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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
RR growth continues in 1900s
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(Note: The following is the fourth and final part of a four-part series on the expansion of rail service in Bulloch County.)
    Throughout the turn of the 19th century, many people got the railroad fever that was sweeping the state. As such, there were many proposed railroad routes that never even made it off the drawing board, and only a few that managed to actually go through the chartering process. This is a story of the Never Trains that never managed to touch down on a set of rails.
    One such railroad was the Register Railroad: Bulloch County resident F. Lockhart got a charter for the ten mile out of Register that had not been completed. When the Brewton and Pineora Railroad – or B&P- (controlled by the Central of Georgia Railway) completed this stretch so that they had completed the Dublin to Dover side line, he filed suit in Bulloch County. He said that his charter, which gave him exclusive rights to this piece of trackage, meant that the B&P must stop their work. Judge Evans stated that since Lockhart had done no work on the line, and because the proposed line was only ten miles long, his charter was not protected from the competition.
    The next not to be road was the Statesboro and Egypt Railroad, proposed in September of 1898. Well-known Bulloch County residents J.W. Olliff, J.L. Olliff, and J.A.  Brannen considered creating this railroad, which would have 31 miles of track between the two towns. In 1904, there several more possible routes being considered. The first was  the Swainsboro and Statesboro Railroad. In August of that year A.A. and N.W. Turner, B.L. and James Rountree, and J.D. Lanier chartered a new railroad line from Statesboro to Swainsboro, a distance of some 35 miles. The other investors were Dr. J.A. Jones, G. Rentz, J.A. Coleman, J.T. Roberts, and J.D. Overstreet.
    At the same time, the Statesboro Northern Railway began its creative odyssey.  A large group of investors, including the Blitchs, Brannens, Donadlsons, Groovers, Martins, Olliffs, Outlands, Rountrees, Simmons, and Smiths, got a charter for an 85 mile railroad line to go from Statesboro to Kittrells. The route would take it through Portal (Bulloch), Garfield (Emanuel), and Wrightsville and Kittrells (Johnson). After much discussion, a new route was proposed, going through Summitt and Swainsboro as well.
    In October of 1904, the Savannah, Statesboro and Northern Railway started coming into being. After much discussion, the Statesboro Northern investors accepted a group of new individuals into their corporation: C. Gabbett, A. Herrington, G. Bell, J.A. Coleman, and J.F Roberts. They then applied for a revised charter to allow for the different route. This railroad would travel much further, covering some 152 miles, as it wound from Statesboro through Louisville (Jefferson), Thomas (McDuffie), Washington (Wilkes), stopping in Athens. In addition, they included adding a further stop in Smithsonia (Oglethorpe) in the future.
    Starting in September of 1906, and continuing through October, the Savannah, Statesboro, and Western Railway merited much discussion. Atlanta newspapers suggested that a new railroad, an Air Line between Statesboro and         Atlanta, was to have cut the existing trip from 305 miles to less than 250. The main investors in this new line were to be J.R. Anderson, W.W. Williamson, T.F. Welsh Jr., W.E. O’Connor, and A.S. Guckenheimer of Savannah in addition to G.S. Johnston, J.A. Brannen, J.G. Blitch, R. Simmons, and D.N Bacot, all from Statesboro. The route would go from Statesboro, passing through Emanuel, Johnson, Washington, Baldwin, Jones, Putnam, Rockdale, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties.  With this failure, those with money to spend began to look elsewhere to make their next fortunes.

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