Update on restoration of old Sou RR line

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I wrote in a couple of months ago about us restoring a portion of the old line between the Towaliga river in northeast Spalding county, down to Griffin (The old McDonough- Colombus line) -this is the one that president Roosevelt used to ride on. This particular part of the railroad line is owned by a friend of ours, and myself and a few other guys help to restore it in our spare time, along with the rides, etc. we do occasionaly.

Anyway, we hit somewhat a milestone yesterday with the restoration efforts, we have finally cut and repaired it passable enough to the MP 9 trestle. We still have about 15 or 20 sections of track to replace due to a previous derailment, but there hasn't been a train wheel on the trestle in years that we know of. This is quite an accomplishment, as you couldn't even walk through the trees and bushes to get to the trestle by rail before we started (on our side, anyway.) We hope to improve it enough up to, and on the trestle to ride our fairmont, etc. on it comfortably. We still have a way to go, replacing damaged track, ties, etc., but we're getting there.

We currently have a portion of the approx. 7 mile line cleared, about 3 or so miles so far, and after we repair this section enough to make it continuous with what we already have, it should add a little over a mile being cleared. Interesting note, we have 2 steam locomotives on premises at our "meeting location", -inoperative at this time.

Question, does anyone else have any experience in rebuilding old railroad lines (as a hobby? We have 4 RR crossings that were paved over, and need some tips on the best way to have them cleared, with a minimum of $$. We currently have 3 cleared crossings that we maintain.

Thank you, and if any of you have any questions, or would like to help us out, please call John Gilbert, # 770 337-1240, or myself, at 404-392-6103. This is a lot of sometimes hard work, but the reward of seeing the railroad restored is worth it to me.

-- Elton (repoman801@aol.com), May 18, 2003


In my 8 years as an NCDOT track inspector, I saw a variety of ways to reclaim or rebuild a crossing. Both methods legally require the approval of the DOT in your area. The best way, of course, is to take a back hoe, tear up the road, cut the track bolts, and re-install it with new ties and asphalt.

If you are only going to operate M19's or such for awhile, take a concrete saw and cut grooves on either side of the rail. BE CAREFUL AND WEAR GLOVES AND GOGGLES. Make shallow cuts at first, don't want to hit any railheads, bolts, etc. After you have a grove, a pick ax can be used to deepen the groove and tear out the asphalt. How your DOT will feel about this is anyone's guess. Also, you can use your Fairmont as a tool as well. Load her down, and on a hot day, going back and forth across the groove, the weight of the car can make its own flangeway.

Good luck!!

-- Matt Bumgarner (stealthnfo@aol.com), May 18, 2003.

I went by the MP 9 Trestle yesterday, and was startled to notice that not only the rail (which I had heard NS was taking up), but the grade itself had been carved up on the NS side of the trestle! It'll be cool to see the rest of the line into Griffin in use again, but sadly it appears that any chance of a run all the from Griffin back to McDonough is gone forever. Incidentally, I was quite impressed with the progress that has been made on the right of way along Trestle Road and Teamon Rd. Good to see that line being cared for and not converted to a bike trail or other such nonsense! Now if someone would just take over the old Central of Georgia Griffin to Senoia run...


-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), May 21, 2003.

* Additional update *

While you are correct on the tracks being removed to the north of the trestle, our troubles apparently aren't stopping there. It now seems the guy who purchased the property there and had the tracks ripped up now wants Henry county to condem the trestle. (It is in Spalding county. Henry co. has a resivor about a mile from there.) There is no good reason for them to do it, that we know of.

Strange, that trestle has been there for over a hundred years and has never bothered anybody, but now someone who is not even from this country, and a government of a neighboring county wants to destroy it.

...I guess you better get your pictures, etc. of it while you can. Seems that whoever they hired to take up the track has already "taken" half of the track off of our trestle without us knowing it.

....Terrible. ...Just terrible.

-- Elton (repoman801@aol.com), May 22, 2003.


That really sucks! If you guys come up with a plan to fight this, I'm a southsider myself and will help in any way I can. On a brighter note, when do ya'll plan on starting operations?

Andrew Durden

-- Andrew Durden (gapower97@yahoo.com), May 23, 2003.

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