• Georgia Southern Railway (fka Georgia Midland)

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  by G&Fman
 
The branch you're talking about still has three customers: Claude Howard Lumber and Reeves Construction at one end and Bulloch Fertilizer on the other. I just moved back home from Atlanta a couple of years ago.....I now live in Brooklet, about 6 miles east of Statesboro. I remember chasing trains on that line when I was in college, back when it was OGEE.

The crossing lights/gates will not work on the branch, but will on the mainline. Thus, the crossing is normally flagged whenever the train is on the branch.

Tillman Deal in Register still uses rail service occasionally, the crew just uses the switch on the northside now.

The only other business past Register toward Metter is in Metter. Southern States in Metter takes an occasional covered hopper load or two of potash/fertilizer and once in a blue moon a tankcar of nitrogen solution. Reeves Construction was unloading rock in front of the old stockyard for a while, but I believe it was a temporary thing because I think they quit unloading there now.

Here are some of the pictures I've taken in Statesboro on the GMR:

http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/sho ... hp?t=23072
  by ashley2771
 
Thanks for the updates... glad to hear she's still puffing... I've been told OGEE wants to the get Sylvania line back... is that going to happen... by the way, I live in Fayetteville, NC, but my wife is from Brooklet- she went to SE Bulloch...

  by G&Fman
 
The OGEE wanting the Sylvania line back? Hmmm....that's the first I've heard of that.

I don't think it will happen, but I've been surprised before.

Oh, there should be 3 loads of potash/fertilizer in Metter today. I was inspecting 156's train last night and they were on the head end to be setoff at Dover.

I'm originally from Bellville (near Claxton). Grew up watching Seaboard/CSX then Georgia Central go by my house. I rode a lot of trains after GC got it. Graduated from Georgia Southern Univ, so I was able to chase the OGEE around while between classes. Moved to Atlanta to keep my job with NS, then moved back home.....or real close to it.

  by ashley2771
 
Glad to hear they are still serving Metter... I'll try and dig up where I saw the info about OGEE wanting Sylvania back...

  by Jeff Smith
 
OGEE got the northern branch back eff 4/15 or so saw it on Prog RR newswire but don't have link handy. AWT sold it to consolidate eqpmt bus must be good and they didn't want big cap exp. so they will serve smaller area with same amt (conjecture...)

Saw some cars down by Bull Fert on siding so yes branch is active. They've had a loco on siding by old market on Main for a while - OOS?

DOT is bldg a rails to trails on abandoned ROW to Brklt. Did not know until recently there was a branch there. Must have continued past Howards. So much going in there on Brannen now.

  by G&Fman
 
Well, there ya go, I'm surprised. Can you post that link when you get it?
I'm guessing by "northern branch" you're talking about the Sylvania line.

It's not unusual for the GMR to leave one of their 2 engines in Statesboro. They do it for both customer and RR convenience. Sometimes they'll leave one on the Reeves Construction siding near Register (Jimps) whenever the rock business really picks up.

I didn't know about the Rails 'n Trails project goin' on (I need to start reading the Statesboro paper more!). The ROW was once the Savannah & Statesboro Railway, which ran from Statesboro, through Brooklet, and connected with the SAL at Cuyler (just west of Meldrim). And yes, the GMR's "branch" including the track through Claude Howard was once the S&S. You can still see remnants of the ROW/roadbed east of Claude Howard all the way to Brooklet. There are some dirt roads made right on top of the old roadbed (S&S Roadbed Rd, Pretoria Rushing Rd, etc) also.

The Bulloch Fertilizer side of the branch was once the Savannah, Augusta & Northern Railway, which ran through Garfield and connected with the G&F main at Stevens Crossing (just south of Midville). Eventually, the S&S operated the SA&N before the Midland Railway took over. Later, the G&F acquired the SA&N, and reorganized it as the Statesboro Northern.

  by Jeff Smith
 
G&Fman wrote:Well, there ya go, I'm surprised. Can you post that link when you get it?
I'm guessing by "northern branch" you're talking about the Sylvania line.

It's not unusual for the GMR to leave one of their 2 engines in Statesboro. They do it for both customer and RR convenience. Sometimes they'll leave one on the Reeves Construction siding near Register (Jimps) whenever the rock business really picks up.

