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Streetcars in Albany

The Albany Transit Company, incorporated in 1911, was a venture of Charles W. Rawson, S.C. Brown, and F.F. Putney, among others. $75,000 in capital investment was provided to the new company, which would build and operate an electric streetcar system in the city and its suburban areas. Earlier street railroads in Albany had relied on mule-drawn cars, but by 1912, when the service began operation, animal-powered transportation was fading quickly as an acceptable option.

In 1914 the company operated 5 miles of track with 4 motor cars and 4 other cars, according to the McGraw Electrical Trade Directory for that year.

The company was not a success financially, and its demise was foreseen in this report in the March 27, 1920 issue of the Electric Railway Journal, "The Albany (Ga.) Transit Company has reduced service to a single car. Complete suspension and the junking of the line are threatened. It is said that the principal owners will sell for $45,000. The suggestion has been made that the city take over the road and operate it."

Streetcar rails in front of Union Station in Albany, GA

Streetcar rails in front of Union Station.

Remnants of the streetcar rails can be seen in the brick-paved street directly in front of Albany's Union Station, now Thronateeska Heritage Center. (These rails should not be confused with those in Roosevelt Avenue, where street-running Norfolk Southern trains can still be seen.)

One of Albany's streetcars has survived and is on display in Gardner, Illinois. Built by the American Car Company of St. Louis for Albany, the car was later used on the street railway in Kankakee, Illinois. After its transportation duties ended, it was used as a diner for a number of years. See photo at Flickr. More information at Morris Daily Herald.

Albany Transit Company's power house.

Albany Transit Company's power house stood at North Front Street and Flint Avenue, as seen in this 1920 Sanborn map. To the left was the ACL freight house; to the right was the railroad bridge over the Flint River. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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