Central of Georgia

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In the Forties and early fifties, the Little Dougan locomotive (a passenger train with two or three cars) ran through Bremen, GA (where the Central of Georgia and the Southern Railroads intersect) at about eleven-o-clock every day. Many a watch and clock was reset based on it's perfect timing schedule. People working in the fields got the time of day from it's whistle. I know that for a fact, because I was picking cotton with my mother. I left Georgia in 1955 and never heard of it again. Does anyone have any information about this little train? Thank You!

-- Howell L. Owens (halowens@msn.com), October 24, 2004


I am at work with no timetables, I have plenty of timetables at home so I should be able to look this up for you tonight.

Just as a tentative suggestion, it might have been the Man O' War from Atlanta to Columbus.

Will let you know tomorrow what I find out.

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), October 25, 2004.

After I gave that tentative answer yesterday,I began to realize that Bremen is a little too far west for an Atlanta to Columbus train.

So, when I got home I found a December 1947 Official Guide and found you are probably talking about nameless CofG train #1 and 2 from Chattanooga to Griffth, Ga. It went southbound at 11:59 a.m. and northbound 12:55 p.m.(at least on that timetable). it might have been closer to 11 a.m. in later years.

I note also that there was a Southern rialroad train, nameless #40, which went throught en route to ATl at 11.53 a.m.

C of Ga was never a "big" player in Chattanoogan, the train in question was coach only, which fits your description of a short 2 or 3 car train, no diner, sleeper, etc.

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), October 26, 2004.

I think the statement that the Central was never a major player in Chattanooga, Tennessee is fundamentally wrong. They may not have been the largest RR presence in Chattanooga but one look at a dispatcher’s sheet from this line’s heyday will reveal that the Central was a solid player in Chattanooga. There were at one time four passenger trains scheduled on this route as well as six freight trains. Not to mention all the extra trains. This line was very productive even at the time Southern took over.

-- Warren D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), October 29, 2004.

About CofG being a one time a major player in Chattanooga....that may well have been.......a long time ago. But in 1947 that one train a day to Griffith was the only CofG presence. I was born in 1944 so that is all well before my time. When I "came of age" in the early 50's it had completely vanished, at least so far as passneger trains go.

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), November 01, 2004.

Oh, and here is another thought. Some trains like the Dixie Flyer and Dixie Limited DID indeed operate as Cof G trains over part of their routes. However they,were interline trains and were not CofG trains during the time they passed through Chattanooga itself. That may well be what you are referring to. They would have been NC&StL trains while in Chattanooga, but become CofG fo further donw the line.Of course in the opposite direction they became L&N trains at Nashville. I bet that helps clear it up.

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), November 01, 2004.

Bill, you can’t judge a rail line’s worth solely by it’s passenger trains. If this were the case, no RR that exists today would stand up to that type of scrutiny. In your opinion, how many freight cars a day does it take to make a RR line a major factor? Even at the time of the Southern takeover the C Line was a very respectable traffic source. I base this on more than one passenger timetable. I have studied this line using maps, track profiles, employee timetables, public timetables, annual reports, official lists, Poors manuals and CofG company files etc. I have also had the privilege of talking to several former CofG employees who ran this line. I realize that the Southern and NC&StL were the big kids on the block but the Central was not insignificant in Chattanooga!

-- Warren D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), November 02, 2004.

Warren, I am just a light hearted good natured railran,playing with the internet when I get a chance from my job. I am sorry if I have mis-spoken.

My original remark was just an aside.......I do know that CofGa was a significant player on many fronts. I know it was crucial to the IC Chicago to Florida line, with the City of Miami and the Seminole (and sometimes extra trains in the winter), through Columbus and Albany. I know about the Nancy Hanks and the Man'O War(and that the Man O War originally made two round trips a day between ATl and Columbus), and others. I know there was a night train to ATl to Savannah, Nancy Hank's route.I know and respect its trains.

I also realize that until the late 40's it was also part of the Chicago to Florida line which included the trains like the Dixie Flyer and Dixie Limited and perhaps others which went through Chattanooga on the NC&St.L line.And would have become CofG trains in Atlanta.

I also know L&N's Cincinnati to Jacksonville Flamingo was part of the mix, from Atlanta south. I know many of the trains went through Macon and also Columbus, Ga. The Southland was probably part of that also.

I know all of that.I am not familiar with freight operations.My interest is just in passenger trains so I would not try to say anything about freight operations. A part of my surprise at finding what I think is the correct answer to the person's original question is that it was a train through Chattanooga(that being my hometown) I had not even thought of it. (and which was gone by the time I became old enough to know about it anyway).

