Could this happen: Excursion trains on the Atl.- Bir. line between Cedartown and Rockmart : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I live in Cedartown and was thinking about this after I visited the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and got a cab ride on their ex-Army 2-8-0 #610. What are the chances of someone saving this section of line, if and when CSX stops making its trips here to Cedartown to the local chemical plant, to be used as a small excursion trip back and forth from Cedartown and Rockmart. I would love for this to happen because this section of line holds sentimental value to me because my great great grandfather was an engineer on this line when it was originally the East and West Railroad of Alabama. All anyone would need is a steam or diesel engine and about 3-4 passenger cars.

-- Jamie Prater (, October 22, 2002


I road (bicycle) about 10 miles round trip on the Silver Comet trail in Cobb County last Sunday. It truly is (was) a VERY nice rail ROW - both engineering-wise and scenic-wise. As nice as the trail it, it is truly a waste of engineering. Trails can be built via other means, and Cobb is doing that elswhere in the county.

Having ridden it, I now have been re-agitated once again for the past 3 days about the whole abanonment thing. It's 2003 and it bothers me as much now as way back in 1988! I found myself on half enjoying the ride.

While the ATL-BHM partial abandonment made no sense back then (the assumptions were flawed and short sighted) it makes less sense given today's traffic needs and CSX's strategic postioning going forward. It is extremely unfortunate that Zell and or Joe Frank Harris could not see and would not support the rail structure remaining in place. To bring it back would be expensive, and I realize it may never happen.

-- Tom Randall (, November 26, 2003.

Oh, yeah. Zell killed the New Georgia Railroad with the comment, "The state has no business owning a railroad." Funny - I don't hear anyone suggesting it sell the W&A. (Thank goodness.)

Zell promptly pulled the plug and sold off the equipment just when it was poised to make money. The major expenditures had been made, the equipment purchased, rehab'ed, etc. All that remained was to operate and promote the train.

One of Zell's worst decisions and one that cost him my vote.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, October 28, 2002.

Well - I kind hope it never come to that, as I want CSX to keep the line. In any case, if it ever does happen that CSX bails, I would want the whole line from Cartersville (Stilesboro) to be saved for such a use.

I've been told by some, including a GDOT hiher up, that some parties in the State government tried to buy the Smyrna-Rockmart line from CSX with the rails in place, possibly for New Georgia railroad use as "home" rails. Man - that would have been N-I-C-E. It was asserted by one person that Zell Miller hated the NGRR and would have none of it. Whether that statment is fair or not to Zell, the naysayers, whoever they were, obviously won out. I think it was trmendously short sighted on the part of the State of Ga not to preserve the line with rail in place. Someone should have been able to see the nearsighted folly of CSX's decision back then. It's ironic that other lines of much less potential that the ATL-B'ham trunk have been saved in GA.

-- Tom Randall (, October 28, 2002.

It gets my vote, although setting up such an operation is much easier said than done. It all starts with the affected communities banding together and deciding what's feasible and finding interested parties and individuals willing to develope and finance a tourist line/museum opreation. Keeping a dedicated staff of experienced volunteers and maintaining the required insurance seem to be major factors; buying or renting cars and locos should be relatively easy I would imagine. I retraced the ex-SAL Atlanta-Birmingham line this past June (overnighting in Cedartown BTW) and realized how scenic the region is, and very popular with cyclists who make use of the Silver Comet Trail. Too bad we no longer have that train to travel on over this line. Do you know of any plans CSX has to end service on what remains? Keep us posted.

-- Bob Venditti (, October 22, 2002.

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