Savannah & Western Railroad

Bellville, GA train depot

The depot at Bellville in Evans County dates back to the time of the Savannah & Western.


In June and July of 1888, the Central of Georgia consolidated seven of the railroads it owned or leased into the 400-mile Savannah & Western. These were the Savannah & Columbus Railway (which had not built any track, having been incorporated only a month before the consolidation), the Buena Vista & Ellaville Railway, the Columbus & Rome Railway, the Columbus & Western Railway, and three Alabama lines. The result was a main line from Americus to Birmingham, by way of Columbus.

As part of its plan to connect Americus and Savannah, the Savannah & Western completed and opened 57 miles of track between Meldrim and Lyons in May 1890. This would be the only track built by the S&W; the rest of its system was acquired by purchase or consolidation.

On November 26, 1890, the S&W acquired the Savannah, Griffin, & North Alabama Railroad, a line which ran from the Central Railroad at Griffin to Carrollton. The following year, the company purchased the Chattanooga, Rome & Columbus Railroad, a 140-mile line between Chattanooga and Carrollton.

Not long afterwards, both the S&W and the Central of Georgia entered receivership. In early 1894, the federal courts separated the Chattanooga, Rome & Columbus from the Savannah & Western and returned it to its original owners. (It was reacquired by the Central in 1901.) The Savannah & Western was sold at judicial sale in October, 1895. It was conveyed to the newly reorganized Central of Georgia Railway in December 1895.

The Meldrim-Lyons track was leased to the Georgia & Alabama Railway in 1896.




1890 map (127K)

1892 Central of Georgia system map (736K) Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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