In 1924, Southern Railway sold the line to a group of local businessmen.
In the 1980s, the Hartwell briefly operated a tourist train, the Hart County Scenic Railway, between Hartwell and Bowersville. Motive power was occasionally provided by No. 11, a Baldwin 2-6-2 steamer built in 1925.
In addition to its original line, the Hartwell now operates the 48-mile former Norfolk Southern line between Toccoa and Elberton.
The Hartwell Railroad Company has no employees; it contracts with the Great Walton Railroad to operate its lines.
Reporting mark: HRT.