Georgia Northern RR, disposition of. : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

The Georgia Northern once ran from Albany, Ga. south about 70 miles (thru Moultrie)to Boston, Ga, where it interchanged with the ACL. Anyone know when it was built and when it was abandoned? I always thought "Ga. Northern" was a strange name for a RR in deep SOUTH may have had designs of reaching further north than it eventually did.

-- Greg Hodges (, February 17, 1999


Greg, there is an excellent source of information on the early history of the Georgia Northern:Lucius Beebe's "Mixed Trains Daily" goes into detail about all the Pidcock Lines (Georgia Northern/Georgia Ashburn Sylvester&Camilla/Albany&Northern). These lines were operated by the Pidcock family of Moultrie for most of their history (I believe there's still a Pidcock Tobacco or Pecans down there even now). There's also a section in the book "Southern Railway:Route of the Innovators" that deals with the Southern's cooperation with the Pidcocks in the 50s to gain access to markets in SW Ga. and the Albany area (SR got no closer to SW GA than Cordele at the time). SR supplied economic help, a friendly connection, and even some O-L-D FT diesels to the lines. As far as later-day operations of the GA.Northern:Bill Brosnan did an extensive upgrade of the Ga.Northern from Albany to Moultrie and the Ga.&Fla. from Moultrie to Sparks in '66, seeking an Atlanta-Bypass route for Fla.-bound trains via B'ham. SR-successor NS kept this line until a few years ago when it leased it to the "new" Georgia&Florida Railroad (now Ga.&Fla. Railnet), which runs from Albany-Valdosta over it. At the time of the G&F lease, only Albany/Moultrie/Valdosta and Bridgeboro-Camilla were in place. I was friends with the Albany carman at the time, who told me that the Bridgeboro-Camilla line was a real d-o-g:slow orders and everything. Since the same outfit that leased the Ga.Northern also leased a better-track Albany/Camilla/Thomasville main, there was no need to keep that track and it came up about 3 or 4 years ago.You're also right about the great expectations-seems like every would-be railroad builder in the 1800s South had to expect to "reach" someplace big to get construction financing.... Bud Leggett

-- Bud(David L.)Leggett (, June 21, 2001.

If memory serves me well, there is an article of that very line as well as several others in TRains: "when it's shortline time down south". Maybe around the 70's. Very interesting story. It involved the inter workings of Tne Ga. Northern, Albany & Northern, and the Georgia, Ashburn, Sylvester, & Camilla RR's. They ran in an area between Albany, Ga and Thomasville, Ga. The ex-ACL Pelham Branch crossed the GN at Pelham and the GAS&C at Camilla, where SCL shared joint switching at the Peanut Mill located there. The diamond was right thru the middle of the plant. Very interesting switching there. BTDT.

-- walt rogers (, June 20, 2001.

The Georgia Northern Railway was granted a charter by the State of Georgia on November 23, 1894, and purchased the Boston & Albany Railroad of Georgia in 1895. It abandoned trackage from Pidcock, GA to one mile south of Oakdale, GA and constructed new trackage into Boston, GA, in 1905. The line was owned by the Pidcock family until it was sold to Southern Railway in 1966. It was operated as part of the Southern Railway System and later Norfolk Southern for many years and may have been sold or leased, fairly recently, to a regional/shortline operator. I'm not certain of this.

Hope this helps.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, February 20, 1999.

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