Savannah GA Passenger Station : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Is the passenger station currently used by Amtrak in Savannah GA the old Seaboard Air Line passenger station? If so is there a history to this station? I just recently moved to the area and found the station by winding my way around the back roads of Savannah. It seems odd to have a station obviously build in the 60's (at a time when passenger service was in great decline) of such fine quality (for 60's style) built so far from the center of the city. I assumed there had to be an interesting story. I would love to hear from anyone who might know some of this station's history or may know someone who does know.

Thank you

Mark Bowdidge

-- Mark Bowdidge (, August 01, 2001


Actually, I believe the 1962 Savannah station was built by a Savannah City Authority and was leased to the railroads. I remeber the back up moves entering the old station vividly-great for railfans-enfuriating for "normal" passengers.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, August 03, 2001.

yea, thats about the time that the St. Pete, lakeland, Gainesville and wildwood passenger stations were built...

-- troy nolen (, August 02, 2001.

Right on, Tom. The Society's new Orange Blossom Special book has photos of the old downtown Savannah station, plus a map and other details on the complicated trackwork ACL and SAL used to reach it. The OBS book also has an interesting tidbit about the SAL "West Savannah" station that existed until the 1950s near the location of the present Amtrak station - it was used by the O. B. Special so the train could save the time required to back into the downtown station. Another interesting factoid is that when the new station was built in 1962, the sign across the top said "Seaboard-Coast Line" station. When the merger occurred in 1967, the hyphen was simply removed, and voila, SCL. Regarding the relatively late build date, my ACL passenger service book notes that ACL built several new stations around the same time to similar plans - both ACL and SAL still had heavy passenger business in the 1960s, especially on their east coast main lines.

-- Larry Goolsby (, August 02, 2001.

Mark, The current (Amtrak) station in Savannah was built around 1962. It was jointly owned and operated by the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line. Passenger trains were still quite plentiful through Savannah in the early 1960's; however, the primary reason for the new station was the coming of Interstate 16. The old Savannah Union Station was located on West Broad Street (now MLK Blvd, I believe), and the tracks departed toward the southwest until reaching a wye near Laurel Grove Cemetery where the tracks split south and north to reach the respective mainlines of ACL and SAL. I-16 now follows the old roadbeds for the last mile or so into Savannah. For this reason, as well as eliminating the time-consuming backup maneuvers, the old Union Station was vacated in late '62 or '63. It was a real tragedy that this magnificent structure was thoughtlessly razed for a freeway ramp!

-- Tom Alderman (, August 02, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