Status of ex-ACL Waycross/Pearson, GA line. : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I've recently read that the approx. 28 mi. ex ACL line from Waycross westward to Pearson may be a canidate for abandonment by CSX. This is (except for about 20 mi from Albany to Sylvester?) about all that is left of the old ACL Albany - Waycross route. Anyone have any details about this possibility? What on-line customers (if any) still exist on this line? Many thanks.

-- greg hodges (, October 14, 2004


I never like to see lines abandoned, but I dont see this being a very good investment... the only customer is the aforementioned grain elevator (and a very small one at that) in pearson. That is a long bit of ROW to maintain just for a few carloads from a seasonal customer

its obviously win-win for csx however as they will get all the interchange and ditch tax and MOW responsibilities

-- troy nolen (, October 19, 2004.


Yes, CSX has put the section of the line between Waycross and Pearson, GA up for abandonment, and the St. Marys RR has put in a request for purchase. It is my understanding that the purchase will not include the six-mile section of CSX (former ACL)track that extends from the Atlanta / Birmingham line connection junction on the northwest side of Waycross (Lang, GA) to a large industrial park that has 5 - 6 active customers, including a rail tank car construction/repair/rehabilitation facility. So, I believe that the only "current" customer on the section of the line to be purchased is the mill at Pearson, and I don't believe that the mill is a currently active customer! Bad news!!!

The only currently active portions of the former ACL line between Waycross and Albany, GA include:

- Waycross to Pearson (east end), presently operated by CSX (soon to be St. Marys Western); - Albany to Sylvester (west end), presently operated by the Georgia - Florida Railnet out of the former ACL's Albany Yard; and - a short section of track in the Tifton, GA area that is currently served by NS via a connection track in downtown Tifton. I believe that there are 3 currently active customers on this section. This short section of track is also "home" to the Tifton Terminal RR Co., a "short shortline" that uses a siding in Tifton for the storage of a lettered passenger car and a former SAL cabooose.

I happened to be in St. Marys, GA yesterday, and noticed that the St. Marys RR's largest customer, the Durango - Georgia Paper Company (formerly the Gilman Paper Co.) looked like it was closed down. Also, there were no boxcars on the St. Marys RR for servicing the mill. If the mill closes for a long period of time, I wonder what will happen to future of the St. Marys RR?

The St. Marys RR also presently operates a tourist passenger train between Kingsland and St. Marys, GA, using one passenger car and a spiffily-painted FP7 cab unit built for the Alton RR in 1946 (according to the conductor).

Aaron Dowling

-- Aaron Dowling (, October 18, 2004.

Ashley, I did indeed read the postings from the site & also did further research. Appatently on 6/04/04 the STB gave the go ahead for the purchase of this trackage that you noted (by subsidary St Marys West) for $261,203.00, of which 40% is to be ponied up by the City of Pearson. Would hope that customer(s) can be coaxed onto the line to keep it viable. Southern and Central Georgia have lost many miles of rail trackage over the last couple of decades.

-- Greg Hodges (, October 16, 2004.

St. Mary's Railroad has assumed control on of the line with a subsidiary known as St. Mary's West. I believe they have a switcher on the line. I know it sees very little traffic. CSX was going to abandon it but St. Mary's and City of Pearson stepped in to save it. There has been some discussion of this on the general shortlines category on the forums.

-- Ashley James (, October 16, 2004.

I believe I've seen on another list that this line will be or has been sold to the St. Marys RR. I think the main, perhaps only, customer is a grain elevator at Pearson.

-- Larry Goolsby (, October 15, 2004.

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