Actually a south Georgia railroad, the Georgia Northern began in the early 1890s as a logging line running north from Pidcock, a rail junction settlement east of Boston mostly owned by the Pidcock family. At about the same time, a group of area business men organized the Boston and Albany Railroad to build a common carrier line along the route of the logging tracks. Their company soon entered receivership and its assets were sold in 1894 to the Pidcocks, who renamed the line Georgia Northern.
The line reached Moultrie in 1893 and was completed to Albany in 1905. Also in 1905, the southernmost four miles of the line was relocated to terminate at Boston.
In 1910, the Pidcocks acquired the Flint River and Northeastern, a line between Pelham and Ticknor, the latter a point on the Georgia Northern just north of Doerun. In 1922, they brought the Georgia, Ashburn, Sylvester and Camilla Railway into the Georgia Northern system, and in 1939, they gained control of the Georgia, Southwestern and Gulf, which connected Albany and Cordele.
The Flint River and Northeastern was abandoned in 1946, but the remaining parts of the system continued operations.
Southern Railway acquired the Georgia Northern in May of 1966. Southern merged it with the Albany & Northern (the former Georgia, Southwestern and Gulf) and the Georgia, Ashburn, Sylvester and Camilla in 1972, keeping the name Georgia Northern for the combined subsidiary. Also included as part of the GN was the former Georgia and Florida Railway line from Moultrie to Sparks, a point on the Georgia Southern & Florida a couple of miles north of Adel.
Pelham-to-Tichnor abandoned 1946.
Boston-to-Barwick abandoned 1971.
Ashburn-to-Sylvester (16 miles) abandoned 1971.
Barwick-to-Pavo abandoned 1976.
Sylvester-to-Bridgeboro (13 miles) abandoned 1982.
Pavo-to-Moultrie abandoned 1990.
Camilla-to-Bridgeboro (19 miles) abandoned in mid-1990s.
Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:
1895 timetable (18K)
1895 map (32K)
1906 timetable (46K)
1908 map (72K)
1917 equipment list (208K)
1918 timetable (97K)
1928 map (36K)
1953-54 map, Boston - Moultrie (245K)
1953 map, Moultrie - Albany (530K)
Photo of Georgia Northern locomotive no. 105 at Moultrie.
Photos and specs of Georgia Northern locomotives at hawkinsrails.net.