central of Georgia Railway started as the Central Rail Road and Canal Company in 1833. As a way to better attract investment capital, the railroad changed its name to Central Rail Road and Banking Company of Georgia. This railroad was constructed to join the Macon and Western Railroad
Macon and Western Railroad
The Macon & Western Railroad was originally chartered as the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company in December, 1833. It was not until 1838 that it opened for business with a line from Macon, Georgia to Forsyth. It was extended to Griffin in 1842...

 at Macon, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Macon is a city located in central Georgia, US. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and the county seat of Bibb County. A small portion of the city extends into Jones County. Macon is the biggest city in central Georgia...

 and run to Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

. This created a rail link from Chattanooga on the Tennessee River
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

 to seaports on the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. It took from 1837 to 1843 to finish this railroad all the way to Macon and until 1851 to get a bridge built across the Ocmulgee River
Ocmulgee River
The Ocmulgee River is a tributary of the Altamaha River, approximately 255 mi long, in the U.S. state of Georgia...

.

During the construction of 1843 the company ran a rail line through land now designated as the Ocmulgee National Monument
Ocmulgee National Monument
Ocmulgee National Monument preserves traces of over ten millennia of Southeastern Native American culture, including major earthworks built more than 1,000 years ago by Mississippian culture peoples: the Great Temple and other ceremonial mounds, a burial mound, and defensive trenches...

, an important Native American site sacred to the Creek Indians, and partially destroyed the Lesser Temple Mounds. In 1873 they ran a second line through Ocmulgee National Monument, this time partially destroying the Funeral Mound. While digging this line through the Funeral Mound, its workers collected skeletons and artifacts sacred to the Creek Indians.

During the Savannah Campaign
Sherman's March to the Sea
Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted around Georgia from November 15, 1864 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War...

 of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 conducted south of the Ocmulgee during November–December 1864, rails were torn up and converted into "Sherman's Bowties."

Acquisitions


Over the years, this railroad steadily acquired other railroads by either lease or purchase:
  • Augusta and Savannah Railroad
    Augusta and Savannah Railroad
    The Augusta and Savannah Railroad was chartered in 1838 as the Augusta and Waynesboro Railroad but didn't begin operations until 1854. Two years later in 1856, it changed its name to Augusta and Savannah Railroad. The A&S ran of track between Augusta and Millen, Georgia, USA. It was absorbed by...

     1862
    • Augusta and Waynesboro Railroad 1857
  • Eatonton Branch Railroad 1855
  • Milledgeville and Eatonton Railroad 1855
  • Milledgeville and Gordon Railroad 1855
  • Mobile and Girard Railroad 1886
    • Girard Railroad 1857
  • Savannah and Tybee Railroad 1890
  • Savannah and Western Railroad 1890
    • Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railroad 1891
      • Rome and Carrollton Railroad 1887
    • Columbus and Rome Railroad 1888
      • Columbus and Atlanta Air Line Railroad 1879
        • North and South Railroad of Georgia 1877
    • Columbus and Western Railroad 1888
      • Savannah and Memphis Railroad 1880
    • East Alabama Railroad 1888
      • East Alabama and Cincinnati Railroad 1880
  • Savannah, Griffin and Northern Alabama Railroad 1890
  • Southwestern of Georgia Railroad 1869
    • Montgomery and Eufaula Railroad 1879
    • Muscogee Railroad 1868
    • Vicksburg and Brunswick Railroad 1879
    • Southwestern Railroad 1869
  • Upson County Railroad 1891
    • Barnesville and Thomaston Railroad 1860

Richmond Terminal Company


Troubles began in 1888 when the Richmond Terminal Company gained control of the railroad. The financial problems of the parent company forced this railroad into bankruptcy and it was sold at foreclosure three years later. It was reorganized as Central of Georgia Railway on November 1, 1895.

Central of Georgia Railway


The famous passenger train the Nancy Hanks
Nancy Hanks (passenger train)
The Nancy Hanks was a popular Central of Georgia Railway passenger train in Georgia running between Atlanta and Savannah. It was named after a race horse who was named for Abraham Lincoln's mother. The name is even older than the mid-20th century train derived from that of a short-lived but famous...

