Old Southern Atlanta to Ft. Valley line.

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My question is this, were did the old Southern Atlanta to FT. Valley line cross the Central of Georgia Macon to Atlanta line? The SRHA guide to Atlanta states that it crossed at Haasville which is indeed a station according to my old 1910 Official Guide. There is no CofG station listed by this name that I can find. Old maps from the Library of Congress web page show the crossing at Hapeville and that Haasville was the next station or so South. I understand that the depot still stands at Inman which is bellow Fayetteville, GA. Are there any signs of old road bed or old trestles and can the old road bed be spotted at the SOU/CofG grade crossing?

Many Thanks, Warren

-- Warren D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), February 15, 2000


A 1950's era street map of Atlanta shows the crossing as being called Maxwelton, at a point where I-75 would have crossed the Old Dixie Highway, southeast of Hapeton. An April 1935 OPEN & PRE-PAY STATION DIRECTORY lists Haasville as SR, mp.9.0 from Atlanta, and Hapeville as CofGa, mp.8.5 from Atlanta, and neither railroad served both localities. A check through OFFICIAL GUIDES and both companies public timetables indicates that neither RR served the other RR's site. The GUIDE would have said "Union Station" or "stations 20 yards apart", or the like. To confirm any of this would require a pre-1960's Rand McNally Georgia GAZETTEER, probably available at the Georgia State Library.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), February 15, 2000.

Great question. I am from the Northside of Atlatna (Marietta) and am just becoming aware of the existance of this line down through Fayetteville. If you go to the Libary of Congress link at this sight:


and zoom in, it shows the crossing as Hapeville. I work at the ATL airport and have never noticed anything in the area that would give a clue to where this line may have gone. Perhaps the history museum in the old c of g depot in Hapeville might have some info. I will try to find out. I would also love to know what path the line took starting from Atlanta.

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), February 18, 2000.

If the following will help you all any, here's a list of the SR stations going south from Atlanta towards Fort Valley from the SR Nov.1917 public timetable: .0 Atlanta, 3.4 Roseland, 4.4 Sawtell, 5.9 Cornell, 7.6 Humphries School Crossing, 9.0 Haasville, 11.6 Thames, 14.9 Riverdale, 16.6 Selma, 17.4 Hillyer, 18.5 Helmer, 19.6 Kenwood, 24.3 Fayetteville, etc. Comparing the 1950 Atlanta street map with the 1998 DeLorme GEORGIA Atlas & Gazetteer, pg.26, in square C3, the SR crossing of the CofGa would have been at exit 82 of I-75. Old Dixie Highway. I reckon this to be about 3/4 mile southeast of the CofGa station at Hapeville. If you are an Atlanta local, you may know where some of these old stations where. The Atlanta-Fort Valley line was built by the ATLANTA & FLORIDA R.R. and opened November 10, 1888. The A&F was acquired by the SR in June 1895. The segment of line between Atlanta and Williamson, where the line crossed the SR McDonough-Columbus branch was abandoned between 1938 and 1942. Anybody have a more exact abandonment date?

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), February 18, 2000.

Going back and looking at the maps again, it would appear that sometime between abandonment of the SR line between Atlanta and Williamson and the 1950's, the state of Georgia or City of Atlanta built a divided highway on the old right-of-way, at least from University Ave. and Prior St., south beyond Old Dixie Highway in the direction of the old Atlanta Municipal Airport. This has subsequently become I-75. Anyone care to comment further?

-- Tom Underwood (tunder@attglobal.net), February 21, 2000.

where in Atlanta did the Ft Valley line diverge from the Macon main? Can one still discern that location?

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), February 24, 2000.

A 1935 copy of OPEN & PRE-PAY STATION book lists the junction of the Southern Railway's Fort Valley branch from the Macon line as Roseland, Ga. Using a current streetmap of Atlanta, the site would be just southeast of the intersection of Pryor St. and Ridge Ave. This would be about four or five blocks northwest of the Macon line crossing of the A&WP Belt Line. The Fort Valley branch would have crossed the A&WP Belt just north of Manford Road at I-75. Continuing on, I-75 is on the abandoned right-of-way until about the intersection of I-75 and I-275. At this point the r-o-w leaves I-75, going a little more to the west towards Riverdale, Ga.

-- Tom Underwood (ttunder@attglobal.net), February 25, 2000.

Thanks. I find it interesting that the right of way may have followed what is now the I-75 stretch, because that stretch of I-75 is a bit hilly. Perhaps it went a bit east of there?

Does anyone know it the Ft Valley line ever connected to the Lakewood Fairgrounds, and if so, on what side (N, S, E, or W)?

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), February 25, 2000.

The former Atlanta & Florida Railway (Sou to Ft. Valley) diverged from the Macon main right at the former General Motors Lakewood plant. Several years ago, the Florida East Coast Railway (my employer at the time) studied using the former auto facility there as an intermodal terminal for a proposed Atlanta-Miami service using NS trackage rights. The lead into the facility, I was told, was the former main line to Ft. Valley.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (RHanson669@aol.com), May 03, 2000.

