The East and West Railroad of Alabama

Cartersville, GA to Pell City, AL

Originally intended to connect Cartersville and Prior, in Georgia, the Cartersville and Van Wert Railroad started construction of its 5-foot broad gauge line in Cartersville westward, starting in 1866. After reaching Taylorsville in 1870, the line was reorganized as the Cherokee Railroad due to financial mis-dealings of its owners. The Cherokee Railroad extended the line further west to Rockmart.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, the East and West Railroad of Alabama received it 1882 charter to begin building a line between Esom Hill, in Georgia, to Broken Arrow, AL. In Taylorsville, GA, it connected with the Cherokee Railroad, which it purchased outright in 1886. The E&W Railroad was purchased and made part of the Atlanta and Birmingham Air-Line Railway, a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The A&BA-L extended the line further into Alabama, which is still in use today.

I've been unable to determine if this railway line (or any portion of it) has actually been abandoned. If you know the status of this line, please email me (at the bottom of the page) or leave a comment below, thanks.

—  User Comments  —

This line was abandoned from Atlanta to Rockmart in the late 80s. The line from Cartersville, GA to Cedartown, GA is still active. The abandoned part from Atlanta to Birmingham, Al was later turned into a biking trail that runs the entire length in Georgia it is the Silver Comet Trail and on Alabama section is the Chief Ladiga Trail. I made most of the concrete for this trail on the Georgia side all the way to the last foot of it, the builders placed a marker in the trail close to the Hutto Rd crossing in Cedartown. The track between Rockmart and Cedartown is still active and the trail runs along side of it. They still service a chemical company in Cedartown and several places in Rockmart.

Ken Vice
Rockmart, GA

Wellington to Coal City is now OmniTrax owned (Alabama & Tennessee River Ry/ATN) and seeing two trains/day.

EWRA purchased some of the R/W that would become the SAL/ABAL Coal City to Birmingham Line but did not construct or clear the line.

Reference: ICC/ STB Dockets FD-13632 (1942); AB55_247x (1988);FD-36173 (2018);

Charlie Tucker
Denver, CO

Additional comment:

Very elusive is the exact date in 1890 when the railroad converted from narrow gage to standard gage. In GA, when the railroad converted from southern gage (5'-0") to narrow gage is not clear either with an exact date.

Charlie Tucker
Denver, CO