Chattanooga, Rome & Columbus Railroad
This northwest Georgia railroad began its existence in 1881 when the Rome and Carrollton Railroad was chartered to build a line between those two cities. It was not until 1884, however, when new ownership took over, that track construction began.
About 20 miles of narrow-gauge track between Rome and Cedartown had been put into place when, in 1887, the company changed its name to Chattanooga, Rome & Columbus Railroad. It was also decided around this time that the railroad should be a standard gauge line, so the earlier trackage was rebuilt and all later tracks were constructed at that gauge.
The 140-mile line between Chattanooga and Carrollton opened on July 1, 1888. By 1890 the railroad had added 18 miles of branch lines to area iron ore mines and furnaces. The owners planned to extend the main line as far as Columbus, some 230 miles from Chattanooga, but no tracks were ever constructed beyond Carrollton.
In 1889 the railroad operated 12 locomotives, 12 passenger cars, and 400 freight and miscellaneous cars. President J. D. Williamson and most of the other officers were residents of Rome.
The line was bought by the Savannah and Western Railroad, a subsidiary of the Central of Georgia, in 1891. Soon after the purchase, the S&W and its parent Central of Georgia went into receivership. In early 1894 the federal courts separated the CR&C from the Savannah and Western and returned it to its original owners.
Three years later, the line was once again in financial trouble. It was sold to Simon Borg and Company and was reorganized as the Chattanooga, Rome and Southern Railway.
In 1900 the CR&S purchased the Chattanooga and Durham Railroad, a 17-mile road that ran west from Chickamauga to coal mines atop Lookout Mountain.
On May 16, 1901, the Central regained its connection to Chattanooga by purchasing the CR&S.
Maps and timetables:
1893 map (184K)
1895 timetable (96K)
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