Montgomery to Waycross line : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

How much is the ex-ACL Montgomery to Waycross line used today? Most Florida traffic from Birmingham and Atlanta to Waycross seems to be over the former AB&C.

-- Richard Lasater (, September 17, 2001


Along with the 2 scheduled through freights per day that run from Montgomery to Waycross (crew change at Thomasville), there are several local jobs that also run on the Waycross-Thomasville line:1 local turn out of Rice Yard (Waycross) to Valdosta and return, a road switcher based in Valdosta covered by Waycross crew supply point, a road swicher based in Thomasville, and 1 local turn from Thomasville to Perry, Fl via the NS connection at Quitman running on trackage rights. There are also several extra runs perweek, the Cincinnati Juice train, when the atlanta line gets crowded.

The 2 raod switchers mentioned work local industries aroung their respective towns as well as the local interchanges: Valdosta with NS and Valdosta Southern at Clyattville. The THomasville job works the interchange with the Georgia Southwestern (the Albany- THomasville branch) and a nearby industrial park on the old Moultrie Branch (ex AB&C) I was able to acquire a switchlock in Moultrie stamped AB&C.

In the late 70's when I worked out of Waycross, there were 11 pool crew assignments covering all thru freights between Waycross and Thomasville/High Springs, Homerville Switcher, Valdosta Switcher, Thomasville local, High Springs local, Thomasville-Pery turn, THomasville-Camilla, Albany-Camilla, Thomasville-Moultrie turns. WHEW!!

Sad to see what's left of the territory. BTW, the main line used to be controlled by timetable/train orders, that was real railroading. Now its run by DTC (direct traffic control) by the dispatchers in Jax.

-- walt rogers (, November 02, 2001.

As a bit of update of my information of just a few days ago; I talked with someone that is knowledgeable about the Bayline operations and was told that the unit aggregate train I mentioned that operates Montgomery-Dothan via the former ACL thence over the Bayline to Panama City is operating twice a week. CSX power still goes through to Panama City. I was also told that this train originates in the Calara AL area.

A while back I heard that the facility in Panama City would also be receiving rock from a NS served quarry near Junction City GA. I haven't heard any further about this and am not sure if it would mean the end of the CSX move or a reduction in the frequency.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, September 30, 2001.

It's down.....but not out. I can't say east of Thomasville, but from Thomasville to Montgomery the line sees 2 through freights a day in each direction and daily locals in each direction. The Wiregrass Central, which operates the former Elba line, receives a grain train once a week and on rare occasions will get 2 in a week although the norm is 1. The Abbeville/Grimes railroad operates the former Abbeville line and uses trackage rights on CSX between Dothan and Grimes. They are owned by the same company that owns the Bayline, which runs from Dothan to Panama City FL, and there operation is highly centered around the chip mill in Abbeville which in turn is dependant upon the paper mill in Panama City, the destination for the wood chips they produce. When the paper mill is running, the AG will operate daily except weekends. If the paper mill is down, operations on the AG usually drops to 2 or 3 times a week depending on what few other customers are on the line. Wiregrass Central operations are similar, daily except weekends. Unit aggregate trains also operate between Montgomery and Dothan with rock for a Conrad Yelvington facility in Panama City. I haven't seen this one lately but a few months ago I understand it was operating once a week. The interesting thing about this movement is the CSX engines go though on the Bayline to Panama City. I was in Panama City last year and saw a set of locomotives that had brought one of these trains over the Bayline. One of them was an ex-Southern Pacific tunnel motor in UP paint. Yep, an SP tunnel motor in Panama City FL.

Other than that, through freight extras between Montgomery and Thomasville can be expected 2 or 3 times a week.

There are agencies at Dothan, Saffold GA (to handle the business with the CIRR, another paper mill road), and Bainbridge GA.

I had hopes that with the Conrail merger we would see an increase in business over the ABC which would lead to more "overflows" over the Dothan District. So far that hasn't been the case.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, September 20, 2001.

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