Great Walton Railroad GP9 6580 rests in Covington, Georgia wearing the GWR's sharp white, yellow, and green paint scheme in 2004.
|Dates of operation||1987–Present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||10 mi (16 km)|
|Headquarters||Social Circle, Georgia|
The Great Walton Railroad( reporting mark GRWR) is a class III railroad that operates 10 miles (16 km) of track in Georgia. In addition to its own line between Monroe and Social Circle, Georgia, the railroad operates the Athens Line, LLC and the Hartwell Railroad.
Clay, feldspar, grain, machinery, fertilizer, woodchips, plastics, pulpwood, and silica are carried by the railroad, generating around 3,650 annual carloads.
The railroad between Social Circle and Monroe was originally constructed by the Walton Railroad beginning in 1880. In March 1884 the railroad was consolidated with the Gainesville, Jefferson and Southern Railroad and later leased to the Georgia Railroad.
Following acquisition by the Georgia Railroad the line continued to operate as a separate division, the Monroe Railroad, until 1917. The Georgia Railroad was merged into the Seaboard System Railroad in 1983, and CSX Transportation in 1986.
The branch from Social Circle to Monroe was sold to the Georgia Eastern Railroad in February 1987. On March 30, 1987, the Georgia Eastern sold the line to the Great Walton Railroad.
In addition to the Monroe branch, Norfolk Southern Railway leased a 25 miles (40 km) branch from Covington to Shady Dale under the Thoroughbred Shortline Program to the Great Walton on April 10, 1989. The Covington line was transferred to the Squaw Creek Southern Railroad in 2008.
The Bay Line Railroad is one of several short line railroad companies owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. It operates between Panama City, Florida, and Dothan, Alabama, including a branch from Grimes to Abbeville, Alabama, reached via trackage rights on CSX's Dothan Subdivision between Dothan and Grimes. The line interchanges with the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad at Cottondale, Florida, and with the CSX Dothan Subdivision near Dothan, Alabama. It also interchanges with the Chattahoochee Bay Railroad in Dothan.
The Atlanta and St. Andrews Bay Railroad, also known as the Bay Line, was a Class I railroad which operated in Alabama and Florida. The company was founded in 1906 and opened its mainline between Dothan, Alabama and Panama City, Florida in 1908. Later reclassified as a short-line railroad, its assets were acquired by the Bay Line Railroad in 1994.
The Hartwell Railroad dates to 1878 when the company was chartered to build a 3 ft narrow gauge rail line between Hartwell and Bowersville in Hart County, Georgia. The 10-mile railroad was completed the following year. In 1898, it was reorganized as the Hartwell Railway. Southern Railway gained control of the line in 1902, had it converted to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 instandard gauge, and sold the line in 1924.
The Chattahoochee and Gulf Railroad was a short line railroad operating from 2003 to 2006 between Columbus, Georgia and Dothan, Alabama, on former Central of Georgia and Norfolk Southern tracks. Initially the railroad was a subsidiary of Gulf and Ohio Railways. In 2006, the railroad was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and combined with the adjacent H and S Railroad out of Dothan to form the Chattahoochee Bay Railroad.
Athens Line, LLC is a Class III shortline railroad operating in Georgia. Established in 2001, the ABR leases 38 miles (61 km) of former Norfolk Southern Railway track between Madison and Junior State, Georgia, via Athens. It is operated under contract by the Great Walton Railroad.
The Yadkin Valley Railroad is the trade name of the Piedmont and Atlantic Railroad and is a shortline railroad operating two lines leased from the Norfolk Southern Railway originating out of Rural Hall, North Carolina for a distance of 93 miles (150 km). The railroad began operation in 1989 and is currently a subsidiary of Gulf and Ohio Railways.
The Southern Alabama Railroad was a shortline railroad formerly operating between a connection with CSX Transportation at Troy to Goshen, Alabama, about 15 miles (24 km). The railroad currently exists as the Conecuh Valley Railroad subsidiary of Gulf and Ohio Railways.
The Aberdeen and Briar Patch Railway was a short-line railroad which operated in North Carolina. The company operated a former Norfolk Southern line between Star and Aberdeen, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1983, began operating in 1984, and was sold in 1987.
