Atlanta and West Point Railroad
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|Atlanta and West Point Rail Road|
|Dates of operation||1847–1983|
4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge 5 ft (1,524 mm)marks=AWP
The Atlanta and West Point Rail Road (reporting mark AWP) was a railroad in the U.S. state of Georgia, forming the east portion of the Atlanta-Selma West Point Route. The company was chartered in 1847 as the Atlanta and LaGrange Rail Road and renamed in 1857; construction of the 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge line was begun in 1849-50 and completed in May 1854. A large minority interest owned by the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company eventually passed under the control of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL), which later acquired a majority of the stock. Through the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL), successor to the ACL, the A&WP came under the Family Lines System banner in 1972, and in June 1986 it was merged into the Seaboard System Railroad, successor to the SCL. The former A&WP property is now owned by CSX Transportation.
In 1967 A&WP reported 232 million revenue ton-miles of freight and 3 million passenger-miles on 93 miles of road operated.
The AWP and the Western Railway of Alabama had financial backing from the parent company of the Georgia Railroad, and from 1886 onward the AWP and the Western operated essentially as one railroad under the name "West Point Route". In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the three were controlled through joint lease by the Central of Georgia Railroad and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (through assignment by its majority owner, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad). The CofG sold its interest in 1944. Through the control of the Georgia Railroad, the lines eventually fell under the control of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, which was the result of a merger between the ACL and the Seaboard Air Line. All of these lines plus the Clinchfield Railroad became the Family Lines System in the 1970s, though all the lines maintained separate corporate identities. Those identities became "fallen flags" when the group was renamed Seaboard System Railroad (SBD), and in 1986 SBD merged with Chessie System to form CSX Transportation.
The former AWP line remains in full service today, though passenger service ended on January 7, 1970 on account of the A&WP, with the arrival of the Crescent at Atlanta Terminal Station. However, the Central of Georgia's Man o' War continued to operate for several more months over the A&WP between Atlanta and Newnan en route to Columbus, but you couldn't buy a ticket for travel between Atlanta and Newnan. (per George Harwood, Tampa, FL, who rode the final run of the Crescent to Atlanta. Then the Atlanta Terminal Station ticket agent refused to sell a ticket to Newnan later that day, so he bought a ticket to Raymond and got off the Man o' War at the Newnan station stop.) The A&WP name came to an end in June 1986 when it was absorbed into the SBD.
One of AWP's most notable steam locomotives, heavy Pacific AWP 290, survived and was restored to operational status in 1989. 290 pulled steam excursions around Atlanta from 1989 to 1992 for the New Georgia Railroad including a special excursion from Atlanta to Montgomery along the original West Point Route.
List of stations
These stations existed as of 1867.
|Palmetto||25||completed on March 17, 1851|
|Newnan||39||completed on September 9, 1851|
|Grantville||51||completed on June 1, 1852|
|LaGrange||71||completed in February, 1853|
|Long Cane||80||Off Long Cane Road|
|West Point||86||completed on May 15, 1854|
Trains departed from Atlanta at 12:15PM and arrived there at 8:37AM. West Point was the connecting point further west via the Montgomery and West Point Railroad.
- Passenger Depot, Newnan, Georgia, 1897, one of many drawings related to the Atlanta and West Point Railroad in the Georgia Archives.