Atlantic and Gulf Railway : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Is there a reference for detailed information about the construction of the Atlantic and Gulf line in southwest Georgia in the late 1800's---between Bainbridge and Cairo? Information about the rail depot in Climax Georgia is needed especially. The line was later acquired by Atlantic Coast Line.

-- Gibbsch (, March 26, 1998


I'm sure Bob was speaking only of railroad operations and not the population of areas west of Bainbridge. Having photographed railroad subjects in this area for 30 years I can agree that there isn't as much as there used to be.

-- Riley Kinney (, October 11, 1999.

Just to clarify at the risk of being redundant, the depots in Climax, Iron City, and Walthourville, Ga. are all still standing.

Climax is the town's courthouse-police dept. Located north of US-84, adjoining the fairgrounds on New Street off of SR-262. The person staffing the depot told me it was built in 1902. A historical plaque is mounted just outside the depot, and I believe I have a photo of the info written on it.

Iron City is located in a field on the south side of US-84. It appears to be out of use, except maybe for storage, as "The Peach Depot". Walthourville serves as that town's post office and city hall, having been moved back from the right-of-way around 1980-81.

I have photos off all these depots, but not all elevations, usually just one. I may have photos of both sides of Iron City, though. I'd be glad to supply prints if they will be of some help.

-- Bob Venditti (, October 10, 1999.

Being a native of Bainbridge, GA, I would take exception to Bob Hanson's response that there is very little west of Bainbridge in that part of Georgia. By the fact he did not know Climax is east of Bainbridge, it is apparent he is also not aware of the many good people that live west of Bainbridge, including many friends and family members. In railroading terms, the rail line does extend westward from Bainbridge to Dothan, AL, and on to Montgomery and Birmimgham, AL; this was the connection point with the L&N during the ACL/SCL days. This segment hosted the South Wind passenger train, the Amtrak Floridian, and the Louisville-Sanford AutoTrain. The line continues to be active today for CSX traffic out of the Midwest and other parts of the Southeast. Finally, Bainbridge was a junction point for the ACL with the SAL line from Columbus, GA, to Tallahassee, FL; that junction point was in "West Bainbridge", approximately 1/4 mile from my childhood home.

-- Jimmy Loyless (, October 09, 1999.

While I can not offer much in the way of information on the history of the A&G, I do believe Bob was correct when he said the Climax GA depot was buildt by the SF&W. There were at least three other depots constructed to the same design: Iron City GA, Walthourville GA, and Green Pond SC. The latter depot (built @ 1900) was located on the SF&W's former Charleston & Savannah Rwy line. That fact and geographic distribution of the depots suggest all were built to a SF&W design.

All four buildings shared similar characteristics: a rounded bay (common to nearly all wood Plant System depots); a low pitched roof with wide overhangs; attached covered platforms; arching extentions of the siding material over the eave brackets on the depot ends; and arching of the siding material between posts on the covered platfrom creating a "scalloped" effect.

I don't know the current status of the Georgia depots mentioned above. The Green Pond depot is long gone having been cut in half with the freight section being attached to a house for a den and the office/waiting room section carted off to parts unknown to be used as an art studio.

Basic dimensions of the Green Pond depot were as follows: Pass - 30 ' X 36'; Frt - 30' X 36'; Bay - 5' X 10'. If any of the GA depots are still standing I sure would like to know the window/door arrangement on the backside of this style depot as I have yet to see any photographs of that side. Hope this helps. (No emails please - using someone else's computer)

-- Buddy Hill (, December 15, 1998.

Mr. Hensley's information is correct. I should have known that Climax is east, not west of Bainbridge and therefore the line was, indeed, built by the Atlantic & Gulf. (There is precious little west of Banibridge in the state of Georgia.) My apologies for my mis-information to all concerned.

Oh, well ...

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, May 17, 1998.

According to the 1883 Poors Manual's listing for the Savanah, Florida & Western, the first portion of the road between Savanah and Screven, 69 miles, was built in 1858 by the Savanah, Albany & Gulf RR Co. The second portion between Screven and Bainbridge, 167 miles was completed in 1867 by the Atlantic and Gulf. The two companies had consolidated in 1865 under the later title. This later construction would have included Climax, so there should have been a station there in 1867. The Dorothy Dodd History Room at the State of Florida State Library in Tallahassee has a good set of Poors Manuals that goes back to the 1860's and would be the best place to look if you live near this area.

-- Donald R. Hensley, Jr. (, May 09, 1998.

While I am not certain, I believe the line in question was not constructed by the Atlantic & Gulf, but by its later incarnation, the Savannah, Florida & Western (reorganization of the A&G in December, 1879). My annual reports of the A&G make no mention of the line, and it is not listed as part of the A&G's mileage in Poor's Manual for 1878.

It would appear that the depot in question was built after December, 1879, if this is true.

For what it's worth...

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, March 27, 1998.

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