The Roswell Railroad Company was incorporated in Georgia in 1879 as successor to the Atlanta and Roswell Railroad Company. It was controlled by the Atlanta and Charlotte Air-Line Railroad Company, which constructed the 10-mile line and opened it for business on September 1, 1881. In the same year, the A&CAL was leased to the Richmond and Danville Railroad (which became the Southern Railway in 1894).
The line joined the A&CAL at Roswell Junction (now Chamblee) and proceeded north to the south side of the Chattahoochee River. Although the railroads owners had planned to cross the river and continue into Roswell, no bridge was ever built because of the expense.
In 1888 the little railroad had one locomotive, one passenger car, two box cars, and four flatcars. The track was narrow-gauge (3 feet).
The line was sold to Southern Railway in 1900.
In 1905, the railroad brought President Theodore Roosevelt to Roswell to visit Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of his mother, the former Martha Bulloch.
In 1921, Poors Manual reported that the railroad had one locomotive, one passenger car, and six freight cars.
The line was abandoned in 1921. Hardly any of the bed remains.
In its June 1, 1994 issue, the Atlanta Journal & Constitution described the railroad's route: (It) began in Chamblee about a half-mile south of the site of Oglethorpe University on Peachtree Road. (Chamblee originally was known as Roswell Junction.) Its path crossed Little Nancys Creek, ran through the present site of Chamblee First Methodist Church and continued northward through the Ramada Inn property at Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, then Roberts Drive and Northridge Road before crossing Georgia 400. It traveled northward along the east side of Dunwoody Place before reaching the Roswell Depot located at what is now the North River shopping center on Georgia 9 on a bluff overlooking the river.
A 2.7-mile spur line called the Bull Sluice Railroad (later called the Morgan Falls Branch) was added in 1902 just north of the Dunwoody Station leading to Morgan Falls to ferry materials for the construction of a hydroelectric dam.... .
A short section of the Bull Sluice/Morgan Falls branch line can be seen in Big Trees Forest Preserve.
More information on the Roswell Railroad from Douglas van Veelen's website.
1883 map (42K)
1888 map (290K)
For further reading:
Michael D. Hitt. History of the Roswell Railroad, 1853-1921, published 1994. See michaelhitt.com.
RailGa.com. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey