New shortline operator of Dothan-Hilton line : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

I was reading in the latest issue of Trains Magazine that Norfolk Southern is selling its Dothan, AL-Hilton, GA portion of the CofG Dothan branch plus 3 miles of trackage rights to an entity called the Chattahoochee and Gulf Railroad. I was just curious if this new short line is a subsidiary of the Bay Line or its parent, Rail Management Corporation. Or is it controlled by another short line conglomerate or an independant operation?

-- Eric Rickert (, June 04, 2003


im not sure if these will help or not but i was railfanning and i saw a chattahochee and gulf engine hauling bayline boxcars do they switch with asab via the bay line

-- preston hayes (, September 26, 2004.

As far as getting information out to the society, this is one issue to which I plead guilty to not being on the ball.....especially since it is happening in my own backyard. The Chattahoochee and Gulf Railroad began operations of the former CofG between Dothan and Hilton in late March. I can't find my notes right now but the date of March 24 is what I remember as the day the C&G made their first run. They currently have on hand the following locomotives as power: the 2829 (a high nose GP38 sublettered Chattahoochee and Gulf), 2391 (a GP9?? sublettered Lexington and Ohio RR), and 2728 (a low nose GP38 sublettered ThreeNotch RR). On the days I have seen them operating they use the 2 GP38's while the GP9 stays behind in Dothan. The C&G is one of the Gulf and Ohio railroads and makes a total of 5 properties they now own in South Alabama. One of the others is a portion of the old CofG from Troy to Goshen AL. They also operate the former ACL between Waterford and Enterprise AL, the former L&N from Andalusia to Georgiana, and the former CofG trackage going west out of Dothan that operates under the Hartford and Slocomb name even though the line has been abandoned west of Dothan. The C&G operates 5 days a week Monday thru Friday and operates with a 2 man crew that goes on duty in Dothan around 9AM and goes to Hilton and returns to Dothan. They meet the NS local from Albany at Hilton and the 2 roads basically swap trains. NS also interchanges to the CIRR at Hilton and with all 3 roads showing up at one small junction it takes a bit of coordination to make things happen. NS had let the line from Hilton to Dothan fall into severe disrepair and the C&G is working hard to correct this. They are curently installing 26,000 new crossties on the line. They started in Dothan and are working east and are currently working near Webb.

As information, the name Chattahoochee and Gulf has some historical significance. This was the name of the original line that was built from Dothan that eventually made it as far as Lockhart AL. Upon completion of the line it was leased to the CofG and operated all the way to Lockhart until around 1942 when the section from Hartford to Lockhart was abandoned. Interestingly the line had 2 spurs from Florala southward to Paxton and Lakewood Florida. This was the only time the CofG actually operated trackage in the state of Florida. While todays C&G doesn't operate any of the line built as the C&G back in the late 1800's/early 1900's it comes close.

As for todays C&G, you'll note that the article in the latest TRAINS magazine shows the line being leased from the MP J382.0 in Dothan to the MP J357.8 which is located at the Chattahoochee River with trackage rights from the MP J357.8 eastward to Hilton which is located at the MP J356. I heard the reasoning for this involves the proposed coal fired electric generating plant that is slated to be built just south of Hilton on the CIRR. I understand that NS did not include in the lease the last 2 miles to Hilton as a means of denying CSX a back door entry to this coal plant. Although CSX does make a connection with the CIRR at Saffold, coal trains coming off the CSX at Saffold would have to go through the paper mill at Cedar Springs which would be somewhat inconvenient and time consuming. The site for the coal plant is only a couple of miles from Hilton.

I'll try to be a bit more diligent in reporting happenings in my area and if I hear of any developments with the C&G, I'll let ya'll know.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (, June 04, 2003.

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