AV&W Ry branch to Calhoun, GA.

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About 25 miles east of Valdosta on the AV&W (now NS) was a spur of 4-5 miles north to a place called Calhoun. The spur branched off at a spot called Craig junction. Anyone have any idea as to the reason for this short section of track..when abandoned? This is near Okee. swamp country, so this may have used for removing timber in heavy logging days.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), December 27, 2001



I do not have a full answer to your question. I am quite certain that some of the other members will be able to answer it better than I. However, from what I understand, the AV&W began as a simple Tram road before it was completed as a railroad only to Haylow. It was the fierce competition to have the AV&W to complete the railine onward to Jacksonville, but I believe it stopped at Grand Crossing. I had heard once that the short line into or near Okee Swamp was a back door for the logging railroad simply to give access to the virgin forest from the south end since the north end was already connected to the SAL. However, I thought this was only near Fargo, GA. Since the AV&W was primarily a logging railroad anyway, this would had presented a grand opportunity to the AV&W and the Okee Railroad. Of course, again this is speculation. One of our members in Jax, Larry Brennan should be able to shed more light on this subject.

-- Mark S Mosely (MOSEGSF@aol.com), December 29, 2001.

I would guess that were a one-time logging road. The AV&W enjoyed an independent existence of less than four years before being bought by the Southern. I know of no branches, but that doesn't mean there weren't any. Although the AV&W had its roots in lumber tram roads around Haylow, it was a first-class railroad when it opened to Jacksonville in 1899, and, shortly after completion, moved its headquarters to there from Haylow. The line was built to a terminal on the St. Johns River on East Bay Street at Catherine, adjacent to the olf Fernandina & Jacksonville. That portion east of Grand Crossing (where the AV&W and the Cummer's Jacksonville & Southwestern crossed the SF&W in 1899) was split off by the Southern to form the StJRTCo, which is why the GS&F was shown as ending at Grand Crossing. This allowed the Southern Railway System to have a wholy-owned subsidiary in Jacksonville and thus gave it a reason to have a direct interest in the Jacksonville Terminal Company and obtain trackage-rights over the SF&W (ACL) from Savannah. This straggles a long way from the original question. I'll look through some other sources for further information, but if the line in question was not built between 1898 and 1902, it had nothing to do directly with the A

-- Larry Brennan (lpbrennan@aol.com), December 29, 2001.

After writing the above answer, I checked the AV&W section and saw the map there which shows the branch mentioned. My only excuse is I have never seen a map of the AV&W prior to that one! (Hard to find info on a railroad that existed four four years.) I notice it shows the J&SW, which was built and opened around the same time, and also has a termianl on East Bay Street, adjacent to the AV&W's- in fact, the J&SW used the old F&J depot. The AV&W sued to run its trains into the Terminal; the J&SW didn't care, and its trains did not move there until a few months after it was bought by the ACL

-- Larry Brennan (lpbrennan@aol.com), December 29, 2001.

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