The ETV&G was created in Tennessee in 1869 by the consolidation of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. The former linked Knoxville and Dalton while the latter connected Knoxville to Bristol, TN.
In 1880-81, the ETV&G purchased the Georgia Southern Railroad (the former Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad), giving it a line from Dalton to Selma, Alabama. In 1881 it bought the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, a 174-mile road between Macon and Brunswick. To connect these widely separated lines, the ETV&G built its “Atlanta Division” from Rome to Atlanta to Macon, a distance of 158 miles. It was completed in 1882.
In 1886 the railroad was sold under foreclosure and reorganized as the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railway. It was controlled by the Richmond Terminal Company from 1887 to 1892.
In the 1889 edition of The Official Railway List, the ETV&G reported operating 1,465 miles of railroad, 233 locomotives, 161 passenger cars, and 7,336 freight and miscellaneous cars.
In 1894 the figures were 1,810 miles of railroad, 272 locomotives, 192 passenger cars, and 9,560 freight and miscellaneous cars. It also reported an additional 1,588 leased cars.
In 1890 the Rome and Decatur Railroad was added to the system.
In 1895 the ETV&G and the Richmond and Danville Railroad were merged to form the new Southern Railway.
Maps and timetables:
1881 map at Library of Congress
1882 timetable for Macon-Brunswick division
1882 map of Macon-Brunswick division
1882 map from Official Railway Guide
1882 map at Library of Congress
1883 map Rome-Atlanta
1883 map Atlanta-Macon
1886 map Rome-Atlanta
1890 map at University of Alabama Map Library