I didn't know about the Rails 'n Trails project goin' on (I need to start reading the Statesboro paper more!). The ROW was once the Savannah & Statesboro Railway, which ran from Statesboro, through Brooklet, and connected with the SAL at Cuyler (just west of Meldrim). And yes, the GMR's "branch" including the track through Claude Howard was once the S&S. You can still see remnants of the ROW/roadbed east of Claude Howard all the way to Brooklet. There are some dirt roads made right on top of the old roadbed (S&S Roadbed Rd, Pretoria Rushing Rd, etc) also.

The Bulloch Fertilizer side of the branch was once the Savannah, Augusta & Northern Railway, which ran through Garfield and connected with the G&F main at Stevens Crossing (just south of Midville). Eventually, the S&S operated the SA&N before the Midland Railway took over. Later, the G&F acquired the SA&N, and reorganized it as the Statesboro Northern.
I doubt you'd learn anything from the Herald - it's pretty thin. I guess it's better than nothing, but in this town where everyone knows everyone they really don't dig a lot of dirt. You've actually filled me in quite a bit, nice to know the history.

Here's the (belated) link and an excerpt:

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/n ... p?id=16245
Ogeechee Railway acquires Georgia Midland branch line
The Georgia Midland Railroad (GMR) recently sold an Ardmore-to-Sylvania, Ga., branch line to the Ogeechee Railway Co., which assumed operations of the line yesterday.

The branch line comprises 20 miles of mainline track and includes an interchange point with Norfolk Southern Railway at Ardmore.

Current operations required the shuttling of crews and maintenance equipment between the Ardmore branch and other GMR lines, said Brad Lafevers, president and chief executive officer of GMR parent Atlantic Western Transportation Inc. (AWT), in a news item posted on AWT's Web site. The sale will enable GMR to more fully utilize its resources to serve and maintain other lines in the region, and place more focus on the needs of customers along those lines, he said.
Saw some cars down on the Metter wye coming in Friday pm.

  by G&Fman
 
Thanks for the link. Traffic on the Sylvania line has been sparse for a long time, so that's probably the main reason why the GMR let the OGEE have it. At least it didn't face abandonment, so it's good to see part of the old S&A still kickin'.
  by ashley2771
 
Have you heard anyting about HOG trying to rehab the abanadoned line from Kirby to Vidalia? I know Atlantic Wood Industries in Vidalia which GC serves, is putting in additional trackage...

  by Jeff Smith
 
Is that the one that runs under 16 around Swainsboro exit? But to answer your question I haven't seen any news on this.

  by ashley2771
 
I think it is... not totally sure... isn't there also one near the Oak Park exit? that may be it..

  by Jeff Smith
 
That one would take a lot of work - the conditions I observed (granted, doing 80+ going over the bridge) it looks pretty rough. I think they'd need new rail and bed if they were going to do anything over 5mph.

  by G&Fman
 
I talked to one of the GMR/HOG employees a few months ago, and he said the money has been approved for the track and bridge work to be done between Kirby and Vidalia. However, the problem is that the GMR/HOG wants additional moola for rail replacement, which hasn't been approved. There's 65(ish) pound rail on that section, which, according to the RR, is too light to handle the traffic they're anticipating. This "traffic", according to what I was told, will be wood products (chips, lumber) from 2 woodyards who want to build near the line: Tolleson(sp?) Lumber and Rayonier, which left me scratching my head, seeing as how there's already a Rayonier in Kirby.

Anyhow, again, from what I was told, it's not a matter of if, but when trains will ply the ol' G&F rails again to Vidalia.

On a side note, I was over at Atlantic Wood in Vidalia last weekend and noticed the trackwork (crosstie replacement) being done on the G&F main. I didn't notice any additional trackage, other than probably the spur in Atlantic Wood being extended, and some brush cleared at the stopping point on the G&F main (I guess to give the GC more room to switch). Also, I noticed some land cleared and construction going on directly behind Atlantic Wood.

  by G&Fman
 
Sarge wrote:Is that the one that runs under 16 around Swainsboro exit?
That's it. As far as I know, the track is still in place all the way to Atlantic Wood in Vidalia.

  by Jeff Smith
 
I'll have to scout the area. SAM shortline is running an excursion this week from Cordele to Savannah for Mem Day, I think they hit Vid around noon Sat., return trip Monday.
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