The West Point Route – The Atlanta & West Point Rail Road and the Western Ry. of Alabama By Robert H. Hanson
Originally published 2006 and unavailable for the last 8 years. Originally priced $42.95 – Special, while supply lasts: $19.95!
This book covers the history of a CSX predecessor, (actually two railroads that operated as one: the Atlanta & West Point Rail Road and the Western Railway of Alabama). They were not much known outside the railroad industry, yet, they hosted the famous Crescent south of Atlanta. The 225-mile route as once considered by Trains editor David P. Morgan to be named the “All American Railroad,” but he decided against it because of its shortness. He called it “Pacific, Mikado, and eight-wheeled switching railroading.” It was known as and called itself “The West Point Route” on its herald and in its advertising.
After WWII it bought diesels and operated jointly with the Georgia Railroad after 1966. The route then came under management of the L&N, finally to become part of Seaboard System and then CSX.
The story starts in 1834. The line was important in the War Between the States, and then became sort of a link between major lines in the region south of Atlanta. It had everything a really big railroad had: fast freight, locals in small towns, Pullmans to New York and New Orleans, and great examples of what we would term “mid-sized” steam, the 4-6-2s and 2-8-2s that formed the backbone of the fleet. F-units in the diesel era added to its appeal.
Author Bob Hanson weaves an impressively well-researched and documented story. He encyclopedic-ally treats passenger trains and includes a detailed locomotive roster for both roads. Freight and passenger cars are listed in great detail and a complete station list is provided.
Ignored by most of the railfan community, as were most of the southeastern roads until recently, this is an intriguing, interesting, and important railroad for understanding railroading in the region and is also interesting as a CSX predecessor.
The book has been out of print for over half a dozen years and is now offered at less than half its original price while our supply lasts. Hardbound, 196 pages, 100-lb glossy paper, 200 maps, drawings, and photos.