A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Southern Railway System


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The Southern Railway (SOU) is a former United States railroad. It was the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined beginning in the 1830s, formally becoming the Southern Railway in 1894. It was combined with the Norfolk and Western Railway to form the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982.(wik)
The Southern Railway hosted trains out of Chicago bound for Florida destinations starting on the New York Central System's Big Four route. The "Ponce de Leon and the 'Royal Palm"
Southern
Southern
May 1941
were hauled all the we from Cincinnati to Jacksonville, FL on Southern trackage. Most other originating railroads used at least two other partners to reach Jacksonville. It is interesting to note that the fastest train to Florida in 1940, the Dixieland", originated on the C&EI, used the most other roads (4) to reach Jacksonville.(rp)
Short History of the Southern Railway System
The Southern was made up of a large number of predecessor railroads, railroads acquired, railroads leased or jointly owned. We will trace a few of these here.

South Carolina and Georgia Railroad
1827 - South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, also known as Charleston and Hamburg Railroad (C&H), Southern's earliest predecessor is chartered.
1830 - First steam locomotive, the Best Friend of Charleston is purchased.
1830 - First steam powered passenger train in USA runs 6 miles out of Charleston, SC.
1833 - Line completed to Hamburg Passenger trains run 136 miles Charleston to Hamburg on, at that time, the longest rail line in the world.
1834 - SCC&R has 15 steam locomotives and runs daily trains Charleston to Hamburg.
1836 - Louisville Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad was chartered in 1836 to build from the SCC&R to a point on Ohio River near Cincinnati.
1837 - LC&C purchases the C&H.
1842 - LC&C extends from Hamburg to Columbia, SC.
1844 - LC&C obtains all remaining assets of the SCC&R, all charters are combined and the South Carolina Railroad (SCR) is formed.
1881 - SCR reorganized as the South Carolina Railway.
1889 - SCR in receivership.
1894 - SCR reorganized as the South Carolina and Georgia Railroad.
1899 - Southern gains control of the SC&G.
1902 - SC&G consolidated into Southern Railway - Carolina Division.

Richmond and Danville Railroad (R&D).
1847 - The R&D was chartered in Virginia.
1848 - The North Carolina Railroad (NC) is chartered.
1849 - Construction began on R&D.
1850 - R&D reaches coal mines at Coalfield Station where it connected with the Chesterfield Railroad which was quickly supplanted by the R&D .
1851 - Work Started on the NC in Greenville NC.
1856 - NC open from Goldsboro to Charlotte.
1858 - Tthe Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad was completed, opening 96 miles of rail between Goldsboro and Shepard's Point, now Morehead City.
1857 - R&D completed from Richmond to Danville, VA.
1862-65 - R&D is 140 miles long but great aide to the coonfereracy.
1861 - The Richmond and York River Railroad was completed between Richmond and West Point, VA.
1862 - Richmond and York River Railroad connecting Richmond to West Point is destroyed by Union forces during Peninsula Campaign.
1862-92 - R&D Sysstem is built up to 3300 miles.
late 1860's - R&YR rebuilt and becomes paart of R&D.
1862 - Piedmont Railroad chartered and started buildingd in western North Carolina.
1864 - 48 mile Piedmont rr line completed. R&D owned most of stock and operated the road. 1866 - Piedmont aquired by R&D.
1866 - Efforts to consolidate the Atlantic and North Carolina with the NCRR were initiated in 1866, but it would take until 1989 to complete the merger and consolidate the railroads from Morehead City to Charlotte.
1890 - R&D System has grown to 3300 miles.
1892 - R&D and subsidiaries enter receivership.
1893 - R&D and susidiaries are taken over be J.P.Morgan and reorganized as the Southern Railway System.

East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia Railway.
1847 - The Hiawassee Railroad was chartered.
1848 - Hiawassee layes no track and is reorganized as the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad (ET&G).
1852 - ET&G builds a line from Knoxville to link to the Western and Atlantic Railroad at Dalton, GA providing a line from eastern Tennessee to the Atlantic Coast.
1851 - The East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad (ET&V) began construction of a line at Strawberry Plains.
1852 - Knoxville and Charleston Railroadd (K&C) starts.
1858 - ET&V completed Knoxville to Bristol in eastern Tennessee.
1858 - A missing link to the north and east was from Lynchburg tp Charlottesville in Virginia, 60 miles, 20 miles of which was to be completed in 1858 and the rest shortly thereafter.
1869 - ET&V and ET&G are consolidated to form the East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia Railroad.
1873-78 - K&C becomes Knoxville and Augusta Railroad (K&A).
1890 - K&A absorbed by ETV&G.
1890 - AGS sold to ETV&G.
1894 - ETV&G becomes part of Southern Railway System.

