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The TAG Railway - Today


Today's TAG Railway is very much different than that in the 1950s or 1960s. Mergers, changes in traffic patterns, and economic development have resulted in the abandonment of large sections of the TAG.

Several years after the acquisition of the TAG by the Southern Railway System, abandonments began, breaking the line into two. Later, almost all of the southern end of the railway was abandoned, and the Gadsden yard no longer exists.

One of the most spectacular sights was the high bridge at Blue Pond, AL. This bridge had been left in place after the track was abandoned, still displaying the name of its builder, "TENNESSEE ALABAMA & GEORGIA RAILWAY," but it has been dismantled and the sections have been placed, at last report, in the abandoned Gadsden Yard.

The northern end of the line has fared better, due to the presence of Reichhold Industries, a major chemical manufacturer for whom the railroad is a lifeline. Reichhold receives and ships a large amount of hazardous chemicals by tankcar and due to their rural location shipments by truck are out of the question. Because of their presence in Kensington, GA, some 23 miles of the original TAG Railway stays in service, now operated by the Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway and recently refurbished, almost to the Pigeon Mountain tunnel.

The C&C operates both a GP7 and a CF7 on their lines, both of which have been repainted into a grey and blue paint scheme that is very appropriate for the area given the local Civil War history. On occasion, excursion trains, operated by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum will make the 56-mile round trip down the TAG and back, and when one of the C&C diesels is unavailable, a TVRM GP7, in a tuscan red/black/yellow paint scheme will be called upon to deliver the freight.

The combination of a large-scale manufacturing operation, dependent on rail shipments, and a responsive shortline railroad has led to the success of this former segment of a once prosperous railroad.

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