The Macon Construction Company got charters in 1888 to build three separate railroads, one of which was to be the Macon and Atlantic Railway (M&A). The M&A, which was to run from Macon to Savannah, actually laid down twelve miles of rails heading eastward from the town of Bruton in Laurens County before the money ran out and it went into receivership in 1894.
Not to be denied, investors reorganized the M&A into the Atlantic Short Line Railway. Still planning to connect the cities of Macon and Savannah, construction on the line resumed. Unfortunately, after rails had been laid another sixteen miles to Covena the Atlantic was also forced into receivership in 1895.
The Central of Georgia Railroad saw its potential. The Central formed what was to be called the Brewton (or Bruton) and Pineora Railway (B&P) in 1897. The railroad was to run from Brewton, where it connected with the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad, and pass through Stillmore in Emanuel County, where it would connect to both the Stillmore Air Line and the Millen and Southern Railways.
Its eastern terminus was to be Pineora in Effingham County, where it would intersect with the Central's main line between Savannah and Atlanta. The B&P reached Statesboro after laying the last twenty-eight miles of track. The Central purchased the B&P outright in 1901 for $372,000.
In 1889, Major and Captain Burkhalter chartered the Dover and Statesboro Railroad (D&S). The D&S's line was to run the ten miles from Statesboro to the Central's depot in the town of Dover just across the Ogeechee River.
After they sold the D&S to Augustan George Curry, Curry then turned around and sold it to the Central in 1901 for $72,000. The Central then created its new “Dublin to Dover Branch” (also known as the “Oconee Branch” of the Central) from the B&P and the D&S railroads.
At this time, passengers could now travel from Central's Dublin depot all the way to the steps of the Tybrissa Pavilion on Tybee Island for a round trip fare of only $1.75. The most famous Bulloch Country train, Central's “Shoo Fly Express,” left Savannah daily for Statesboro, arriving in the afternoon. It then departed Statesboro on its return trip to Savannah, arriving there in the mid-afternoon.
Whereas the tracks from Brewton to Metter were abandoned by the Central in 1938, the tracks from Metter to Dover carried the occasional freight train for some two more decades. Eventually, the Central abandoned the Statesboro to Metter tracks and started a Tractor-Trailer service from Statesboro to their Metter railroad depot.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at email@example.com