A 55-mile line between Opelika and Goodwater, Alabama, the Savannah & Memphis began in 1854 as the Opelika & Talladega Railroad. After failing to construct any track, the O&T was reorganized in 1861, just as the Civil War began, as the Opelika & Tuscumbia Railroad.
In 1866, the Opelika & Tuscumbia was reorganized again,
this time under the name Savannah & Memphis Railroad. Track
construction finally began in earnest, but by 1874 the company
had only reached Goodwater. In 1880, the S&M was sold at foreclosure to the Columbus & Western