A Visit to the Popular Railfanning Destination of Austell, Georgia

AUSTELL, Georgia — Austell has earned a reputation, rightly so, as one of the best places to watch trains in metro Atlanta.

The two rail lines that converge — or diverge — in the heart of the city roughly 14 miles west of Atlanta make it particularly popular among train watchers. One line heads to Birmingham, Alabama, and the other goes to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The 148.2 mile-long line between Austell, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama, forms the East End District of Norfolk Southern’s Alabama Division.

According to the state’s 2015 rail plan:

Whittaker Yard in Austell is the southeast hub of NS’s intermodal service. …The yard also handles California-bound traffic traveling on NS’s Meridian Speedway linking Atlanta with western railroad connections at Dallas-Fort Worth; and it builds trains for NS terminals in Chicago, Kansas City, and Cincinnati, plus container terminals in Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina. Opened in 2001, the terminal occupies 450 acres and contains 20,600 feet of loading tracks.

Norfolk Southern’s H-Line connects Chattanooga and Brunswick via Austell, Atlanta, McDonough and Macon.

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About Todd DeFeo 393 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.