ETV&Gmap
East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia
1890
R&Dmap
Richmond and Danville
1882

Alabama Great Southern Railroad (AGS)
1853 - The Northeast and Soouthwest Alabama Railroad was chartered to build from Meridian, MS to Chattanooga, TN.
1860 - NE&SWA reaches from Meridian, MS to York, AL.
1860 - The 12 mile Wills Valley Railroad (WV) was built between Trenton, GA and Wauhatche, TN to a point on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. It was hoped to connect Chattanooga to north central Alabama but never completed this task.
1862 - Only 12 miles of NE&SWA had been laid.
1869 - City of Cincinnati, OH starts plans for a city owned railroad the Cincinnatti Southern (CS) to build from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, TN>
1868-71 - WV and NE&SWA are combined as the Alabama and Chattanoogga Railroad (A&C)
1871 - A&C completed from Meridian to Chattanooga.
1868-71 - The Mandeville and Sulpher Srprings Railroad (M&SS) incorporated in Louisiana and Mississippi.
cir 1870 - M&S becomes the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad (NO&NE). Still no track layed.
1871 - A&C reorganized as the Alabama Great Southern Railroad (AGS).
cir1870's - AGS control is gained by new company the Alabama Great Southern Railway Company, Ltd (AGS).
1880 - CS completed to Chattanooga and provides operfating lease to the Cincinnati New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP).
1881 - First passenger train runs the entire CNO&TP line.
1881 - New English Company the Alabama New Orleans Texas and Pacific Junction Railways Company Ltd. buys AGS and NO&NE.
1881 - ANOT&PJ gains control of the CNO&TP.
1890 - AGS sold to the ETV&G but operates as a separate entity.
1892 - AGS acquires Gadsden and Attalla Railroad (G&A) a branch joining the two cities.
1909 - Southern gains operating control over AGS and AGS acquires NO&NE.
1914 - AGS incorporated the Wauhaatche Extension Railway (WE) to complete connection with the Southern's Memphos-Chattanooga susidiary.
1917 - WE is completed and becomes part of AGS.
1969 - AGSs merged as part of Southern System.


Georgia Southern and Florida Railway (GSF)
1885 - Georgia Siuthern and Florida Railroad founded.
1888 - Macon and Birmingham Railroad (M&B) chartered. M&B was owned by the GSF but operated independently.
1889 - GSF completed Macon toValdosta, GA.
1890 - GSF extended to Palatka, FL.
1901 - M&B completed Macon, GA to La Grange.
1891 - GSF and M&B went bankrupt.
1895 - GSF reorganized as the Georgia Southern aand Florida Railway (GSF) with the Southern Railway in most control.
1895 - M&B reorganized as the Macon and Birmingham Railway.
1896-99 - The Hawkinsville and Florida Southern Railway (H&FS) was chartered. It was owned by the GSF but operated independently.
1897- The Atlantic Valdosta and Western Railway (AV&W) was chartered.
laate 1890's - AV&W completed fro Jaacksonville, FL from Valdosta, GA.
1901 - H&FS operating a line from Hawkinsville to Worth, GA on the GSF, 43 miles.
1902 - AV&W was purchased by GSF.
ccir 1940 - Southern has major control over GSF.

Columbia and Greenville Railroad
1845 - Plans for the Greenville and Columbia Railroad (G&C) to build from Newerry to Greenville, SC begun.
1852 - G&C completed from Columbia to Greenwood.
1853 - G&C completed to within 3 miles of Greenville.
cir 1863-64 - G&C largely destroyed during Civil War.
1866 - G&C restores operations.
1870 - G&C operates from Alstonto Spartanburg, SC over the Spartanburg and Union Railroad (S&U).
1872 - G&C in receivership.
1880 - G&C reorganized as the Columbua and Greenville Railroad (C&G)
1886 - C&G leased to the Richmond and Danville Railroad.
1894 - C&G becomes part of Southern Railway System.

Spartanburg Union and Columua Railroad (SU&C)
1847 - The Spartanburg and Union Raolroad (S&U) was chartered to build from Alston to Spartanburg, SC.
1853 - Construction began on the S&U
1856-57 - 40 miles of the 60 mile S&U completed but hit hard by the panic of 1857.
1859 - S&U completed Alston to Spartanburg, 60 miles with the help of South Carolina state bonds.
1865 - S&U suffers significant damage during Civil War.
1878 - S&U becomes the Spartanburg Union and Columbia Railway (SU&C).
cir 1894 - SU&C ecome part of Southern Railway System.

Carolina and Tennessee Southern Railway (C&TS).
1892 - C&TS incorporated to build a 60 mile line from Franklin, NC to the Tennessee state line near the Little Tennessee River.
1902 - Organization of the C&TS completed.
1909 - C&TS completed and operated by Southern Railway.
1915 - C&TS operates on its own but is under control of the Southern Railway.

