|Central of Georgia Railway|
|Dates of operation||1895–1963|
|Track gauge||4 ft 81⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
|Length||1,944 miles (3,129 km) in 1929|
The Central of Georgia Railway (reporting mark CG) started as the Central Rail Road and Canal Company in 1833. As a way to better attract investment capital, the railroad changed its name to Central Rail Road and Banking Company of Georgia. This railroad was constructed to join the Macon and Western Railroad at Macon, Georgia and run to Savannah, Georgia. This created a rail link from Chattanooga on the Tennessee River to seaports on the Atlantic Ocean. It took from 1837 to 1843 to finish this railroad all the way to Macon and until 1851 to get a bridge built across the Ocmulgee River.
Over the years, this railroad steadily acquired other railroads by either lease or purchase:
Troubles began in 1888 when the Richmond Terminal Company gained control of the railroad. The financial problems of the parent company forced this railroad into bankruptcy and it was sold at foreclosure three years later. It was reorganized as Central of Georgia Railway on November 1, 1895.
The famous passenger train the Nancy Hanks, ran from Atlanta to Savannah, via Lovejoy, Griffin, Macon and Millen. Another from its famed fleet was the Man o' War, a Columbus, Georgia - Atlanta route, operated via Pine Mountain, Raymond and Newnan, Georgia. Note that both of these famous Central of Georgia trains were named after prize winning steeds.
In 1907, E. H. Harriman gained control of the railway, and later sold it the Illinois Central Railroad, which he also controlled. The Illinois Central lost control in 1948, and the Central of Georgia was bought by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (“Frisco”) in 1956. The Interstate Commerce Commission did not approve the purchase, and so the Frisco sold the railway in 1961.
The C of G became a Southern Railway subsidiary on June 17, 1963. In 1971, the Southern formed the Central of Georgia Railroad to merge the Central of Georgia Railway, the Savannah and Atlanta Railway, and the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad.
Today, the Central of Georgia exists only as a paper railroad within the Norfolk Southern Railway group. Forty-two miles of the CG's former mainline are currently leased by the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway from the State of Georgia.
A number of former properties of Central of Georgia are preserved as historic sites. These include the following six that are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places: