Macon, Dublin & Savannah Railroad

md&s locomotive

The Macon & Dublin Railroad was chartered in 1885 with the modest aim of connecting its namesake towns. Construction began soon afterwards, but work came to an end in the spring of 1886 and would not be resumed until 1890. By that time the name of the company had been revised, adding "Savannah," perhaps to attract more investment in the enterprise.

Macon already had a railroad line to Savannah, the Central of Georgia, which had been completed nearly a half-century earlier. Its route was somewhat indirect, however, arcing to the north rather than running straight southeast to the port city.

The line from Macon to Dublin was completed by the end of 1891, but once again work stopped and a long delay ensued. It was not until April 1901 that the construction crews returned. In March of 1902 the line was finally finished to Vidalia.

Poors Manual of the Railroads for 1906 reported that surveys for an extension of the railroad to Savannah had been completed, but the MD&S never progressed beyond Vidalia. Even so, Macon did get its second route to Savannah with the combination of the 92-mile MD&S and the 80-mile Vidalia-Savannah link on the Seaboard Air Line Railway.

In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the MD&S reported operating 54 miles of railroad between Macon and Dublin with 2 locomotives, 4 passenger cars, and 45 freight and miscellaneous cars.

Atlantic Coast Line gained control of the MD&S in 1904, possibly intending to add Macon to its service area. However, the nearest ACL line was some 50 miles to the southeast at Ludowici. Any tracks built over this mileage would cross a region of limited economic potential (as the GC&PRR would learn a few years later).

In 1907, Seaboard purchased a controlling interest in the MD&S. This had the advantage of preventing the smaller road from building a competing line to Savannah or becoming a Macon branch of rival ACL. It would continue as a feeder line to the SAL. This function it served for five more decades under its own name until 1958 when it was absorbed into the Seaboard.

The MD&S was nicknamed The Vidalia Route.

In 1917 the MD&S reported operating 92 miles of railroad between Macon and Vidalia with 28 miles of sidings. Equipment reported included 12 locomotives, 12 passenger cars, 172 freight cars, and 18 service cars.

The line is now operated by the Georgia Central Railway.

Soperton depot

Soperton depot

Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:

1894 timetable (68K)

1895 map (42K)

1903 map (330K)

1908 map and timetable (552K)

1912 map (146K)

1917 equipment list (212K)

1929 timetable (158K) Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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