The South Carolina Central Railroad is a class III railroad that operates 42 miles (68 km) of former CSX Transportation trackage in South Carolina. Originally a RailTex subsidiary upon its start in 1987, the railroad passed to RailAmerica following their acquisition of RailTex in 2000 and passed to the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad upon its acquisition of RailAmerica.
The Hartford & Slocomb Railroad was a shortline railroad operating 22 miles (35 km) of track from Dothan to Hartford, Alabama. Largely abandoned in 1992, the remaining tracks from Dothan to Taylor were sold to Gulf and Ohio Railways and operated as the H and S Railroad. The railroad was purchased by Genesee & Wyoming Railroad in 2006, after which it was combined with a neighboring property, the Chattahoochee and Gulf Railroad to form the Chattahoochee Bay Railroad.
The Gulf and Mississippi Railroad was the first regional railroad in the United States upon its creation in 1985. With over 713 miles (1,147 km) of track in the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama it was among the largest spin-off railroads in the post-Staggers Act era. MidSouth Rail acquired the entire G&M railroad in 1988, operating it as a separate entity, SouthRail. Kansas City Southern purchased MidSouth Rail in 1994 and most of the former G&M lines are still in service under KCS.
The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was a shortline railroad that previously operated 77 miles (124 km) of track between Thomasville and Sylvester, Georgia via Albany. The Atlantic & Gulf was created in 1991 from former CSX tracks and currently exists as part of the Georgia & Florida Railway, a subsidiary of OmniTRAX.
The Thoroughbred Shortline Program was a system of shortline creation devised by Norfolk Southern in the late 1980s. It involved an alternative to the typical practice of a Class I railroad selling rail lines outright to shortlines in the post-Staggers Act era. Defining features of the program included leasing lines to shortline operators as opposed to outright sales, keeping stations available in Norfolk Southern marketing campaigns, and crediting carloads delivered to Norfolk Southern towards the lease and eventual purchase of the line. The program ran from 1988 to 1991, creating more than a dozen new shortline railroads, nearly all of which are still in operation today.
The Andalusia and Conecuh Railroad was a shortline railroad formerly operating between Gantt and Andalusia, Alabama, United States 8.7 miles (14.0 km). It was largely abandoned in 1987, with the remainder leased to the Alabama and Florida Railway. A portion of the railroad survives today as part of the Three Notch Railroad.
The Georgia Great Southern Railroad was a shortline railroad formerly operating between Dawson and Albany, Georgia, 24.2 miles (38.9 km). The railroad was partially abandoned in 1994. RailTex consolidated its holdings in the area into the Georgia Southwestern in 1995, and the Georgia Great Southern ceased to exist as a separate railroad.
The Columbia and Silver Creek Railroad was a shortline railroad formerly operating between a connection with the Illinois Central at Silver Creek to Columbia, 28.7 miles (46.2 km). Later the railroad shifted location from the Columbia line to a branch from Taylorsville to Soso, Mississippi and was owned by Richard Abernathy. Currently the original line exists as part of the Gloster Southern Railroad, while the newer segment was abandoned.
The Abbeville–Grimes Railway Company, also known as the A&G Railroad after 1994, was a shortline railroad formerly operating from Grimes to Abbeville, Alabama, 26.9 miles (43.3 km). The railroad was merged with the Bay Line Railroad in 1996 and continued operation under the new name.
The Alabama and Florida Railroad was a short-line railroad which operated in Alabama and Florida. The company operated a former Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) line between Georgiana, Alabama and Geneva, Alabama. Pioneer Railcorp acquired the line in 1992 and created a new company, the Alabama and Florida Railway, to operate it.
Zhen-Creek & Southern Railroad dates to 2015 when the company was created by CEO Casey E. Michaux, and COO John F. Cooney. The new Company leases trackage between Watkinsville and Bishop in Oconee County, Georgia from the Hartwell Railroad Company on June 2, 2015. The Zhen-Creek & Southern is based in downtown Watkinsville, Georgia, at the former Southwire Cable Company warehouse. The ZC&S owns three engines:
Bishop Central & Watkinsville Railroad Company dates to 2015 when the company was created by CEO Casey E. Michaux, and COO John F. Cooney. The new Company leases trackage between Watkinsville and Bishop in Oconee County, Georgia from the Hartwell Railroad Company on June 2, 2015. The BCWR is based in downtown Watkinsville Georgia, on an open lot. The BCWR leases three engines: