Birmingham Line : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

It's good to hear that NS has reactivated the Birmingham line. I never understood the foot-dragging on NS's part to do this since Birmingham-Macon traffic had to be routed over the congested Atlanta-Macon route as part of the reroute. NS was about at capacity on the Atlanta-Macon route before adding the Birmingham trains so it only made sense to alleviate some of the pressure and get the line thru Columbus back in operation. I have a couple of operational follow up questions in regards to the Birmingham line opening back up. When the Atlanta-Macon line (former Southern thru Mc Donough) became congested, NS had began operating some Atlanta-Macon thru trains via the old CG (thru Griffin). Will this practice end with perhaps less trains on the former Southern line now??? Also, NS used to operate thru trains via Birmingham-Columbus-Albany-Jacksonville. These came off and were rerouted thru Atlanta also. NS has since leased the line from Columbus-Albany-Sparks (the junction with the Southern mainline that runs from Macon-Jacksonville) to a couple of differant short lines. One short line operates the Columbus-Americus portion with trackage rights from Americus-Albany (The GSWR I think) and another operates Albany-Sparks (The AGLF I think). They are owned by separate corporations with the GSWR being one of Railtex's lines. Anyone know if we might see NS thru trains from Birmingham-Jacksonville operating over these routes??? I think I understood that NS's agreements with these short lines allowed for thru trains if needed. Any thoughts???

Thanks Ron and Allen for a great web page and great newsletter also. I look forward to the newsletter and I make the CG website one of my first stops while surfing the web. I Appreciate all your fine work.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, June 24, 1998


The Coosa River trestle is now complete and the 10 mph slow order across the bridge that's been in place forever is now lifted and trains now roll across at the posted speed, 50 mph I think. Visit my web site, Dale's Alabama Rail Pic's for several shots of the bridge on the NS page as well as many other shots along this line. The URL is:

-- Dale E. Burns (, November 29, 2001.

I was in Childersburg, AL this past weekend and was able to observe the Coosa River bridge. It looks like N.S. has invested in a new bridge for the Birmingham to Columbus mainline. Work equipment was present with two cranes. Two new spans were in position with another one ready to push in place. Hopefully this is a sign that N.S. will run more through traffic over the old Central of Georgia.

-- Justin Dzan; Louisville, KY (, July 02, 2001.

As info, in the current (August 1998) issue of TRAINS magazine, Don Phillip's column on page 12 contains a referance to the re-opening of the Birmingham-Columbus route.

-- Bryan Smith (, July 02, 1998.

Just a little more info I learned today (6/27/98) concerning reactivating the Birmingham-Columbus line; I was told that movement over this line was not regular at this time and it was being used as an overflow route (ala former CofG Atlanta-Macon line) for right now. However, NS has hired 6 new trainmen for the Southwest side (Columbus to Macon and Albany) that are in training right now. With few retirements expected in the near future, NS must be planning on needing more train crew personnel in these areas. The folks I talked with said there wasn't any plans on resuming Birmingham-Jacksonville service over this route right now but that it had "been talked about". My feeling is with several segments of the Columbus-Jacksonville route now being leased out to various short lines, we shouldn't expect to see NS thru trains over this route anytime soon. But then again, who knows??? I wonder is NS is activating some of these "overflow" routes in anticipation of additional business due to the Conrail merger/break-up??? Just some thoughts....................

Happy railfanning all..................Bryan.....

-- Bryan Smith (, June 27, 1998.

No answers, just a couple more comments in the same vein. First, a hearty Amen to the great web site and all of Ron's and Allen's excellent work. Second, has anyone else remembered that it has been almost exactly 30 years since the Bham-Albany-Jax through route was established with great fanfare, including a special run of 2-8-0 630. The route was made possible by upgrading the Georgia Northern from Albany to Moultrie, and the (old) Georgia & Florida from Moultrie to Sparks, and the new bypass around Moultrie directly connecting the two. For a while it put two formerly sleepy shortlines (by then part of the SR family of course) into the big time. I seriously doubt we'll see any similar hoopla this time around if through trains again take this part of the route.

-- Larry Goolsby (, June 24, 1998.

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