Abandoned rail line near Griffin, Ga.

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There is an old rail line between Griffin and McDonough, Ga. that is not used anymore, but the tracks still remain. It is my understanding that NS uses the part from McDonough, to the trestle near uninc. Luella, Ga. for their "training" tracks. When was this rail line in service, and for what use? And thank you for a great web site, and I hope to soon become a member of the CGRHS! Elton.

-- Elton Rosser (repoman801@hotmail.com), July 22, 1999


I posted the original question here in '99. Since then, a lot has taken place. I am now in operations at the "Roosevelt Railroad" (The line from the MP9 trestle, south almost into Griffin.) As far as the track remaining, someone (don't get me started here) "purchased" the rail property a couple of years ago from the north side of the trestle (and built a house right in the middle of it), to about 1/4 mile north, Henry county water auth. has condemned our big trestle, and now a subdivision is being built from about MP 8, to approx 1/4 mile south, also, the grade crossing at MP 7 (hwy 155) has been paved over by the GDOT, and the signals and signs are sceduled to be removed there also. I have not heard of any actual "abandonment" proceedings with what is left north towards the ttraining ctr., though. But now there is a mile of track that is paved at one end, and cut at the other. -I seriously doubt that part will ever see usage again.

Fortunately we have saved, and are in the process of rebuilding the approx. 7 miles of track and ROW from the trestle, into Experiment near Griffin, for future scenic excursions. ...Well, I say "future", whenever someone drives by and sees us, and the kids are going nuts, we'll take them down the track on a railcar and trailer. We also have had various small trips, like the "Haunted halloween train" for a church group, and the "Santa train" for passing motorists. I'll keep y'all posted on our progress, if y'all are interested.

(404) 392-6103

-- Elton (Roosevelt RR inc@aol.com), February 22, 2004.

Alot of that segment is hard to recognize as the old line anymore.We can only hope.

-- R Gulley (jgadj@aol.com), February 18, 2004.

If there's a silver lining or ray of hope in all this, I'm told that the abandoned segment from Rover to Columbus is actually railbanked by the state of Georgia. I won't hold my breath waiting for them to put the railroad back in, though!

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), February 18, 2004.

At last look of this segment it appears that this line has been abandoned from the industries in Greenwood to the old trestle.Southern sections of track have been removed completely and it appears that the state has paved over the grade crossing at Luella and nothing has been on this section in along while, although I believe that they had been using it to store TOFC extras north of the Hampton-Locust Grove crossing at one time. But I see no future for this line as NS has been using a loco simulator at the McDonough facility for some time.and really has no reason to use the track.Although the crossing gates and signals are still on place its only a matter of time before this stretch of GM&G is history too.

-- R Gulley (jgadj@aol.com), February 17, 2004.

I've been to the abandoned trestle track i saw 3 cats and i was scared out of my pants. I don't if it was my mind or the LSD, playing tricks on my mind but, by golly I think I saw a three-legged, naked rail road worker walking the abandoned tracks. I'll never go back. But, a 5 dollar bet had me back out there a week later. This time was a different experience. When I got out of my '72 gremlin I looked down the trail and I saw three,large half cat, 1/4 fish, 1/4 human, smoking and conversing about the Bush administration.

-- Charles Demar (b-bop-the ugly dinosaur@cnn.com), July 12, 2002.

I believe the Roosevelt funeral train went to Atlanta via the Southern Ry. from Warm Springs. The ex-ACL Manchester-Birmingham line interchanged with the Southern at Warm Springs and with the A&WP at LaGrange.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), May 06, 2002.

To the above post, a possible correction:

I beleive that President Roosevelt's funeral train was taken up the A&WP, by means of the ACL line at Warm Springs. I say this because US 29 is named Roosevelt Hwy over most of its length south of Atlanta. From what my grandparents have told me, it was named that because it parallels the A&WP, the line that the funeral train travelled.

