locked Willachooche, GA


George Eichelberger
 

I just got back from the Cocoa Beach RPM. (Two rather different routes, going from Atlanta via I-75 and the Fla. turnpike to Orlando then the toll road to CCB along the route Bright Line is building their new railroad from Cocoa to the Orlando airport...very (!) impressive construction project. Return was up I-95 to Jax, then US 1 to Waycross then to Tifton and I-75 north. Odd thing..the two route distances were only 2 miles different!)

The road west of Waycross is interesting because it parallels an ACL line from Waycross to Tifton (it looks abandoned but track is still in place west to just short of Pearson, GA.) That line was very important to the Southern because up until the SCL merger, Tifton was the only place the ACL would interchange freight cars in and out of Florida with the Southern toward Atlanta.

Willachooche, GA is west of Pearson where the ACL and Georgia and Florida crossed. Passing through there I knew of a couple of junk RR cars parked at the depot but I was definitely surprised to see track machines and new track. I thought the G&F was abandoned and pulled up but following the newly built tracks south on the G&F, I saw a large mill and a yard with many tank cars and chip gons. There is a Southern "River" series 10/6 Pullman (name is painted over, at the north end of the yard (all fenced in).

I think the south end of the G&F may still be in from Valdosta to Nashville, GA but from there to Willachooche is a number of miles. Does anyone know if the G&F between those two points has been restored...or were never taken out? (is it part of the "St Marys - west railroad? That's what the grade crossing "800" telephone number signs on the ex ACL say.)

I never really followed the G&F in the 70s as I was always passing through to somewhere else but there were several towns where I'd cross the G&F. It was as close to "backwoods railroading" as anywhere on the Southern. Some of the last Southern F units I photographed were working the G&F. (Still intact from Augusta to Valdosta then?) The G&F sold the line from Valdosta to Madison, FL (Now Valdosta Southern) so avoid being an Interstate railroad some years before.

Ike


SouRwyFan
 

Hi George,

The line from Valdosta - Ray City – Nashville – Willacoochee is run by CaterParrott Railnet.
They have been upgrading and improving service over the last few years. They also have a Madison and Thomaston division operating former CofG lines in those areas.

They also run passenger excursions from Valdosta to Willacoochee...

https://cprailnet.com/azalea-sprinter-service/

They even recently bought 6902 (ex NYC) E-8 from a private owner out of Nashville TN, that formally ran on New GA train out of Atlanta.

The 10-6 Sleeper should be the Flint River, however the last I heard it was at the Tifton Depot.

BR, Rahl


George Eichelberger
 

Thanks! We are fortunate to have people knowledgable on every “nook and cranny” of the Southern.

I took the attached photo of F-7A 4254 in Hazelhurst, GA on a typical (blazing hot!) August day in the early 70s (the slide taken at the same time will have the date…I need to find it…). The rear of the unit looks like it may be slightly out of focus, but it’s not. The Geep and F-unit were struggling to get a large train started across the G&SF line to Brunswick. The traction motor blowers were working so hard they were throwing dirt up from the roadbed. Every time I see the photo, it reminds me how very hot the day was.

Hazelhurst was also a museum of Southern and CofG wood racks at this time. I expect they were in service to Brunswick. To me, pulpwood cars exemplified the secondary lines and small towns in the deep south.

Ike



On Jan 9, 2022, at 6:58 PM, SouRwyFan via groups.io <blackaerocoupe@...> wrote:

Hi George,

The line from Valdosta - Ray City – Nashville – Willacoochee is run by CaterParrott Railnet.
They have been upgrading and improving service over the last few years. They also have a Madison and Thomaston division operating former CofG lines in those areas.

They also run passenger excursions from Valdosta to Willacoochee...

https://cprailnet.com/azalea-sprinter-service/

They even recently bought 6902 (ex NYC) E-8 from a private owner out of Nashville TN, that formally ran on New GA train out of Atlanta.

The 10-6 Sleeper should be the Flint River, however the last I heard it was at the Tifton Depot.

BR, Rahl


 

Ike,
 
A friend of mine in Atlanta sent me this copy.  I thought it would be interesting to the rest of our membership so I’m forwarding it to you.  There are some very good photos in it.  Enjoy!
 
Ed Locklin at mp367.
 

