Brunswick, Ga. to Albany, Ga. : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Can anyone help me with the history of the rail line that runs from Brunswick to Albany, Georgia. Thanks

-- Richard H Kearns (, September 09, 2001


The line, although the track has been taken up, is still very visible from Sylvester as far as Willacoochee. Just west of Willacoochee is a small block building that is commonplace along many SCL lines that housed defect detector equipment. It is rather odd to see it and realize the line held enough prominence at one time to warrant defect detectors but yet eventually succumbed to falling business. The line handled passenger trains right up to the creation of Amtrak yet couldn't hold on.

The depot at Willacoochee still stands and has been restored and a passenger car and caboose have been added for realistic purposes. I have been through there several times on weekends but never during the week so I don't know if the passenger car is used for anything or is just for show.

Willacoochee is one of those towns which not very many years ago had 2 lines through town so that rails went out in all directions. In addition to the former ACL line, the Georgia and Florida Railroad's line from Madison FL/Valdosta GA to Greenwood SC passed through town. The G&F ended up in the Southern camp and has also been abandoned.

The only rail activity now are the 2 cars that are "stuffed and mounted" at the former ACL depot.

Just a few ramblings........

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, April 16, 2002.

The former Atlantic Coast Line main between Waycross and Albany, GA was abandoned by the former Seaboard System in the mid-1980s-possibly around 1985 or thereabouts. There were two segments left in place to handle local traffic: Waycross to Pearson and Albany to Sylvester. I believe CSX still owns the Waycross to Pearson segment, but the Albany to Sylvester line was leased to a shortline operator around 1990 or '91. It was originally known as the Atlantic and Gulf, but is now operated as Georgia & Florida Railnet.

-- Bud Leggett (, September 14, 2001.

But wait! There's more. (previous answer got submitted before I was through, not certain how.)

The rails of the B&A were removed in 1863 by order of the Confederate government for use on more strategic lines. The company was revived in 1868 with the notorious carpetbagger Hannibal I. Kimball as president and was rebuilt with state aid and extended to Albany in 1871. A proposed extension to Eufala, AL, did not materialize.

The Company defaulted on interest payments in 1872 and was sold under foreclosure on October 15, 1873, and reorganized, albeit unsuccessfully. The road was reorganized under the ownership of German investors as the Brunswick & Western Railroad on December 19, 1882.

The Germans sold the road to Henry B. Plant in 1884, but Mr. Plant refused to close the deal due to certain irregularities. The sale to Mr. Plant was finally closed in 1887. The Brunswick & Western RR was merged into the Savannah, Florida & Western Railway, another Plant System road, in 1901 and the whole ball of wax went into the Atlantic Coast Line in 1902. The ACL went into the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in 1967 and the SCL went into the Seaboard System in 1983. As mentioned earlier, most of the tracks came up in the mid to late 1980's.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, September 09, 2001.

To begin with, the line no longer runs from Brunswick to Albany. It was removed from just west of Waycross to a few miles east of Albany in the 1980's.

The line was chartered in 1835 as the Brunswick & Florida Railroad. Construction began in 1855 and was completed to Waresboro, GA, in 1861. The road was seized on behalf of the State of Georgia on October 7, 1861, by Georgia Governor Joseph Brown at the request of minority shareholders due to the road's being controlled by northern investors who refused to operate it during hostilities. The name was changed to the Brunswick & Albany Railroad on December 16, 1861.

-- Robert H. Hanson (, September 09, 2001.

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