And it was Southern which later acquired CofG---Nc&St.L(which was aquired by L&N in 1957) was not part of that move. I remember the more recent Southern timetables about 1970 which shows both the usual Southern trains, like the Crescent and the Southerner, mixed in with the City of Miami and the Seminole. But none of those trains had anything to do with Chattanooga, they went to places like Columbus and ALbany, Atlanta and Birmingham, etc.

But as to trains which actually served Chattanogoa directly---not by inter line---my records only show the one passenger train indicated by the original question. If there was a lot of CofG in Chattaooga before 1947, my apologies, I do not have the timetables that far back.

I am curious----what dates are the timetables you show which indicate a lot of passenger activity in Chattanooga? And where were the trains going? If they were in the inter-line operations, like some of the Dixie trains, then I already know about that.

But you may something back in the earlier 40's and before.Let me know. I would appreciate knowing about that. I'm never too old to learn.

I also remember a road called the TAG(Tennesee, Alabama and Georgia) which just operated one train out of Chattanooga, at least in my earlier lifetime memories.


-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), November 02, 2004.

Warren, a further thought to the above. Where I mention the timetables that show the Southern take-over of CofG, I said Chattanooga was not in it.....actually the remains of the former Birmingham Special(Wash-Chatt-BHM) might be in such a timetable.....but it would not be involved with the C of G.)

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), November 02, 2004.

Bill, If you are interested in the passenger traffic in and out of Chattanooga and you’re not into dry research – RR files, valuation etc. - like I am, I recommend David Steinberg’s excellent work, “The Next Station Stop Will Be Chattanooga”. It is out of print but it does come up on Ebay from time to time. Lewis Newton’s “Rails Remembered” series is his interesting recollections of growing up a railfan in Chattanooga. Mr. Newton does pass on the old railfan myth that the TAG was owned by Republic Steel. It never ever was! He relates to the reader, his trips to Trion and Rome, GA on the CofG local as well as a trip on the TAG’s Brill Model 55 passenger/express motorcar which was known in the Chattanooga valley as the Scooter. Of course, TAG was an interesting and significant freight hauler in it’s capacity as a bridge carrier for the L&N. Steinberg’s other book “To Think it Only Cost a Nickel” is primarily a book about trolleys and interurbans in Chattanooga but it does touch on some of the lesser known railroads such as the Chattanooga & Lookout Mt. Railway and the Chattanooga Traction Company. CofG and TAG are both represented by historical societies as are the other railroads that served Chattanooga. I am a member of most of these societies and I can relate that they are all excellent resources and that they all – with the exception of the NC&StL Society - publish newsletters. Chattanooga was/is a very interesting railroad hub to say the least and is my favorite big RR town.

-- Warren D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), November 03, 2004.


I am somewhat aware of David Steinberg and his work.I have one of his smaller books though I cannot remember the name of it(I am at work, of course). He has a collection presently at the Chattanooga Public Library, which, interestingly enough, sits close to the top of the old NC&StL(later L&N) station. It is not on public display, you have to ask for it. You may have already seen it. It is extremely extensive, more than I could ever have time to read completely, since I no longer live in Chattanooga, but I have browsed.

If I understand and remember correctly, his childhood home was the other side of the yards from the Terminal Station, thus he saw trains backing in all of his young life and that is how he became fascinated by trains. I remember for a brief time he operated the trolley at the Choo Choo.I have shaken hands with him a time or two but he would not remember me.

I my case, I became addicted to trains at the age of three on an overnight trip on the Dixie Flagler from Chattanooga to Daytona Beach, Fla. My sister, nine years old than I, took charge of me and is said to have walked me from one end of the train to the other, thus my little three year old mind got hooked.

Have a good day.

-- bill haithcoat (bhaithcoat@ajc.com), November 04, 2004.

Bill, I have researched at the Chattanooga library and you are right, you do need to prearrange access to David’s donated material. David told me once how many four drawer filling cabinets full of material he donated but the exact number has slipped my mind. A lot at any rate. From what I have gathered from talking with David, he must have lived near Union Depot/NC&StL trackage or the Chattanooga Belt because he told me once that he could see the Scooter coming home to the TAG roundhouse every night from his neighborhood. The Scooter used NC&StL and Chattanooga Belt RY. trackage rights to access Union depot. I do remember him saying that his father ran a grocery store in Alton Park near the TAG yard. I have enjoyed researching at this library but I wish Union Station was still in place! The CofG used Terminal Station and their freight house was located where the parking deck on the north side of the Choo Choo is. The Central had two yards. The original was located about where NS’s bulk transfer yard is. The last CofG yard was located just south of I24

-- Warren D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), November 04, 2004.

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