• NS' "Backwoods" Railroading in GA

  • Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
  by ACLfan
I was really surprised to see a really long (128 car) train using the former Georgia Northern RR trackage between Sparks and Albany, GA on Friday night (11/26/04).

The Georgia Northern RR was acquired by the Southern Rwy in the late 1960's, and in the 1980's NS upgraded the trackage for intended usage as a "short cut" route between Florida and the midwest.

After a few years, NS gave up on the line, and it fell into little use, except for local freights. NS even turned all local work on the line to the G-F Railnet, and for use by G-F Railnet as a route to reach their isolated lines at Adel, GA and Valdosta, GA.

But, Friday night, a northbound NS freight train with 128 cars took the turnout at Sparks, GA off of the mainline and onto the rusty secondary line to Albany and beyond. The train had three units (a UP SD70M[lead unit], NS D9-40CW, and NS SD40-2), for a total of 11,000 hp!

From the turnout, the train crept through the town of Sparks, GA at the very slow speed of about 15 mph! Probably the biggest traffic backlog for quite a while!

It made me wonder if NS is trying to reuse the old (rebuilt) Georgia Northern, or was it a one-time affair due to some wreck or trackwork on another NS line.

Does anyone know the answer?


  by dconlive_
Wonder if NS has some sort of trackage rights between Albany and Sparks? It wouldn't surprise me. They used to own the line.

There might of been a problem on their mainline between Sparks and Macon. A route through Albany is a good bypass except the lower track speeds.

It might of been bound for Columbus/Birmingham and wanted another route. NS owns that line from Americus to Columbus (leased to Georgia Southwestern). But I'm sure they could run a train on it if they had to. They most likely would just run up to Fort Valley, then west to Columbus.

  by DocJohn
NS appears to have more traffic south of Atlanta than track capacity. During time period you mentioned, there was reportedly track work between Sparks and Macon and also a derailment.

Macon, GA