Monday, January 25

A moving history lesson - History rides the Rails

DRGW Hoppers Folkston 2008, originally uploaded by Gene Bowker.

One of the fun things about railfanning is the chance to learn about the history of the railroads here in the United States.

The first part of that is learning the history of the railroad you are visiting. For example, the above photo was taken in Folkston, Georgia in April of 2008 on the CSX tracks there.

The tracks used to be owned by several predecessor railroads including:

The Family Lines
Seaboard Coast Line
Atlantic Coast Line

You can learn more about the predecessor railroads by visiting the ACL/SAL Historical Society website which is dedicated to keeping the memory of these railroads alive.

Seaboard Coast Line Family Lines Railroad 1967-1986: A CSX Predecessor

In addition to the tracks, a number of other railroads are always seen on the cars which past. The cars above belonged to the Denver Rio Grande Western (DRGW), but now are owned by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Denver & Rio Grande Western - Pentrex

The history of the DRGW is a fascinating history of western railroading being based mostly in the Rocky Mountains. To find out more about the DRGW, I recommend visiting which has plenty of information.

Railroads bring rolling bits of history to you as you sit by the rails. Most days you will see a boxcar which you do not recognize the owner of. It might be a small line still in existence or a “fallen flag” or line which has passed into railroading history. Learning about that railroad will always be an interesting journey.