East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad

East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad locomotive

The ETV&G was created in Tennessee in 1869 by the consolidation of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad and the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad. The former linked Knoxville and Dalton while the latter connected Knoxville to Bristol, TN.East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad

In 1880-81 the ETV&G purchased the Georgia Southern Railroad (the former Selma, Rome & Dalton Railroad), giving it a line from Dalton to Selma, Alabama. In 1881 it bought the Macon & 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 1883 the ETV&G completed an 11-mile cutoff between Cohutta, Ga., and Ooltewah, Tenn. This allowed Atlanta-Chattanooga traffic to bypass Cleveland, Tenn., saving time and mileage.

In 1886 the railroad was sold under foreclosure and reorganized as the East Tennessee, Virginia & 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 & Decatur Railroad was added to the system.

In 1894 the ETV&G and the Richmond & Danville Railroad system were merged to form the new Southern Railway.

Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:

1870 timetable (139K)

1881 map at Library of Congress

1882 timetable for Macon-Brunswick division (130K)

1882 map of Macon-Brunswick division (114K)

1882 map from Official Railway Guide (146K)

1882 map at Library of Congress

1883 map Rome-Atlanta (202K)

1883 map Atlanta-Macon (99K)

1884 ad (160K)

1886 map Rome-Atlanta (301K)

1886 timetable, page one (550K)

1886 timetable, page two (432K)

1890 map at University of Alabama Map Library

1890 birds eye map (153K)

1890 ad, ETV&G to Jekyl Island ( 154K)

1891 ad (113K)

1891 map of ETV&G and Queen & Crescent Systems (560K)

The ETV&G promoted tourist attractions along its routes such as the beaches at Brunswick and Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga.

An ETV&G branch line to Chattanooga ran west from the main line at Cleveland, Tennessee.

(Images above are from: The scenic attractions and summer resorts along the railways of the Virginia, Tennessee & Georgia Air Line: the Shenandoah Velley RR., the Norfolk & Western RR., and the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia RR. New York: Aldine Press, 1883. Online at Internet Archive here.)

Advertisement for Long Leaf Pine lumber

In south Georgia the ETV&G transported long leaf pine from lumber mills to the port of Brunswick.

Suggested Reading:

Fairfax Harrison. A History of the Legal Development of the Railroad System of Southern Railway Company. Washington, D.C., 1901. Online at Google Books.

Maury Klein. The Great Richmond Terminal; A Study in Businessmen and Business Strategy. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1970.

John F. Stover. The Railroads of the South 1865-1900; A Study in Finance and Control. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1955.


In Knoxville, TN, an 1890 ETV&G locomotive is being restored to operating condition. See Southern154.com for information and photos.


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