SMYRNA, Ga. — Though the first settlers came to this area in about 1832 and created Smyrna Camp Ground, a religious encampment, it was the railroad that really transformed Smyrna into
The Western & Atlantic Railroad was completed through the area by 1842. Before it was formally incorporated in 1872, Smyrna had several names, including Varner’s Station, Ruff’s Siding, Neal Dow and Ruff’s Station.
Interestingly, the area has always served as a siding for trains. The current W&A Subdivision of CSX is not doubled-tracked between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn., but the line is double-tracked through Smyrna.
Between July 1905 and early 1947, the Atlanta Northern Railway, an interurban connecting Atlanta and Marietta, served the community, making several stops in the town.
- Dec. 22, 1999: 100 people were evacuated for a few hours after several cars carrying hazardous materials of a CSX train derailed
- July 26, 1998: A northbound CSX freight train struck and killed a 23-year-old woman walking along the tracks
- May 6, 1978: A Louisville & Nashville derailed on a stretch of track between West Spring and Hawthorne streets during an era when the railroad was heavily criticized for its track maintenance