SW-1 in Wadley, Georgia

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I have a question to ask about yet another switch engine: In Wadley, GA on what was the the wye for the Louisville and Wadley, for the last several years there has been a decrepit SW1 in Southern 'black tux' paint. The engine is numbered #1004 and I had a friend, after having looked up this number, tell be that this engine used to belong to the Georgia and Florida Rwy.(in fact there is small GF sublettering beneath the cab). Though very near the NS Wadley yard, it is apparent that this engine is no longer owned by Norfolk Southern, so does anyone know who owns this unit and what they intend to do with it? I saw the engine last weekend and it appears that it hasn't been used in a while. I think it's a safe assumption to say that this is the only surviving G & F diesel locomotive.

Thanks, Eric

-- Eric Rickert (au_tiger777@hotmail.com), March 18, 2002


I was in Wadley this past week, and noticed that the area around the 1004 has been cleared. It had been quite grown up with trees and bushes. I'm not sure what this means, but I thought it was worth a mention...

-- Ashley James (ashley2771@yahoo.com), March 11, 2005.

The switches on both the east leg and west leg of the wye have been spiked. We have not delivered any cars for Mr. Gibson to store since around 2000.

-- Jared Blocker (NS) (jlaneblock@hotmail.com), June 10, 2004.

I spotted the engine in the Wadley "jungle" on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003. You can barely see the front of it from the street. It appears to be the same one I spotted there many years ago when it was still active.

It has not been moved in many years. I was being hasseled by traffic but I believe the connection has been cut on the wye.

-- Richard Baker (baker.richard.m@worldnet.att.net), October 28, 2003.

Eric, The 1004 is still shown on the latest NS roster. I spoke with Mr. Billy Gibson, owner of the L&W, and he says he still runs the switcher every now and then just to make sure she will run if needed. He says that all he has to do is charge the batteries, crank her up and away she goes.


-- Bob Harpe (robertharpe@aol.com), April 09, 2002.

According to Jack Parker of Aiken Rail Service the SW1s were indeed used in mainline and branchline service on the G&F... on the Moultrie, GA line in pairs as well as in mainline service between Douglas, GA and Valdosta. I hope that this helps...

-- Jerry M. LaBoda (jmlaboda2@yahoo.com), March 21, 2002.

According to a phone conversation with the L&W owner about 3 or 4 years ago the SW-1 is used from time to time. The L&W still exists. There are many blue L&W boxcars roaming the country's railroads. Several years ago I saw a number of CSX's Atlanta to Hamlet main. These produce revenue for L&W. Most of the L&W is now abandoned as the wood & farm products which were big in the 1970s & 80s are gone.

-- Conrad Cheatham (ccheatham@ureach.com), March 19, 2002.

>Did the G&F use the SW1s in branchline/local service...

I assume so though I couldn't say for sure... let me check with someone who might know the answer and I will let you know what he says about it...

-- Jerry M. LaBoda (jmlaboda@yahoo.com), March 19, 2002.

Sounds to me like a perfect candidate for preservation at the Savannah roundhouse - especially restored to the original green and yellow G&F colors.

-- Larry Goolsby (LGoolsby@aphsa.org), March 19, 2002.

Jerry, That photograph on George Elwood's website was taken by me. I took it in 1995 and submitted it to him three or four years ago. The Louisville and Wadley, to my knowledge, hasn't operated since the 1980's so perhaps that engine has been sitting there collecting rust the whole time. You mentioned that this SW-1 has m.u. capability. Did the G & F use it for branchline/local work in addition to yard switching?

-- Eric Rickert (au_tiger777@hotmail.com), March 19, 2002.

It is indeed a former Georgia & Florida unit, #70. It belongs to the Louisville and Wadley though I do not know if it is used anymore. A photo of it can be found at George Elwood's Fall'n Flags site under the Southern Railway...

What is noteworthy about these engines is that they were "late-model" SW1s with the long taper adjacent to the cab and the smaller cab windows that were common on later models. Also noteworthy is the m.u. that these units had, rather rare for SW1s in comparison to larger units.

-- Jerry M. LaBoda (jmlaboda2@yahoo.com), March 19, 2002.

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