hs_state In 1900, the Chattahoochee & Gulf Railroad completed the construction of a line from Columbia to Lockhart, Alabama. The railroad was leased and operated by the Central of Georgia until the line was abandoned from Lockhart to Hartford in 1940. The Itel Corporation purchased the railroad in July 1975. In later years, most of the traffic on the HS consists of moving cars in the road's large lease pool fleet (nearly 6,000 cars in 1996) to and from a maintenance facility on the line. Interchange was maintained with the Norfolk Southern, CSX, and the Bay Line at Dothan. In 1992 the line was abandoned from Taylor to Hartford, and the remaining pike was purchased by the Gulf & Ohio Railway. The railroad exists today as the H&S Railroad Company. In 2006, the line was again sold, this time to shortline operator Genessee & Wyoming, who merged the operation with the Chattahoochee & Gulf Railroad.


This is the pattern of all the little mixed freight and passenger trains which, since the dawn of railroad time, have served the far places and humble destinies of a nation living by the flanged wheel on the steel rail.

Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, The Age of Steam, 1957

Motive Power

Hartford & Slocumb #1

  • builder:American Locomotive Company
  • model:S1 (E-1530)
  • type:B-B switcher
  • built:Jan 1942, Alco #69681
  • series:535 produced 1940-50
  • engine:Alco 539 (6 cyls. 660 hp)
  • notes:
  • ex Federal Barge Line #1
  • builder

    Hartford & Slocumb #257

  • builder:American Locomotive Company
  • model:RS-1
  • type:B-B road switcher
  • built:Oct 1949, Alco #77175
  • series:353 produced 1941-60
  • engine:Alco 539, 6 cyls. 1000 hp
  • notes:
  • blt Chicago & Western Indiana #257
    to Precision National
    to Hartford & Slocumb #257, 1971
  • builder

    Hartford & Slocumb #1051

  • builder:Electro Motive Division
  • model:NW2
  • type:B-B switcher
  • built:1947
  • series:1119 produced 1939-49
  • engine:567A (12 cyls. 1000 hp)
  • notes:
  • ex Southern Rwy #2260, later #1051
    ex Birmingham Rail & Loco Co #1051
    later Gulf & Ohio Railways #1051
  • builder

    Rolling Stock


    Jim Crow

    In 1944, the Detroit chapter of the NAACP held a mock-funeral for him. In 1963, participants in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom symbolically buried him. Racial discrimination existed throughout the United States in the 20th century, but it had a special name in the South—Jim Crow.

    jim_crow_signs Fifty years ago this Thursday, President Lyndon B. Johnson tried to bury Jim Crow by signing the the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. The Voting Rights Act and its predecessor, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, fought racial discrimination in the South by banning segregation in public accommodations and outlawing the poll taxes and tests that were used to stop African Americans from voting.

    Today, we still use "Jim Crow" to describe that system of segregation and discrimination in the South. But the system's namesake isn't actually southern. Jim Crow came from the North.

    Thomas Dartmouth Rice, a white man, was born in New York City in 1808. He devoted himself to the theater in his twenties, and in the early 1830s, he began performing the act that would make him famous: he painted his face black and did a song and dance he claimed were inspired by a slave he saw. The act was called "Jump, Jim Crow" (or "Jumping Jim Crow").

    "He would put on not only blackface makeup, but shabby dress that imitated in his mind—and white people's minds of the time—the dress and aspect and demeanor of the southern enslaved black person," says Eric Lott, author of Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class and professor of English and American Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

    Rice's routine was a hit in New York City, one of many of places in the North where working-class whites could see blackface minstrelsy, which was quickly becoming a dominant form of theater and a leading source for popular music in America. Rice took his act on tour, even going as far as England; and as his popularity grew, his stage name seeped into the culture.

    "'Jumping Jim Crow' and just 'Jim Crow' generally sort of became shorthand -- or one shorthand, anyway -- for describing African Americans in this country," says Lott.

    National Geographic -- Who Was Jim Crow?


    I drove up to Hartford from Pensacola, Florida in 1960 to see the Hartford & Slocumb's Alco switcher and the mixed train service. My wife was pregnant with our first child, and she was a real trooper for making that trip with me. I have always been intrigued by the road's "Jim Crow" divided combine. In 1960 I noted that smoke deflectors had been installed around all of the windows. When Ralph and I photographed the car again in the early 1990s, the car was in bad shape and the deflectors -- as well as lot of other features! -- had been removed.

    Boxcar Lease Pool



    Links / Sources

    This page was updated on 2017-07-23