2 CofG connections to the Southern north of Cedartown

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Why were there two different connections of the C of Ga to the Southern north of Cedartown, GA?

Going north from Cedartown on the CofG, the line split with one line headed east for about about two miles before connecting to the Southern a few miles north of Aragon. The other branch, now abandoned, went north for about 4-5 miles through Reeseburg and connected to the Southern just south of Lindale. Both connections served the same directional flow. What's the story?

Tom Randall Kennesaw, GA

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), June 23, 2000


No question that the elimination of the climb over Relay was the reason for the bypass. The irony is that the line from Green to Bremen saw relatively little coal traffic during the 70s and 80s. Most of the coal came via the Pride Transloader and the Birmingham - Atlanta Southern mainline to the connecting track at Bremen and then south to Wansley / Yates. Only in the past few years have the coal trains routinely come from Chattanooga.

-- David Payne (DavidCofGa@aol.com), June 24, 2000.

Thanks for all the quick responses and great insights! Can't help but wonder what the rail map in the Cedartown/Rome area would look like had the Frisco succeeded in their denied takeover of the CofG.

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), June 23, 2000.

Tom, what David and Ron said is correct. The Central and the Southern maintained two different right of ways through Rome before the merger.I have always thought that the reason Sou went to the expense to built a new right of way between Green and Lake Creek was to avoid the nasty 1.4% grade at Relay. If this were not the case it would have been much cheaper to leave the connection in at Silver Creek. David Payne is the C line expert so I'll look foward to David's response to my theory. Tom if you want to explore the area sometime give me a call. Todd Horton

-- Todd Horton (Centga@aol.com), June 23, 2000.

The line which runs east from Lake Creek to Green, the south end of the siding at Brice, was built in 1974 or so. The line which runs more to the north from Lake Creek to Silver Creek is the old CofG mainline.

In the early seventies, Plant Wansley was constructed and Plant Yates was expanded. Unit coal train service was envisioned for both and these trains would be coming from Chattanooga or from Birmingham. As a result, the Cedartown District was rebuilt from Yates west, as was the Chattanooga District from Cedartown to Lake Creek and the new line was built from Lake Creek to Green.

The 90 pound jointed rail was replaced with 132 pound welded rail. Extensive T&S work was done. The deck truss bridges over the Big Tallapoosa River and the Chattahoochee River were replaced with deck girder bridges and the trestle approaches had steel pilings driven and were rebuilt as well.

Prior to and for a couple of years after the 1963 Communist takeover (Did I get that right, Todd?), the CofG had its own mainline through Rome. The Central came up alongside the Southern south of Silver Creek (364.5) and the two lines roughly paralleled each other to Silver Creek where they crossed at grade (366.3). The mainlines crossed again at K Tower (370.5). The Central was crossed by the K line (Southern's line from Rome to the Krannert) at Fairbanks (372.9) and by Southern's spur going to the General Electric plant a mile or two further west.

In early 1965 (I'm pretty sure) a connection was made where the Central came alongside the Southern south of Silver Creek (about the 364.5 milepost). This was called Silver Creek Junction. I believe this was part of a project to install CTC through Rome.

The Central trains then operated on the Southern mainline to the junction with the K Line south of Forrestville Yard, and then run the K Line to Fairbanks Junction (372.9) where they would get back on their own mainline and continue to Chattanooga. At that time part of the CG main was retired and the remainder became switching trackage through Rome.

-- David Payne (DavidCofGa@aol.com), June 23, 2000.

Looking more closely at Terraserver photos, I can see now the remnants of what appears to be the old CofGa line south of Rome. Looks like it took a totally different track through Rome, going through the west side of town.

I would still like to know the story on the short E-W connector in my original posting.

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), June 23, 2000.


Are you saying the CofG and Southern lines from the intersection south of Silver Creek up through Rome were actually separate lines, as opposed to a shared right of way?

-- Tom Randall (tkrandall@mindspring.com), June 23, 2000.

The abandonded line through Reesburg was part of Central's Chattanooga-Griffin mainline. The Central's mainline passed on through Silver Creek, Lindale, Rome, Berrytown, Lyerly and Summerville on its way to Chattanooga, and I am pretty sure it preceeded the Southern's Chattanooga-Atlanta mainline by several years.

Don't have my references here, but I think the first Southern predecessor was the Selma, Rome and Dalton, a part of which Southern eventually used in constructing its Chatt-Atl line.

The two lines crossed in Rome at K-tower, near where the Peanut Factory is (was?) and also south of Lindale near Silver Creek. In Lindale you can still see where the Central paralled the Southern a hundred feet or so to the north and a bit of this section is still in place, but very rusty, north of Lindale to where K-tower was.

I don't reacall exactly when the Aragon line was built. It could have been built by Southern post merger when Southern decided to abandon the Cedartown-Rome section of the Central, but still needed a way to get coal trains down to Cedartown. Somehow this sounds late, and I am sure somebody else knows better than I do.

-- Ron Wright (ron@cofg.org), June 23, 2000.

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