One of my uncles lives near the old "M" line, and there are telltale signs of the tracks being used on a semi-frequent basis, namely you can see where the rust is occasionally wiped off the rail by a passing train. I think the crossing he lives near is around MP 7 or 8.

-- Bart Youngblood (bart99gt@yahoo.com), May 05, 2002.

Does anyone know when the last train was on the Mcdonough-Griffin segment?...why was it abandonded?

-- Randy Reid (randymatt79@yahoo.com), April 08, 2002.

The part of the line between Griffin and the trestle is actually owned by a private individual. I'm told that he periodically keeps parts of the line clear of brush so that motorcars and speeders can be run over it. If anyone knows this gentleman, please contact me off list--I'd like to get permission to hike the line.

Andrew Durden

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), January 29, 2002.

The line is still used for training purposes; in May when I was up here we ran down to the MP 5. The training center is at the MP 3. The trestle at the MP 9 is out of service, so trains can't run south of there. The grading that you see is for some new industries. train control is maintained by an absolute block, controlled by the training center. Regards, Tom Holley

-- Tom Holley (TH498@aol.com), July 13, 2000.

I live in Griffin and drive GA 155 home every night though Luella.It looks as if NS never runs any training activity all the way to Luella these days? Anyone know for sure? Also I'd like to know when the Griffin-McDonough portion was abandonded-mid-60's? Did the southern actually compete with C of G at one time from Griffin to Atlanta,hence the McDonough extension? Thanks

-- Randy Reid (randymatt79@yahoo.com), July 12, 2000.

On the tracks behind the Norfolk Southern training center going toward Griffin, it looks like the MOW department is training also. They have graded along the tracks like they are going to lay another set of tracks by the main line. Where this line meets the Norfolk Southern main to Macon, they use it as a siding to switch trains on.

-- Wes Thompson (CofGeorgia@aol.com), August 30, 1999.

From time to time something interesting does happen on the training track. Back in the mid 1980s elderly residents of the Luella area got so irritated at hearing rookie train crews learning how to sound air horns that they staged a protest by sitting in lawn chairs on the tracks. Protestors, most of whom appeared to be in their 80s themselves, said they were tired of hearing trains all the time and having engines running up and down the track "at all hours." Their hell, of course, would have been a railfan's heaven.

-- Rob Richardson (RichDent10@aol.com), July 27, 1999.

Ron's answer is on the money, but I would add that the Norfolk Southern's training center in McDonough makes use of about 10 miles of this line to train engine and yard crews.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (RHanson669@aol.com), July 23, 1999.

The line from McDonough to Griffin is part of the former Southern Rwy line from Atlanta to Columbus. It used to continue on down through Pike, Meriwhether and Harris counties on its way to Muscogee and Columbus.

One town along the route was Warm Springs and when the President died there a Southern Rwy train carried his body back to Washington along this line. Crossings were guarded and the locomotive whistle was never blown. The Warm Springs depot was around until recently and may have been saved, although it was moved from its original location.

The line crossed the ACL near Warm Springs. It was taken out of service several years ago and removed a year or so ago.

There used to be two CG routes and one SR route into Columbus that headed more or less to Atlanta. Now there is only one NS route - the former CG Macon line.

The former CG line up to Raymond, over which the Man O'War ran, went years ago. The SR line through Warm Springs is the one you asked about.

Consequently it would now be tough to re-establish passenger service between the two largest cities in Georgia, if Gov. Barnes' vaunted new Statewide Transportation Board every chooses to push this. The route would have to be Atlanta-Macon-Columbus. Not likely to catch on.

Don't know if the state DOT bought the ROW for possible future use.

I have a friend, a retired SR employee who is a member of the church that I am am member of who used to work this line, if you are interested in anecdotes. One of the big shippers was, I think, a pet food factory somewhere along the line. If memory serves, that is.

-- Ron Wright (rcwright@bellsouth.net), July 22, 1999.

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