, ran from Atlanta to Savannah
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

, via Lovejoy
Lovejoy, Georgia
Lovejoy is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 2,495. During the American Civil War, it was named Lovejoy's Station, and was the site of the Battle of Lovejoy's Station during the Atlanta Campaign of 1864.During the 2000s,...

, Griffin
Griffin, Georgia
Griffin is a city in and the county seat of Spalding County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 23,643.-Geography:Griffin is located at ....

, Macon
Macon, Georgia
Macon is a city located in central Georgia, US. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and the county seat of Bibb County. A small portion of the city extends into Jones County. Macon is the biggest city in central Georgia...

 and Millen
Millen, Georgia
Millen is a city in Jenkins County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,492 at the 2000 census, a decline of 8.3% since 1990, during a decade in which the state's population grew by 26.4%.The city, centered near the intersection of U.S...

. Another from its famed fleet was the Man o' War, a Columbus, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Muscogee County, Georgia, United States, with which it is consolidated. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 189,885. It is the principal city of the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, which, in 2009, had an estimated population of 292,795...

 - Atlanta route, operated via Pine Mountain, Raymond and Newnan, Georgia
Newnan, Georgia
Newnan is a city in Coweta County, Georgia, about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. The population was 16,242 at the 2000 Census. Newnan is one of the fastest growing cities in Georgia, with an estimated population of 27,097 in 2006 and 33,293 in July 2008...

. Note that both of these famous Central of Georgia trains were named after prize winning steeds.

In 1907, E. H. Harriman
E. H. Harriman
Edward Henry Harriman was an American railroad executive.-Early years:Harriman was born in Hempstead, New York, the son of Orlando Harriman, an Episcopal clergyman, and Cornelia Neilson...

 gained control of the railway, and later sold it to the Illinois Central Railroad
Illinois Central Railroad
The Illinois Central Railroad , sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, is a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois with New Orleans, Louisiana and Birmingham, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa...

, which he also controlled. The Illinois Central lost control in 1948, and the Central of Georgia was bought by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
The St. Louis – San Francisco Railway , also known as the Frisco, was a railroad that operated in the Midwest and South Central U.S. from 1876 to 1980.-History:...

 (“Frisco”) in 1956. The Interstate Commerce Commission
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was a regulatory body in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including...

 did not approve the purchase, and so the Frisco sold the railway in 1961.

The C of G became a Southern Railway
Southern Railway (US)
The Southern Railway is a former United States railroad. It was the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined beginning in the 1830s, formally becoming the Southern Railway in 1894...

 subsidiary on June 17, 1963. In 1971, the Southern formed the Central of Georgia Railroad to merge the Central of Georgia Railway, the Savannah and Atlanta Railway, and the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad
Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad
Chartered in 1883, the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad was founded to build a line from a connection with the Central of Georgia Railroad at Tennille, GA to Wrightsville, GA. In 1886, the W&T merged with the Dublin and Wrightsville Railroad and gained a through line to Dublin, GA...

.

Today, the Central of Georgia exists only as a paper railroad
Paper railroad
In the United States, a paper railroad is a company in the railroad business which exists "on paper only": as a legal entity which does not own any track, locomotives, or rolling stock. Frequently, paper railroads were set up as subsidiaries by larger parent railroads, or formerly existed and...

 within the Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

 group. Forty-two miles of the CG's former mainline are currently leased by the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway
Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway
The Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway is a short-line railroad which is headquartered in LaFayette, Georgia. The railroad operated twenty-two miles of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Kensington, Georgia, which went reverted to the Norfolk Southern System...

 from the State of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

.

Preserved historic sites


A number of former properties of Central of Georgia are preserved as historic sites. These include the following six that are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

:
  • Central of Georgia Depot (Andalusia, Alabama)
  • Central of Georgia Depot and Trainshed, Savannah, Georgia
  • Central of Georgia Railroad Terminal (700 12th St., Columbus, Georgia)
  • Central of Georgia Railroad Terminal (1200 6th Ave., Columbus, Georgia)
  • Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities
    Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities
    The Central of Georgia Railroad: Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities is a historic district in Savannah, Georgia, that was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is dominated by the Central of Georgia Depot and Trainshed, a passenger depot and trainshed constructed...

    , Savannah, GA

External links