Atlantic and Gulf Railway question : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I recently acquired an Appletons railroad guide for the year 1867, a wonderful historical piece with much information. The section concerning the Atlantic and Gulf Railway shows the line completed from Savannah to Thomasville, now part of present day CSX. West of Thomasville the line shows the projected route to go through Bainbridge and then, rather than take a northwestern turn toward Dothan/Montgomery, the projected route takes the line due west to pass through Geneva and Nathansville AL to tie in with the Alabama and Florida Railway operating between Montgomery and Mobile. The junction was shown at Pollard AL. Obviously the route through Geneva never materialized. Has anyone ever researched this to find out why this route never became reality??? I know the Alabama Midland built between Montgomery and Bainbridge a little later on. Did the A&G run out of money and have to be content to become part of the Plant System as the Alabama Midland did???

Thanks for any replies and any corrections to my information.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, May 26, 2002


The Atlantic & Gulf RR was completed into Thomasville in early 1861, and for several years thereafter was unable to undertake additional construction due to its attention being diverted elsewhere. (In other words, it was trying to deal with the War Between the States.)

The end of the war found the company with 35.5 miles of its tracks and many of its buildings destroyed and absolutely no funds to repair or replace them. It floated a bond issue which gave it operating funds and a bit to spare.

The company did manage to construct 36 miles of road into Bainbridge in 1867, largely using some of the funds generated by the bond issue, but beyond that, nothing more was built.

While surveys were made for the extension of the road, financial problems, exacerbated by the Panic of 1873, prevented any action to be taken, and the company entered receivership in March of 1877, was purchased by Henry B. Plant in 1879 and reorganized as the Savannah, Florida & Western Railway in November of that year.

As the SF&W, it was not only part of the Plant System, it was the centerpiece of the system, and was the entity into which most other Plant System companies were merged in 1901.

Not certain this answers your question, but hope this helps.

-- Robert H. Hanson (, May 27, 2002.

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