This train has got the disappearing railroad blues...and I'll miss it!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Railroad racks being removed in Pine Mpuntain GAI love everything about railroads! I love the feel of tons of iron and steel making the earth tremble by virtue of their sheer immensity. I love the smell of creosote and grease, and the distant sound of the horns blaring as they approach crossing grades!

I love the appearance of mile after mile of perfectly parallel rails running off into the distance, floating on a bed of crushed rock and held in place with square spikes! There is also a magnificent serpentine quality of a long string of rolling stock meandering through the countryside.

Our country expanded during the industrial age on the backbone of the railroads! With the ability to move our natural resources and finished products easily throughout the continent, our great nation became the economic leader of the world.

Rails being salvagedBut alas, America's railroads are disappearing one line at a time. At one time nearly every town in America was connected by rail, now, only the main arteries are continuing bust, taking containers of freight to transfer stations to be distributed locally by truck.

Today, I photographed the Georgia Southwestern Railroad trackage in Pine Mountain Georgia being removed for salvage. After serving the town for over a hundred and fifty years, the day of the local train is over. It's the end of an era!

There's nothing to be done to stop the trend, it's a matter of economics and changing technologies. But it's still sad, like losing an old friend. A part of our American heritage is removed along with every piece of rail.

And so to the GSWRR line, I bid you a fond adieu. I will miss you very much!

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Jerry Becker
Jerry Becker and Associates - Littleton, CO
Littleton, Colorado

Some of these abandoned right of ways make great trials that can be a plus for many communities.

Jan 04, 2009 01:26 PM #17
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


I was just driving through Pine Mountain and saw that the rails had been pulled up ... and voila ... a blog post!


Friction is reduced to a bare minimum, and the grades are designed for efficiency! I would think that the locals would be on the rebound but it is not so! THX


Yeah, we do ...oh, I need to send you an email!

Jan 04, 2009 01:30 PM #18
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Richard--That is so sad--after 150 years, no more WhooWhoo!  Seriously, when I was living on the southeast side of the city, the train whistle blew at 11:00 every night and that was signal that I needed my head on the pillow, going to sleep!  It was just a relaxing sound to me and I miss that each night.

Debe in Charlotte

Jan 04, 2009 01:46 PM #19
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

I love old trains and the blaring the old black and white movies and people leaving on the train with the whole family waving goodbye with their hankies. Just a fond memory ...when change takes place.

Jan 04, 2009 02:04 PM #20
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


The NE corridor is still well served by trains ... they'sll be around in that region for some time! THX


I just like the character they add to a town!

Lise ...

You're most welcome ... and keep your camera ready to help preserve this part of our history!


Jan 04, 2009 02:05 PM #21
Mark Organek
And the United States of America - Mesa, AZ
It's not a game, it's your life.

Railroads may come back into power as our roadways start to suffer from less tax revenue created.  Seems like one thing always leads to another.

Jan 04, 2009 02:29 PM #22
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I love to hear the train whistle across Lake Sinclair oh around 3 am as it pulls in to deliver coal to Georgia Power.  It doesn't wake me the way it once did, but even though I peacefully sleep through it some nights... it's a comfortingly familiar sound... that I hope is here to stay.

Jan 04, 2009 03:33 PM #23
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes


It is a shame that we are loosing a part of our nations history.  I too enjoy just being close to a train as it rolls down the track, just something about it that adds a little bit of joy to my day.  Maybe because it brings back part of my youth. 

Jan 04, 2009 10:08 PM #24
Clay Eals
Richard: Good to see your comment about Arlo Guthrie's and Willie Nelson's versions of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." Goodman often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis of "City of New Orleans," and Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson are key sources among my 1,080 interviewees. Arlo even contributed the foreword. You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same! Clay Eals 1728 California Ave. S.W. #301 Seattle, WA 98116-1958 (206) 935-7515 (206) 484-8008
Jan 05, 2009 01:44 AM #25
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Richard:

I hate the thought that railroads are disappearing.

It's a great form of transportation.  I often thought that if there was a local railroad line, how often I would go into NYC or Baltimore..etc... - Forked River Real Estate


Jan 05, 2009 02:41 AM #26
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
There's no place like home.

The silver lining, in this dark cloud, Richard, is that those abandoned railroad tracks make great bicyling paths for long-distance cycling.  I've ridden several of them In Wisconsin, and the are great right-of-ways through some beautiful countryside.

And the railroad ties often find new life, in old buildings (old growth wood), and beaches, and landscaping...

Jan 05, 2009 02:50 AM #27
Bob Southard
Atlas Realty Service, LLC - Kennesaw, GA
e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton


Along the same lines as Alans comment , the old RR beds make geat trails.  The Silver Comet Trail passes about 1/2 mile from my house.  The city of Powder Springs has also built some secondary trails that connect to it. Its a beatiful place for cylcling, jogging, or a nice leisurely walk.  The Silver Comet Trail is a real asset to the city. 

There has been talk of establishing commuter rail service here in the Atlanta area.  I don't know if it will get anywhere or not.  I hope so. 

Thanks for the great post.


Jan 05, 2009 03:26 AM #28
Ron Spanton
RE/MAX Real Estate Associates - Gilbertsville, KY
Kentucky Lake Area

As a child we used to take the North Shore into Chicago. We could get off at the Loop. We usually did this before Christmas to shop and look at all the window decorations. Of course that was before all the discount stores. I have fond memories of the commuters reading newspapers and playing cards on their way to work in the "city". Thanks for the memories.

Jan 05, 2009 03:36 AM #29
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO


Trains are cheaper than trucks to operate so you can be sure they will not be here much longer....Like the electric trolley cars that used to be everywhere in St. Louis...

Ann Hayden remaining positive in cloudy Wildwood, Missouri

Jan 05, 2009 07:27 AM #30
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Richard...sad to  see them go, but many in our state have been turned into bike paths and ATV trails..  Ther has been some taslk about the Railroad recaliming a couple of the old lines...We'll see, sounds expensive!

Jan 05, 2009 07:52 AM #31
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


You are correct, containers from the ports are loaded onto articulated rail cars to carry them to distribution points in major hubs, where they are loaded onto trucks for local service. That's why the smaller towns don't need the tracks anymore!


and every year the line slowly slips into oblivion ... it's sad but a necessary evil, I guess! Thanks, my friend.


The Northeast still has a very strong rail system! Thanks for getting "on board!"

Jan 05, 2009 01:11 PM #32
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Yes, in many areas communities are taking advantage of the old rail lines!


It is a comforting sound, very soothing!


Now the Amtrak stations are practically deserted, It's really kind of sad!

Jan 05, 2009 01:15 PM #33
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Richard,

This was a sad day. our trains connect us to our history in a way nothing else does. I have fond memories of riding the train as a child. there was something magic about them. I loved falling asleep to the rocking motion of the train.


Jan 17, 2009 01:06 AM #34
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

I lament the disappearance of the trains. Some very fond childhood memories are of travelling from Akron Ohio to California by train. It was a 2 day trip and we made so many friends on those trips. I loved stopping in the towns along the way and fantasizing about the adventures I could have exploring them!

I also remember counting the cars when stopped at a railroad crossing as a child. 1-2-3-4~~~~~~~

Jan 17, 2009 01:12 AM #35
Brian Griffis
Realty Choice - Springfield, MO

Funny how most other countries are increasing the number of trains, and our only passenger service, Amtrack, has to be propped up by the government.  There is a real problem there.

Feb 01, 2009 12:59 AM #36
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Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional
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