Boy killed in mishap on Southern Railway line near Columbus, GA : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

[WARNING: please be advised that the following contains a graphic description of injuries sustained in a railroad mishap. - jml]

"John COLEMAN, Jr., Lost His Life by an Accident: Freight Cars Crushed His Foot, Causing Great Loss of Blood. Died After Amputation.

"The south bound freight train on the Southern Railway, which arrived in the city yesterday, had on board John COLEMAN, Jr., a negro boy about fourteen years old, a son of John COLEMAN, who is employed by [the] Sexton Board at Linwood Cemetery. When the train was a short distance above the city, COLEMAN [Jr.] attempted to get aboard while the cars were in motion. He fell and the wheels ran over his left foot, crushing it at the instep and mangling it terribly. The train stopped and the crew picked up the wounded boy. He was made as comfortable as possible in the caboose and was brought on to Columbus, where he received the attention of a physician. An examination showed that the boy had lost a great deal of blood and that it would be necessary to amputate the foot. The surgeons prepared for the operation and just after it had been performed the boy passed away. Much sympathy is expressed for the boy’s father, who is an honest and hard working man."

[From the "Columbus, Georgia, Enquirer-Sun" newspaper, Sunday morning, 10 JUL 1898. I am interested to learn where the Southern Railway line ran north out of Columbus. - jml]

-- John Mallory Land (, October 02, 2004


John is right about the SR line from Columbus. The trestle over I- 185 is there, as are some crossing signs where the road beside Burger King (I think) crossed the line. This is opposite the mall and the Kinnett Dairy that was recently converted to a Circuit City. Line is easy to follow from there towards Warm Springs.

The CofGa line parallels highway 27.

Going the other way, CofGa's Columbus yard runs roughly north-south, and SR comes in on the northeast side. Don't know exactly what facilities SR had there over the years, but they must have had a roundhouse years ago. This was end of line for SR.

Freight connections toward south end of yard are still in operation. During passenger days, SR used the 13th Street Deopt and there was a passenger connection between CofGa and SR at the north end of the yard as well. It roughly followed the street that goes over the north end of the yard by Swift Mills.

Southern trains coming into Columbus would be switched onto this connection and transit over to the CofGa line. You can still see evidence of this connection in the parking lot you have to drive through to enter Columbus yard. CofGa switch was roughly under the overpass.

I think SR trains wound up pointing north/west on the CofGa (toward Phenix City) and then backed into the depot. I never actually saw this line operation, but there is still evidence of the siding on the CofGa side, maybe SR side, too.

Ron. Wright

-- Ron. Wright (, October 07, 2004.

Thank you very much for your response. From your description, I know now just where these tracks run (or ran). They go by the campus of Columbus University. Where they cross University Ave. (formerly Cody Ln.) between Gentian Blvd. and the Manchester Expressway, they've built a big Burger King designed to look like a quasi-vintage train depot. I'm pretty sure this section of track is still there, and YahooMaps indicates it. I believe Gentian was right in this area at one time. Thanks again - John

-- John Mallory Land (, October 07, 2004.

The Southern Ry line to Columbus entered the city from a northeasternly direction.....coming down from Warm Springs and Waverly Hall. A map I have shows the line also running thru the communities of Ellerslie, Midland, Flat Rock, and Gentian as the SR neared the city. Of course, sucessor Norfolk Southern abandoned this line & pulled up the rails in the early 1990s. I imagine that remnants (cuts, fills, etc.) can still be seen in the NE part of Columbus. More specifically, the railway paralleled the Talbotton- Warm Springs Road & then ran close to US Hy 27 as it departed the NE part of the city.

-- Greg Hodges (, October 06, 2004.

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