As a switchman and conductor who started his career on the old Southern in Atlanta, Ga in 1977, maybe I can help. The old Fort Valley Main line actually diverged at what is now the South Yard in Atlanta. The yard leads springing south from what is now South yard are called respectively, A&F #1 and A&F #2. These lines merge into single track at a place called Henderson, which is at the main road crossing at Capitol Avenue and McDonough Boulevard in Atlanta. The former A&F parallels the Macon mainline closely until it comes to Roseland, where it veers off toward the southwest. It used to be used as the lead going into the Sawtell Automobile Ramps, as well as the loading ramps for the Old Chevrolet Plant in Atlanta. When the Chevy plant closed in 1990, and the loss of the GM auto business to CSX, this line fell into disuse and is now out of service south of Henderson. The tracks are still in place as far south as the old Sawtell Avenue facility. My current assignment works in this location each day.

-- Tony Skeen (cnductr1@aol.com), February 24, 2001.

I went out looking at lunch today and quickly found a short segment of the old A&F right of way!

My clue was the "Humphries School Crossing" which was mentioned in an earlier response as a F&A station. Looking at DeLorme street Atlas, I was able to find Humphries Dr and School Dr on the map northeast of Hapeville. The easiest way to get there would from I-285, go north on Jonesborod rd for about a mile. School drive is on the left. I first noticed what subtly looked liked a possible area of signature rr grade crossing School drive right after turning off of Jonesboro rd. This is very faint (trees growon up) and not definitive. If you proceed to the end of School dr, and turn left (south) on Humphries dr, you will come after about 0.1 mile to a curve with a church on the right. Across the street from the church is a small gravel pull- off area. On the other side of the pull-off area is a definite railraod grade through a shallow cut. It does not go far south of there as the next lot over has a house and the general area to the south has had houses for decades it appears. Further south is industrial area, so it is hard to say where the alignment may have been - was surely wiped out years ago, and we cannot visually pinpoint where it crossed the CofG without a CofGa milepost reference it seems.

Anyway - I though it an interesteing find, and also proves that the grade could not have gone down I-75 after veering off of the Southern main; it took a path further to the east, but apparantly it kept to the west of Jonesboro Rd. (after obviously having crossed it somewhere south of Roseland)

Tom Randall

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), March 20, 2001.

Tom, it does sound as if you've found a remaining trace of the old Ft Valley line. Digging down a foot or so at the spot with a shovel would probably yield bits of ballast or cinders...that would be the clincher. I've suspected that the route passed just east of the old Carling Plant, (Mabel, Black Label.....)and the CG diamond (surely the crossing was at grade)would have been in that vicinity. There are probably reminants of cuts & fills in woods further south in Clayton & Fayette Counties. I now live too far away from my old S'side Atlanta haunts to do any snooping myself. Greg Hodges, Richmond.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), March 20, 2001.

One other note. Back in Feb 2000 on this string, I asked the question if the Ft Valley line ever connected to Lakewood Fairgrounds. Well, I still don't have an answer but suspect it might not have connected to the fairgrounds because it seems the A&WP had a fairground spur of its own from 1920-1940. This spur went off their line near where it went under the Southern at Henderson's crossing, and headed toward the fairgrounds down Pryor street.

Go to csxatltanta.com. under the News category, and read about THE CIRCUS CIRCLES THE CITY. It's a great story from 1947 and how the trains was handed off to the Southern at Hulsey/Decatur street yards before proceeding further around town. It has a map that depicts the A&WP spur.

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), June 12, 2001.

Interestingly, I was in Zebulon the other day at the tax assessors office obtaining a county map, and while I was waiting, I looked through an aireal photo map of Pike county they have laying out for public inspection. They clearly point out in it the entire SRR line that is now abandoned and mostly removed, from Williamson, through Zebulon, to the county line near peidmont. The rail can still be seen in parts of Meansville, especially where it crossed the tracks. The Depot still stands in Zebulon. Also shown in the map is the McD- Colombus line in Pike, showing Williamson, Concord and Molena. I also noticed the locomotive watering towers are still standing, but in poor shape, on Reidsboro rd. just south of Williamson on the old line. I am "only" 28, but I remember trains going through Concord and Williamson. My dad is retired from the DOT, and helped design the former protected crossing in Williamson. Furthermore, Williamson is not quick to forget their former railroad heritage, with a renovated Sou. caboose, old RR signs, etc. on the old mainline through there. Elton.

-- Elton (RepoMan801@hotmail.com), November 03, 2001.

I went through Fayetteville today, and the old Depot is still standing, along with a sign that says "Fayetteville depot" next to the road.

-- Elton (RepoMan801@hotmail.com), January 05, 2002.

