This abandoned railway line was originally chartered as the Atlanta and Hawkinsville Railroad in 1886. Despite the A&H's intent to build from Atlanta south to Cordele, GA, the line only went as far as Fort Valley by 1888. The line ran parallel to both the Central of Georgia mainline and the Southern Railway mainline between Atlanta and Macon.
During its early years, several passenger trains were run along the line, as evidenced by the 11 passenger stations found along the route, including one in both Atlanta and Fort Valley. The line was renamed to the Atlanta and Florida Railroad before ultimately coming under the control of the Southern in 1895.
The Great Depression in the 1930s resulted in the loss of many lines and the Southern made the decision to redirect traffic from this line to their mainline between Atlanta and McDonough, then to Williamson, where an existing connection with this line was utilized in order to give access along the remainder of this line south to Fort Valley. Despite the new traffic pattern, a 1932 timetable shows at least 6 trains running along the line before the abandonment of the northern portion of the line in 1938.
The southern portion between Williamson and Fort Valley saw continued use for local traffic by the Southern up until the mid-1970s, when the northern end of the line between Williamson and Roberta was pulled up in 1977.
Today, the segment between Roberta and Fort Valley still sees service, as a local shortline operator serves a sand mine in that area.
Thanks to Eugene Cain for contributing information about this route.