Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay Railway

Linking Dothan, AL, and Panama City, FL, the Atlanta & St.Andrews Bay Railway was a 1907-08 project of A. B. Steele, president of the Enterprise Lumber Company of Atlanta. Expecting the new Panama Canal to create huge trade and transportation opportunities on the Gulf Coast, he sought to develop a port on St. Andrews Bay that would be linked by rail to Atlanta. His lumber railroad had already connected the Central of Georgia at Dothan with the L&N at Cottondale, and a 55-mile extension to the coast would give him an advantage over potential competitors.

The line opened in mid-1908, reaching the bay at Harrison, a town soon to be renamed Panama City. Although the rail traffic proved to be disappointing, the A&SAB did survive and ultimately became a strong carrier. Acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 2005, it now operates as the Bay Line Railroad and extends from Panama City to Hilton, GA.

A. & St. A. B. Engine No. 110 at Dothan, AL, in 1907.
(State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.)

Bay Line No. 508. (Tom Solomon Photographs, Dothan Landmarks Foundation, Inc. Records, RG030. Archives of Wiregrass History and Culture, Troy University Dothan Campus, Dothan, AL.)

Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:

1917 timetable (116K)

1917 equipment register (186K)

1953 map, Dothan area (373K)

Suggested Reading:

Wayne Cline. Alabama Railroads. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.

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