The Fayetteville depot still exists. It has been moved and then renovated and was, for a time, used as the meeting hall for the Fayetteville city council. It was formerly located in the middle of South Jeff Davis DR (formerly Railroad St) but is now located on Lanier Ave (Hwy 54) 2 blocks east of the old courthouse. It sits off the road behind a brick house (formerly city hall). Parts of the old roadbed can still be seen south of Fayetteville on Ga Hwy 92 south. Look to your left as you pass Goza Rd (blinking red light) and you will see several hundred feet of raised bed. There are several other areas where it can be seen along the highway with the next longest section just past a church on the left down below the community of Woolsey. There was a long section further south than the church but a new brick house was built (on the left) and the raised roadbed was all but wiped out. It made a wide left turn here away from the road and can't be seen past this area. I belive the foundation for the bridge (stone supports) are still there on the southeast side of Flint River (the Fayette/Spalding county line). Good hunting.

-- Ken Brown (kbrown328@cs.com), April 14, 2002.

Where did it cross the "C" line at??

-- E. Rosser (mgr801@hotmail.com), June 10, 2002.

Just happened across this discussion. The only thing I can offer regarding the one section of track is that my great-grandfather Reid's property allowed the railroad a right-of-way thru what is termed "Reidsboro" (between Concern and Williamson)as long as there was a "stop" provided in front of his property. My uncle obtained the old "Reidsboro" RR sign a few years ago when the last vestages of the railroad stop was torn down. - Ted Porter; Acworth, GA

-- Ted Porter (RRTSki@aol.com), June 25, 2002.

Would you be referring to Concord and Williamson? And you stated your uncle obtained the sign "a few years ago when the last of the rr stop was torn down", I am 28 years old, and I can't remember seeing anything pertaining to this RR line in existance except empy space here and there where the roadbed was. Is there anything still left anywhere in the Zetella, Williamson, etc. area from this line I could be missing?

-- E. Rosser (mgr801@hotmail.com), June 27, 2002.

The Fort Valley line crossed the C-Line at Vaughn Junction, about halfway between Griffin and Senoia, according to Steam Powered Video's Southeastern Rail Atlas.

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), July 01, 2002.

Part of the old Fort Valley line ran along Browns Mills Road at Browns Mill Golf Course. My grandfather remembers that line very well. The book written by Atlanta Historian Franklin Garrett called Envirsions has a well documented portion in his book that covers where this old RR Line ran. Part of this old RR Line runs just east off the roadway on Highway 85 South at Garden Wak Blvd. It was there 5 years ago. This line ran straight to Fayetteville.

-- Mark Pollard (mark.pollard@delta-air.com), March 12, 2003.

Around what time did NS quit running between Griffin and Ft. Valley and when did they take up the track south of Rover? I know that the line was still active in the 70's, since several Georgia Peach Specials used the route to get to Ft. Valley. Also, can anyone tell me where I can find a map of the Ft. Valley line that includes highways? Yahoo! Maps strangely still shows the long gone Williamson-Columbus line as far south as Woodbury, but shows none of the Ft. Valley line, not even the part the Ogeechee still runs on. Thanks.

Andrew Durden

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), September 22, 2003.

For info. purposes, the old "M" line from McDonough to colombus is pretty scattered now. Currently, it goes from McDonough, crosses 155 (now paved over) and ends a couple hundred yards off to the west. Then, it picks back up just past the MP9 trestle, where the "Roosevelt railroad" owns, which I am on the board of directors. We have the trackage from there, all the way into Griffin, to where the Southern line paralelled the C of G. Then, past where the "diamond" crossover used to be, NS still runs local trains on this line all the way through Griffin, down a few miles, past hwy. 362, about a thousand yards, and ends again.

-- Elton (repoman801@aol.com), September 26, 2003.

Try Georgia Atlas and Gazetteer, on sale at most metro bookstores.

-- Tony Skeen (keen2734@comcast.net), April 11, 2004.

Something else to add...my supervisor at work told me that his father was very familiar with the Atlanta to Williamson segment of the A&F, at least the areas closest to town. Apparently, the line crossed over Jonesboro Road south of Cleveland Ave. on a large wooden trestle, and further south went through what is now the Hamilton Rd. (I think) Marta facility near Brown's Mill Rd. in Hapeville. I believe that some of the industrial tracks in the area are actually remnants of the A&F, but haven't explored further. Incidentally, Mapquest.com still shows the Williamson to Ft. Valley right of way, and I have followed the accessible areas extensively using the Mapquest maps as a reference. God bless the Internet. Now if I can find a pre-1938 map showing the Atlanta to Williamson segment that also shows roads!

-- Andrew Durden (steam@srmduluth.org), December 01, 2004.

Andrew - please let us know here if you find anything usefull. The area is so developed now it is hard to find any remnants, but I did suspect the industrial area that Marta is in might actually have some remnants.

-- Tom Randall (tom.randall@delta.com), January 27, 2005.


Not so much luck yet with the Atlanta to Williamson segment. There are several places that could be better investigated, but it would involve leaving the safety of my car! As for Williamson to Ft. Valley, I took advantage of the King holiday to make a second trip down. I was able to see alot more than my first trip, since this time there were no leaves on the trees. I found evidence of trestles near Meansville and Piedmont, and explored the area between Roberta and the sand pits more closely. Many of the grades were much more evident with less foilage.

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), January 31, 2005.

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