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Images of America

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Images of America: Central of Georgia Railway, by Jackson McQuigg, Tammy Galloway, and Scott McIntosh, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 1998, 128 pp., photographs.

review by Malcolm R. Campbell

One December afternoon in 1964, the world was covered with enough ice to stop the southbound Seminole near Columbus behind a fallen tree. The train crew cleared the track in four hours with two fire axes.

That day symbolizes the gritty determination of the small railroad whose track criss-crossed Alabama and Georgia like overlapping spider webs. This determination and the teamwork behind are it are shown clearly in "Images of America: Central of Georgia Railway," by Jackson McQuigg, Tammy Galloway, and Scott McIntosh.

With 200 photographs from the Atlanta History Center's Norfolk Southern collection, the book illustrates the railroad's passenger service, people, stations, yards, shops, and rolling stock.

Here are S&A 750 on the last run of the Nancy Hanks II, engineer J. P. "Pat" Haffey in the cab of an E7 running from Macon to Atlanta, a track gang replacing ties near Americus, dispatchers at Macon Terminal Station, and the waterfront terminals at Savannah.

Most of the book's photographs first appeared in the Central of Georgia Magazine, and they bring with them the long-time theme of that publication: teamwork. "The Central of Georgia employed dispatchers, track repair gangs, coach porters, machinists, freight agents, electricians, vice presidents, and even doctors, all of whom worked together as a team to keep the freight and passengers moving."

These pictures show you the depots, the facilities, the equipment, and above all, the people, and in the simple clarity of black and white, they take you close enough to the past to smell the peaches and pulpwood and tobacco, taste the grease, and get the dirt of hard work beneath your fingernails.

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