150 years later, Andrews Raid still resonates

April 1, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

KENNESAW, Ga. — Dozens of trains roar through town every day. They speed past the historic 1908 train depot in the heart of town A few feet away from the tracks, idly sits a 155-year-old steam locomotive that pulled into town a rainy Saturday morning nearly 150 years ago. It was the one-year anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and the morning passenger train stopped for a 20 minute breakfast. What nobody knew was that 20 men led by James J. Andrews planned to steal the locomotive and then destroy the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a vital link

Ringgold: End of the Line for the Andrews raiders

January 30, 2012 Todd DeFeo 0

On the afternoon of April 12, 1862, a group of union spies desperately drove a stolen locomotive northward. But, their tired engine, The General, was about to give out. About two miles north of Ringgold, the Great Locomotive Chase came to an end.

Amtrak exploring feeder bus routes on Crescent route

October 24, 2011 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA — Amtrak could add bus routes to cities located near, but not along, its Crescent route, which the railroad believes will increase “ridership and revenue while expanding the reach of the intercity passenger rail network,” the railroad said in a recent report. Such bus routes would connect the Atlanta Amtrak station with Macon, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Dalton, Ga.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.; the railroad indicated. Amtrak estimates annual ridership on the routes would exceed 17,000 passengers and result in a net revenue of $600,000 per year. The bus service is just one of several upgrades the railroad is considering making

Plans Call for Steam to Ride the Norfolk Southern Rails Again, Through Display and Excursion Program with TVRM

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Norfolk Southern Corp. is in negotiations with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum with regard to the operation of a limited schedule of steam locomotive event appearances and passenger excursions beginning later this year. “21st Century Steam” would highlight milestones in rail history and provide an opportunity for audiences to learn about today’s safe and service-oriented freight railroads. The program would feature three venerable coal-powered steam locomotives: — Southern Railway 4501: Built in 1911 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, 4501 served Southern Railway in freight service in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, before being sold to a short line railroad.

Bridge piers offer a link to Civil War

May 15, 2010 Todd DeFeo 0

EMERSON, Ga. – In order to complete the Western & Atlantic Railroad, engineers had to overcome a number of natural obstacles. That resulted in a 1,447-foot-long tunnel through Chetoogeta Mountain and a bridge over the Etowah River south of Cartersville. The bridge over the Etowah River was completed in 1847, about three years before the Atlanta-to-Chattanooga rail line opened. The bridge’s stone pillars are all that remain of the once-formidable structure. During the Civil War, James J. Andrews, who led a group of Union soldiers with the intent of destroying the Western & Atlantic Railroad, identified the bridge as a

Marking the anniversary of the Andrews Raid

April 12, 2010 Railfanning.org 0

KENNESAW, Ga. – North Georgia saw its fair share of battles during the Civil War, but “the most extraordinary and astounding adventure of the war,” as one Civil War-era newspaper put it, typically doesn’t garner more than a few words in most history books. The Andrews Raid, also known as The Great Locomotive Chase, took place 148 years ago today. Led by James J. Andrews, a group of Union spies planned to steal a train locomotive and destroy the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a vital link between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn. The route of the Andrews Raid can be easily

Retracing Fess Parker’s steps in Georgia

March 18, 2010 Railfanning.org 0

ATLANTA – Fess Parker, a long-time actor known for portraying famous historical figures turned California winemaker, died today. He was 85. Parker is perhaps best-remembered for playing both Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on television shows based on the real life historical figures. But, one of his often-overlooked roles has a strong connection to Georgia. Parker portrayed James J. Andrews in Walt Disney’s 1956 movie “The Great Locomotive Chase.” The movie retells the story of the Andrews Raid of April 12, 1862, in which Union soldiers stole a locomotive planning to destroy the Western & Atlantic Railroad between Atlanta and

Small locomotive highlights area’s railroad roots

October 19, 2009 Todd DeFeo 0

MARIETTA, Ga. – The little locomotive sitting in a fenced in area under a canopy is dwarfed by the locomotives that pass by no more than 50 feet away. Locomotive No. 81421 was built in 1916 by Marietta’s own Glover Machine works. The 2-6-0 narrow gauge steam engine operated as Coulbourn Brothers No. 4 starting the following year. In 1921, the locomotive returned to Glover Machine Works. Glover Machine Works dates to the early 1890s and was an important steam locomotive builder, although it was less known than many of the other, larger builders. The company built 200 locomotives between

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