ATLANTA — Railfanning.org Editor Todd DeFeo’s next book will focus on the Atlanta Northern Railway.
It will mark the first complete standalone history of the interurban line that connected Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia, starting in July 1905. The line ceased operations in early 1947, giving way to competition from motor vehicles.
A predecessor of Georgia Power owned and operated the line for much of its history.
“The Atlanta Northern helped shape the region and provided an invaluable transportation link for residents living in the region,” DeFeo said. “Like so much of railroad history, the story of the Atlanta Northern has been largely overlooked and forgotten over the years. I hope this work helps keep the railroad’s story alive for current and future students of history.”
The interurban line more or less paralleled the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a state-owned line that connected Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new book features rare photos, details about the line’s operations and anecdotes and stories rarely published and nearly forgotten by history.
Using newspaper accounts, seldom seen historical documents and other research, DeFeo pulled together the story of this interesting line, which passed through Smyrna and other smaller communities between Atlanta and Marietta.
“History is all about remembering the seemingly forgotten stories,” DeFeo added. “When we drive down a road such as Atlanta Road in Smryna, we might not think about a streetcar running along this route. But, at one point, in time, it was an effective way to travel. It was a lifeline for communities.”
Separately, DeFeo is working with officials in Cobb County, and the cities of Marietta and Smyrna to make Jan. 31, 2022, Atlanta Northern Railway Day to commemorate the last running of the Atlanta Northern.
DeFeo has previously published books on the Western & Atlantic, the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville and the Indiana, Alabama & Texas railroads in addition to works on streetcars in Clarksville, Tennessee, and the Northeast Corridor.
The book, to be published by The DeFeo Groupe in December, will be available for purchase on the Railfanning.org store and at other retailers. For more information about the history of the Atlanta Northern Railway, visit Railfanning.org.