Macon & Western Railroad

In 1834, the Monroe Railroad Company began building a rail line between Forsyth, the county seat of Monroe County, and Macon, the planned northern terminus of the new Central of Georgia Railroad. The first train traveled the 25 miles between the two towns in December, 1838.

The economic depression of the early 1840s lead to the bankruptcy of the new railroad, and it was sold in 1845 to Daniel Tyler, of Norwich, Connecticut. Tyler established the new Macon and Western Railroad Company to own and operate it.

Tyler and his associates completed the 103-mile line between Macon and Atlanta in the summer of 1846, giving the latter city three railroads (the other two were the Western & Atlantic and the Georgia Railroad), with a fourth, the Atlanta & West Point soon to come. It also provided the city with a rail connection to Savannah by way of Macon.

As an important Confederate supply line, the railroad was a target of Sherman's troops in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign and the early stages of the March to the Sea. It suffered some damage during the war, but not nearly as much as the Georgia Railroad between Atlanta and the Oconee River and the Central Railroad from east of Macon to Savannah.

Union troops tearing up a section of the M&W in 1864. (From: Life and Deeds of General Sherman: including the story of his great march to the sea, 1890. Online at Internet Archive here.)

Federal forces destroying the Macon & Western Railroad at Jonesboro

Destroying the railroad at Jonesboro. Larger view.


The M&W was consolidated into the Central of Georgia in 1871-72.

1855 listing from Mitchell's new traveller's guide through the United States and the Canadas.... Online at Internet Archive here.

Maps, Timetables, and Other Information:

1859 timetable (75K)

1860 map (112K)

Civil War period map (68K)

1864 map, Macon to Griffin (276K)

1864 map, Griffin to Atlanta (175K)

1864 image of Union troops destroying tracks near Jonesboro (155K)

1863 timetable (121K)

1870 timetable (72K)

Macon & Western Railroad, 1870 advertisement

From: Hanleiter's Atlanta City Directory for 1870, Atlanta: William R. Hanleiter, 1870. Online at Internet Archive here. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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