Carolina and North-western Railway.
1848 - Kings Mountain Railroad (KM) chartered.
1852 - KM completed 22 miles Yorkville to Chester Court House, SC.
post 1852 - Line extended to Chester connecting with Charlotte-Columbia main line.
cir 1865 - KM destroyed in Civil War and abandoned.
1873 - KM acquired by Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge Railroad.
cir 1883 -C&LNG extended to Lenoir,NC
1883-94 - C&LNG operated by Richmond and Danville.
1894-1896 - C&LNG runs on its own.
1896 - C&LNG in bankrupcy.
1897 - C&LNG reorganized as the Carolina and North-Western Railway (C&NW) and operates relatively autonomously while under Southern control.
1902 - C&NW convered to s tandard gauge.
1906 - C&NW extends to Edgemont, NC for a total length of 150 miles.
1912 - C&NW shops built in Hickory, NC.
1922 - By 1922 Hickory shops had built a locomotive.
1938 - Line from Lenoir to Edgemont abandoned
cir 1940 - C&NW absorbed into the Southern System.
1947 - Passengger service ended.
1948 - C&NW all dielelized, one of first in the south.

Danville and Western Railway (D&W).
1891 - D&W begins operations from Danville, VA to Stuart, VA.
cir 1894 - D&W merged into Southern System.

Atlantic and East Carolina Railroad (A&EC)
1854 - Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad (A&NC) is chartered to build from Morehead City to Goldsboro, NC, 95 miles.
1858 - A&NC completed at Goldsboro where it joined the North Carolina Railroad.
1939 - The Atlantic and East Carolina Railway (A&EC) was formed to operate the former A&NC line.
1951 - A&EC completely dieselized.
1957-58 - A&EC becomes a subsidiary of the Southern System.

Blue Ridge Railway
1852 - The Blue Ridge Railroad of South Carolina (BRSC) is chartered to build a 195 mile line from Anderson, SC to Knoxville, TN.
1859 - BRSC had built from Anderson to West Union, SC and completed work on many of the 13 tunnels needed to get through the nountains.
1860's Work stopped at outbreak of Civil War.
1877 - BRSC extended to Walhalla, SC and first train runs from Anderson. No more tunnel work had been done, nor would any more track be laid.
1880 - Columbia and Greenville acquires laid trackage of BRSC.
1901 - Southern Railway, successor to C&G split out the BRSC line as the Blue Ridge Railway (BR).
1951 - Southern leases BR to the Carolina and Northwestern.
post 1951 - BR is merged into Southern Railway System.

SoUthern Railway Systen (SRS)
1894 - SRS is a combination of the Richmond and Danville System and the East Tennessee Virginia and Georgia Railroad. 4400 mile system was 2/3 owned, and the balance leased, or had operating agreements or stock ownership.
1881 - Cincinnati New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway operated from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, TN.
1894 - SRS also controlled the Alabama Great Southern, a line from Chattanooga to Meridian, Mississippi and the Georgia Southern and Florida, and had interest in the Central of Georgia.
1905 - G&A sold by AGS to Southern.
1907 - Work started on the Memphis-Chattanooga Railway, a short double tracked subsidiary railroad that connected from near Chattanooga thru Lookout Mountain tunnel to connect Tennessee to North Georgia.
1916 - M-C is completed and jointly owned by AGS and Southern.
1916 - New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, from Meridian, Mississippi to New Orleans part of Southern System, now about 8000 miles.
1939 - St. Louis Car and Fairbanks Morse produce 6 box cab diesel-electrics for the Southern "Cracker" passenger trains, "Vulcan", "Golden Rod", "Joe Wheeler" et al. Crackers lasted until 1950's.
1940 - By the 40's the Southern Railway System also included control of other railroads which still maintained semblances of their own identity and ran passenger trains. Many of these are covered in the sections above.
1953 - Sou may have been first class I railroad to completely dieselize.
1953 - Southern acquires Louisiana Southern Railway (LS), through its susidiary the NO&NE, giving it better industrial access in the New Orleans area.
1963 - CofG becomes part of Sou.
1963 - Central of Georgia becomes subsidiary of Southern. (see separate paage for CofG)
1963 - Georgia and Florida Railroad ecomes Southern subsidiary. (See G&F page)
1966-67 - Southern Railway acquires Georgia Northern Railway. (see GeoNor page)
1969-71 - AGS and NO&NE now fully merge into Southern System.
1971 - Tennessee Alabama and Georgia (TAG) is purchased. (see TAG page)
1974 - Old Norfolk Southern is acquired by Sou. (see separate webpage for ONS)
1982 - Sou and Norfolk and Western merge to become new Norfolk Southern.

Southern Railway Genealogy (Less Central of Georgia). This genealogy may not match precisely with accounts above. Corrections are welcomed
Southern genealogy

Southern map
Southern Railway System timetable map - May 1941


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Diesel Victory-Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Classic Trains - Kalmbach Publishing Co.-fall 2006
Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. Copyright, Steve Storey(ss)
Mitch Bailey

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, May 1, 2009, revised Oct. 22, 2011