Atlanta & Birmingham Air Line Railway
In 1902, the Seaboard Air Line Railway purchased the East and West Railroad, a line from Pell City, Alabama to Cartersville, Georgia, intending to make it a key link in a planned line from Atlanta to Birmingham. The following year Seaboard incorporated the E&W into a new subsidiary, the Atlanta and Birmingham Air Line Railway, which had been organized to build a link from Birmingham to the E&W at Coal City, Alabama. At the Atlanta end, the A&BAL built 43 miles of new track from Howells (in northwest Atlanta) to the E&W at Rockmart, thus completing a Birmingham-Atlanta line at a fraction of the cost of building an all-new railroad. The new line opened in late 1904.
The A&BAL was absorbed by Seaboard in 1909.
Note: Coal City was earlier named Broken Arrow. It is today named Wattsville.
1908 map (65K)
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