Walton Railroad Made Citizens ‘Enthused and Jubilant’

September 30, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

The Walton Railroad was incorporated on Aug. 17, 1872, and amended later. The line was established to build a 10-mile road from Monroe, Ga., to Social Circle, Ga. By 1874, the railroad was “being graded with all possible energy from Social Circle to Monroe,” the Weekly Constitution reported in September 1874. “The citizens are enthused and jubilant over the project, and when the whistle of the engine and the rattle and clatter of car wheels are heard on our streets, a new impetus will be given to every interest,” the newspaper noted. The railroad’s operations commenced on Sept. 1, 1880.

Perhaps a Misnomer, Greene County Railroad Helped Develop Walton County, Georgia

September 29, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

The Greene County Railroad is a bit of a curiosity. Its name would suggest it served — or at least passed through — Greene County, but that’s not the case. The railroad’s predecessor, the Bostwick Railroad, built a seven-mile line from Bostwick to Appalachee, which was on the Central of Georgia line between Macon and Athens. A report in the Feb. 22, 1907, edition of the (Athens, Ga.) Weekly Banner noted the road “has been completed to the city limits of Appalachee, and on the first of March the line will be completed and trains run into that little city.

Tombstone’s Other Legacy: The Railroad

September 29, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

In 1881, Tombstone was a remote mining community. There was no railroad link to Tombstone for the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral. During the next two decades, city leaders debated the need for a railroad and urged railroad officials to lay tracks into town, but nothing materialized.

Despite Landowners’ Holdout, Gainesville Midland Secured Land for Athens Extension

September 29, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

ATHENS, Ga. – Once the Gainesville Midland assumed control of the Gainesville, Jefferson and Southern Railroad in 1904, it set about converting the line to standard gauge and extending the line to Athens. In 1904, the railroad extended from Gainesville, Ga., to Social Circle, Ga., and Jefferson, Ga. By September 1905, nearly all the land needed for the railroad’s right-of-way was secured. However, “three or four” landowners were “holding out against the representatives of the committee and they are simply blocking the way of the committee in its work to secure the right of way,” the Weekly Banner newspaper reported. “The

Athens Terminal Co. Helped Bring About Freight ‘Revolution’ in Athens

September 28, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

ATHENS, Ga. – The Athens Terminal Co. was incorporated on Oct. 4, 1906, as a commercial steam railroad company jointly owned by the Gainesville Midland Railway and Seaboard Air Line. The two-mile-long railroad was chartered to run “from Broad street in the city of Athens along Foundry street to a connection with the tracks of the Seaboard Air Line Railway,” according to a petition the Weekly Banner newspaper printed in September 1906. Spur tracks were to be constructed as well. In January 1906, the Gainesville and Athens Construction Co. purchased three blocks of property along Foundry Street – stretching from

41 Years Later: Still Debating the Pros, Cons of Amtrak

September 28, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

For 41 years, policymakers and the public have debated the benefits and pitfalls of Amtrak. The national railroad, created as a result of the President Richard Nixon-signed Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, operates 305 weekday trains across a network of 21,100 rail miles. The new railroad took over passenger service from struggling railroads, and its first train, The Clocker, departed from Union Station in New York at 12:05 a.m. on May 1, 1971. Amtrak for years has touted ridership gains. According to Amtrak, between October 2011 and August 2012, ridership was up 3.4 percent. By Sept. 30, when the

First Gainesville Midland Trains Rolled Out of Athens in November 1906

September 27, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

Thursday, Nov. 1, 1906, was a momentous day for the city of Athens, Ga. The first Gainesville Midland train pulled into town. “Here’s to the Gainesville Midland; may it live and prosper,” the Weekly Banner newspaper heralded. Roughly two months earlier, the first standard gauge train arrived in nearby Jefferson, Ga. At the time, the Gainesville Midland only connected Gainesville, Ga., with Social Circle, Ga. (via Winder, Ga.) and Jefferson, Ga. Construction on the line to Athens was delayed as the railroad awaited the rails to be laid. “Just now the trains will necessarily be mixed trains and the schedule

Amtrak Launches History Website

September 27, 2012 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

Amtrak certainly has an interesting history. Since its inception 41 years ago, Amtrak has ferried passengers across the country’s rail network. Its routes have ranged from cross-country hauls to speedier service between closer destinations. Amtrak, which has never turned an annual profit, this week launched a new website (history.amtrak.com) dedicated to the railroad’s history. The site includes digital copies of ads, timetables and images. “Amtrak is woven into the fabric of America, providing a vital transportation service to the nation and connecting families and communities as part of an amazing and unfolding history,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said in

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