The arrival of the South Western Railroad from Macon in about 1854 forever changed the town of Americus, Georgia.
A few years later, in 1857, the South Western bought a line the Georgia and Florida Railroad was building between Americus and Albany, consolidating it into the South Western a couple of years later.
The Central Rail Road & Banking Company of Georgia eventually leased the South Western.
After the Civil War, Americus attorney Samuel Hugh Hawkins and other businessmen founded the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railway in Americus. It was a successor of the Americus, Preston & Lumpkin Railroad, which built a narrow gauge line between Louvale, Georgia, and Abbeville, Georgia.
The Savannah, Americus & Montgomery ultimately built a line between Montgomery, Alabama and Lyons, Georgia.
The construction of the railroad helped transform Americus into the “Metropolis of Southwest Georgia. The railroad entered receivership in 1895, and the Seaboard Air Line Railroad subsequently assumed the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery.
Today, the Georgia Central Railway operates the former Savannah, Americus and Montgomery between Savannah, Georgia, and Vidalia, Georgia. The Heart of Georgia Railroad operates the portion between Vidalia and Preston, Georgia.
The state of Georgia owns much of the former Savannah, Americus and Montgomery. The SAM Shortline operates along the line through Americus.