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Streetcars in Georgia

Dozens of cities and towns in Georgia had streetcars in operation at one time or another. A gamut of vehicle types included horse-cars, steam dummies, open cars, closed cars, interurban cars, battery cars, gasoline motor cars, and converted automobiles and trucks.

Here's a look at the streetcar and interurban systems that once moved millions in the Peach State.

Albany. Streetcar rails remain in place at Albany's Union Station.

Americus. The first trolley in town became a kitchen for local prisoners, then a lake cottage.

Athens. By 1893, mule-drawn cars in the Classic City had been replaced by electric streetcars.

Atlanta. Between 1871 and 1902, Georgia's capital had dozens of street railway companies. Eventually there would be only one, a predecessor of Georgia Power Company.

Augusta. On Broad Street one could board a streetcar for a ride to several corners of the city or take the interurban line to Aiken, SC.

Brunswick and St. Simons Island. Streetcars operated in the city and on the nearby resort island, connected by steamboat.

Chattanooga Area. The Scenic City had interurban lines to Rossville and Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia.

Clarkesville. This NE Georgia town had a converted automobile as well as a more conventional streetcar on its depot route.

Columbus. The streetcar system in Columbus included a sizeable freight business.

Covington. Folks riding the mule cars between Covington and the nearby college town of Oxford had to walk across the railroad tracks.

Decatur. Streetcars began running between Atlanta and Decatur in 1891 and continued into the 1940s.

Fairburn. An 11-mile interurban railway linked Fairburn to College Park, where patrons could board Atlanta streetcars into the larger city.

Gainesville. The city's streetcars ran to New Holland, the depot, and Chattahoochee Park on Lake Warner.

Griffin. Mule-powered streetcars operated here in the early 1890s.

LaGrange. Like Griffin, this west Georgia city had animal-powered streetcars in the early 1890s.

Macon. By 1914, Macon had over 37 miles of streetcar lines.

Marietta. This interurban line ran through northwest Atlanta and across the Chattahoochee River to Smyrna and Marietta.

Milledgeville. After a few years this city's streetcars were replaced by street-running freight trains.

Rome. Streetcar lines extended in four directions from downtown Rome's historic Broad Street.

Savannah. Among the earliest lines were those from the city to the riverside resorts at Thunderbolt and Isle of Hope.

St. Marys. This curious little vehicle traveled on the St. Marys Railroad before being incorporated into a house.

Stone Mountain. A 9-mile interurban line connected with Atlanta's streetcar system at Decatur.

Tallapoosa. When Tallapoosa was booming it laid out plans for a street railway using steam dummies to carry folks around town.

Valdosta. The city's streetcar system connected downtown with mills, colleges, neighborhoods, parks, and fairgrounds.

Washington. A streetcar named Aileen linked the depot to the hotels in this east Georgia town.

Waycross. The Waycross Street & Suburban Railway connected the Union Station with northwestern neighborhoods and Winona Park.

More Information:

Historic Streetcar Systems in Georgia website.

A 2012 publication by New South Associates provides a wealth of information on Georgia's streetcar lines. Historic Streetcar Systems in Georgia, by the firm's Mary Beth Reed, Patrick Sullivan, W. Matthew Tankersley, Sara Gale, and Mary Hammock, is online at the Georgia DOT website as a PDF file here. (Note: Large file, approx. 33 MB). Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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