A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Central of Georgia Railway

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The Central of Georgia Railway (CofG) was one of the most significant railroads in the American South and a vital part of Georgia's transportation infrastructure for more than one hundred years. From its start the Central was a classic expression of the developmental American railroad, serving as a leader in the region's economic growth. In response to the innovative South Carolina Railroad that was diverting cotton and other products from the Piedmont area to Charleston, South Carolina, Georgians officially organized the Central in 1833. Originally known as the Central Railroad and Canal Company of Georgia, it was reorganized as the Central Railroad and Banking Company in 1835. Through state charters, a steady increase in local investments, and the labor of Irish immigrants and African American slaves, the line reached from Savannah to the outskirts of Macon by 1843. At that time the Central was perhaps the

Central of Georgia
December 14, 1940
longest railroad under one management in the world. It did not keep that distinction for long,
In the winter season of 1940 the Central of Georgia was host to several Chicago to Florida passenger trains. The Pennsylvania began the run of the "Southland" turned it over to the L&N (Cincinnati to Atlanta), then the CofG to Albany, GA. Finally, the ACL and the Perry cutoff to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.
The "Southland" also exchanged cars with the "Dixie Flyer" at Atlanta for CofG run to Albany and the ACL to Jacksonville, and Florida East Coast to Miami. The "Dixie Flyer" originated in Chicago was carried on the C&EI to Evansville, L&N to Nashville, NC&SL to Atlanta. Another Pennsy train the "Flamingo" and the C&EI train the "Dixie Limited" also merged at Atlanta for CofG and ACL to Jacksonville and St. Petersburg and FEC Jacksonville to Miami. The Illinois Central also originated trains out of Chicago for Florida. The "Floridian" was picked up by the CofG at Birmingham, Alabama for the run to Albany, the ACL to Jacksonville and west coast of Florida and the FEC to Miami. A second IC train the "Seminole" ran through as similar routing but only to Jacksonville.
So the Central of Georgia played a significant role in the Chicago to Florida service.
Short History of the Central of Georgia Railway
The Central of Georgia Railway started out as a state sponsored line but quickly grew to become a consolidation of many short lines in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The brief history below does not list these short lines, but the genealogy graph below it indicates some of the forming railroad names and linkages.
1833 - Georgia organized the Central Railroad and Canal Company of Georgia to compete with South Carolina.
1835 - Reorganized as Central Railroad and Banking Company.
1843 - Line reached from Savannah to outskirts of Macon.
1840's-50's - Lines reached Atlanta, Columbus, and southwest Georgia, through very productive cotton growing land.
1850's - Roundhouse built in Savannah, remains today as most complete antebellum railroad complex in the nation, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
1861-63 - The RR serves Confederates during first years of Civil War.
1864 - Destruction of RR by Union forces.
1866 - Line in operation again.
post 1865 - Expansion into Alabama and Tennessee. Many short lines founded to connect Georgia cities. Steamboat line to ports along Atlantic Coast formed. RR was profitable.
1892 - Control lost to outside interests.
1895 - CofG remained independent as the reorganized Central of Georgia Railway.
1907 - Illinois Central gains control of CofG.
1932 - CofG forced into receivership.
1948 - CofG out of receivership.
1940's-50's - Dieselization and route consolidations take place.
1961 - St.Louis-San Francisco Railway takeover efforts turned down by ICC.
1963 - CofG becomes subsidiary of Southern Railway.
1982 - Southern and Norfolk and Western become Norfolk Southern Corporation.

Central of Georgia Genealogy

Central of Georgia Timetable map - December 14, 1940

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. Copyright, Steve Storey(ss)
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 24, 2009, revised April 23, 2011