Information on the Bowdon Railroad : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

I'm trying obtain some information about the history and operations of the Bowdon RR, a shortline in that ran in Carroll County, GA and connected with the CofG Chattanooga line until the early 1960's. Did the Central ever operate or financially control the Bowdon RR? What sort of motive power was used and did the Bowdon ever dieselize? I assume it was a typical southern shortline that subsisted off of agriculurual traffic and typically ran mixed trains instead of dedicated freight and passenger consists. Also, does anyone have or know where to find images of Bowdon RR operations?

-- Eric Rickert (, June 25, 2002


I do have some photos of the line and know where to obtain more. I also know the family (Roop) that owned the line and can provide stories as many as you want. There is one engineer still alive also. My phone # is (770)258-1754

-- Richard Driver (, November 26, 2003.

Central of Georgia 4-4-0 #349, now at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, ran for a while on the Bowdon as well.

-- Andrew Durden (, November 26, 2003.

In my roster listings for the Bowdon Rwy., I show an unknown model Plymouth 6-wheel, Gas or Diesel?, Electric, Mech. or Hyd.? with a road number of 5693. That is all that I have. WGMundy

-- William G. Mundy (, November 24, 2003.

My dad talked a lot about his time on the Bowden Junction railroad.He was a fireman and I wonder if any one has a picture of any of the old engines. I have one of dad and another guy sitting on an engine. PLEARE LET ME HERE FROM YOU.THANKS ROSS GROOVER JR.

-- Ross Groover Jr. (, March 30, 2003.

My 1954 Official Guide has a small entry for the Bowdon RR, freight and express service only, W C Roop President. I looked to see if the Topozone maps have any trace of the line, but they don't.

-- Chuck Till (, June 28, 2002.

The Bowden Railway was incorporated in 1910 and opened for traffic over its entire length (Bowden to Bowden Junction - 12 miles) on January 25, 1911. The company was sold and reorganized as the Bowden Railroad & Transportation Company in April, 1946, but reverted to its original name - Bowden Railway - in 1953. The line ceased operations in the Summer of 1963 and was formally abandoned in 1964.

The company operated an assortment of odd motive power and railcars including leased Central of Georgia 4-4-0 351 and an International truck on flanged wheels.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, June 26, 2002.

While some of the other members probably have more information, I've only seen one reference and image of the Bowdon Rwy. This is an image of a thoroughly disreputable (but wonderful) looking rail motor car lettered "Bowdon Railway Co. 102," and is found in the classic book "Mixed Train Daily" by Lucius Beebe. In the accompanying caption, Beebe says that, "Except for an engine occasionally borrowed from the Central of Georgia for the movement of full carloads of freight, this [the rail motot car]is the complete motive power and rolling stock of the Bowdon Railway Company in western Georgia..." He goes on to note that the line existed primarily on the traffic of merchandise for Roop's Grocery Store and that both freight and passengers were transported in the rail motor car. All things considered, not your typical "Mixed Train Daily." Hope this helps.

-- Steve Flanigan (, June 26, 2002.

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