 
From: George Eichelberger
Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2022 4:48 PM
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Subject: [SouthernRailway] Willachooche, GA
 
I just got back from the Cocoa Beach RPM. (Two rather different routes, going from Atlanta via I-75 and the Fla. turnpike to Orlando then the toll road to CCB along the route Bright Line is building their new railroad from Cocoa to the Orlando airport...very (!) impressive construction project. Return was up I-95 to Jax, then US 1 to Waycross then to Tifton and I-75 north. Odd thing..the two route distances were only 2 miles different!)

The road west of Waycross is interesting because it parallels an ACL line from Waycross to Tifton (it looks abandoned but track is still in place west to just short of Pearson, GA.) That line was very important to the Southern because up until the SCL merger, Tifton was the only place the ACL would interchange freight cars in and out of Florida with the Southern toward Atlanta.

Willachooche, GA is west of Pearson where the ACL and Georgia and Florida crossed. Passing through there I knew of a couple of junk RR cars parked at the depot but I was definitely surprised to see track machines and new track. I thought the G&F was abandoned and pulled up but following the newly built tracks south on the G&F, I saw a large mill and a yard with many tank cars and chip gons. There is a Southern "River" series 10/6 Pullman (name is painted over, at the north end of the yard (all fenced in).

I think the south end of the G&F may still be in from Valdosta to Nashville, GA but from there to Willachooche is a number of miles. Does anyone know if the G&F between those two points has been restored...or were never taken out? (is it part of the "St Marys - west railroad? That's what the grade crossing "800" telephone number signs on the ex ACL say.)

I never really followed the G&F in the 70s as I was always passing through to somewhere else but there were several towns where I'd cross the G&F. It was as close to "backwoods railroading" as anywhere on the Southern. Some of the last Southern F units I photographed were working the G&F. (Still intact from Augusta to Valdosta then?) The G&F sold the line from Valdosta to Madison, FL (Now Valdosta Southern) so avoid being an Interstate railroad some years before.

Ike


Gerald Robinson
 

Ed, great comment and great photos on the NS enclosure

Gerald Robinson


-----Original Message-----
From: Edwin Locklin <elocklin@...>
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Jan 9, 2022 9:20 pm
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Willachooche, GA

Ike,
 
A friend of mine in Atlanta sent me this copy.  I thought it would be interesting to the rest of our membership so I’m forwarding it to you.  There are some very good photos in it.  Enjoy!
 
Ed Locklin at mp367.
 

 
From: George Eichelberger
Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2022 4:48 PM
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Subject: [SouthernRailway] Willachooche, GA
 
I just got back from the Cocoa Beach RPM. (Two rather different routes, going from Atlanta via I-75 and the Fla. turnpike to Orlando then the toll road to CCB along the route Bright Line is building their new railroad from Cocoa to the Orlando airport...very (!) impressive construction project. Return was up I-95 to Jax, then US 1 to Waycross then to Tifton and I-75 north. Odd thing..the two route distances were only 2 miles different!)

The road west of Waycross is interesting because it parallels an ACL line from Waycross to Tifton (it looks abandoned but track is still in place west to just short of Pearson, GA.) That line was very important to the Southern because up until the SCL merger, Tifton was the only place the ACL would interchange freight cars in and out of Florida with the Southern toward Atlanta.

Willachooche, GA is west of Pearson where the ACL and Georgia and Florida crossed. Passing through there I knew of a couple of junk RR cars parked at the depot but I was definitely surprised to see track machines and new track. I thought the G&F was abandoned and pulled up but following the newly built tracks south on the G&F, I saw a large mill and a yard with many tank cars and chip gons. There is a Southern "River" series 10/6 Pullman (name is painted over, at the north end of the yard (all fenced in).

I think the south end of the G&F may still be in from Valdosta to Nashville, GA but from there to Willachooche is a number of miles. Does anyone know if the G&F between those two points has been restored...or were never taken out? (is it part of the "St Marys - west railroad? That's what the grade crossing "800" telephone number signs on the ex ACL say.)

I never really followed the G&F in the 70s as I was always passing through to somewhere else but there were several towns where I'd cross the G&F. It was as close to "backwoods railroading" as anywhere on the Southern. Some of the last Southern F units I photographed were working the G&F. (Still intact from Augusta to Valdosta then?) The G&F sold the line from Valdosta to Madison, FL (Now Valdosta Southern) so avoid being an Interstate railroad some years before.

Ike