Despite canal traffic never coming to pass the A&StAB found other sources of freight aside from lumber including agricultural and petroleum products. Additionally, the railroad dispatched four passenger trains per day, two in each direction with extras running on Sundays and holidays. The A&StAB boasted three interchange partners along its system; two were located at its northern terminus of Dothan (Central of Georgia and Atlantic Coast Line) while another with the Louisville & Nashville was established at Cottondale. After 1954 it gained an additional interchange with the short line Hartford & Slocomb Railroad also at Cottondale. Throughout the years The Bay Line passed through the hands of several different owners including Coca Cola and the United Fruit Company.
In 1930 it was acquired by the International Paper Company, which
maintained control for the next several decades. Both World Wars proved
fruitful for the railroad in terms of traffic, which saw its freight grow prodigiously
particularly during the later conflict when several military bases
situated very close to its main line. For instance, it moved 68,000 annual carloads of oil alone from
Lynn Haven near Panama City, which was transferred at its interchange
connections. Even after the second World War ended The Bay Line
still moved a substantial level of freight, enabling it to earn Class I
status by January of 1947. That same year it fully dieselized,
retiring its remaining steam locomotives.
These had consisted of
second-hand units purchased from the New York Central, Baltimore &
Ohio, Minaret & Western Railway, Florida East Coast, and Central of
Georgia that included a 4-4-0, 4-6-2, 2-8-0, five 2-8-2s, and an 0-6-0
switcher. When the Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay had fully dieselized
its fleet was comprised of thirteen Alco RS1s (later some of these were
requisitioned by the U.S. government to operate on Iran's Trans-Iranian
Railway), a pair of S2s, and a single F3A. Other new diesels purchased
later were all Electro-Motive products including GP7s, SD9s, a
GP39, a GP40, and a trio of GP38-2s. Since then the A&StAB has
acquired second-hand power, which has also been exclusively EMD models.
Passenger service on the line survived until 1957. In 1979 International Paper finally sold its interest in the railroad
to Southwest Forest Industries, which subsequently sold the property
again to Stone Container Corporation in 1987.
Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay Locomotive Roster
||Road Number (s)
|EMD||GP7||500-502||1952, 1975||3||501-502 acquired new, 500 ex-Reading #616.|
|EMD||GP38||500-507, 511||1969||9||Ex-GM&O, ex-PC.|
In 1994 the railroad was sold to the Rail Management Corporation, which officially renamed it as the Bay Line Railroad. On the first of June, 2005 Genesee & Wyoming took over the system and continues to operate it today. The former A&StAB still operates its original main line as well as a segment north of Dothan near Abbeville with its main interchange partner being Class I, CSX Transportation. According to G&W its primary traffic base today consists of, "...aggregates, brick and cement, chemicals, coal, food and feed products,
forest products, metallic ores and minerals, and steel and scrap" carrying nearly 30,000 carloads of freight annually.
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Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay