South Carolina Railroads - Georgia & Florida Railway / Railroad

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

G&F RR

1906

1929 in SC

1963*

North Augusta, SC

Greenwood, SC

* 1963 - Acquired by Southern Railway
Chartered in 1906 as the Georgia & Florida Railway. 1926, renamed to the Georgia & Florida Railroad. With lines primarily in Georgia and Florida, the railroad finally made it into South Carolina by 1929.

The Georgia and Florida Railway was organized in 1906 for the purpose of purchasing, building, and operating railroads in Georgia and Florida. Most of the G&F was assembled between 1906 and 1911 by John Skelton Williams, former president of the Seaboard Air Line Railway.

Williams acquired six lines: the 53-mile Millen & Southwestern Railroad (Millen-Pendleton-Vidalia); the 30-mile Augusta & Florida Railway (Keysville-Midville); the 20-mile Atlantic & Gulf Short Line Railroad (Midville-Swainsboro); the 87-mile Douglas, Augusta & Gulf Railway (Hazlehurst-Nashville and Barrows Bluff-Broxton); the 12-mile Nashville & Sparks Railroad (Nashville-Sparks); and the 28-mile Valdosta Southern Railway (Valdosta-Madison, Florida).

In 1906, he obtained trackage rights on the Augusta Southern Railroad between Keysville and Augusta, GA. Between 1906 and 1910, he connected his various acquisitions with three new lines: from Swainsboro to Pendleton, from Hazlehurst to Vidalia, and from Nashville to Valdosta. The result was a north-south line across Georgia from Augusta, GA to Madison, Florida.

To straighten a jog in the line in Coffee County, he built a shortcut from Douglas to Garrant (near West Green), abandoning the older tracks between Broxton and Garrant. This left Broxton off the main line, but the town remained on a branch that connected to the new main line at Douglas.

Through the purchase of the Sparks Western Railway, trackage rights agreements, and construction of short connectors, the G&F established a branch to Moultrie in 1911. The G&F also built a 2.2-mile branch from Sparks to Adel in 1911.

The railroad entered receivership in 1915 but remained intact. In 1919, the G&F acquired the Augusta Southern (Augusta-Sandersville), over which it had obtained trackage rights between Keysville and Augusta. By leasing the Midland Railway in 1924, the G&F was able to add a branch line to Statesboro. It connected with the main line at Stevens Crossing.

After a reorganization in 1926, it was renamed to the Georgia and Florida Railroad .

Most of the branch line from Millen to Pendleton (on the former Millen & Southwestern) was abandoned in 1930. The section from Garfield to Summit-Graymont remained open. The former Augusta Southern between Sandersville and Keysville was abandoned in 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression. In 1950, the branch line between Stevens Crossing and Statesboro was abandoned. In 1954, the Valdosta-Madison line was sold to new owners, who renamed it the Valdosta Southern Railroad. In 1958, the last remaining section of the Broxton branch was abandoned.

Southern Railway acquired the G&F in 1963 but did not stop the slow dismantlement. It abandoned the section of line between Hephzibah and Midville in 1966 (except for a short section near Gough) and the Nashville-Sparks section of the Moultrie branch in 1967-68. In 1971, Southern Railway merged the remnants of the G&F into its subsidiary, the Central of Georgia Railway.

Towns on Route (in SC):

Greenwood

South Greenwood

Phoenix

Gains

Pleasant Lane

Edgefield

North Augusta

SC/GA State Line



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