Although some of the TAG's most interesting stories dealt with history from long ago, the TAG's influence is still felt. Ask around the small communities the railroad served, and you will likely find the names of men who worked on the TAG before being absorbed into the Norfolk Southern system. These old railroad hands can still list off each TAG milepost just as surely as they know the route through the neighborhood streets to their own home. Although many years have passed, the life the TAG breathed into northwest Georgia is still drawing breath today.
The Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway began life in 1890 as the Chattanooga Southern Railway: built to haul coal, iron, and timber. In 1911 the short line from Chattanooga southwest to Gadsden, Alabama, was reorganized as the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia, later known as a "TAG Route." In 1971 the road was purchased by the Southern Railway, who abandoned the middle portion of the line in the early 1980s. The northern remaining section of the pike, from Chattanooga to Hedges, is now operated by the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway.
Chattanooga, Tn / collection
Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia #50
I received this interesting bit of correspondance regarding TAG #50, shown above:
As an amateur TA&G historian, I enjoy your TA&G section as well as all of your pages. There is a misconception about the numbering of the GP18. It was delivered to TA&G numbered #50 and not #801. The EMD builder's photo does have 801 in the number board, but on the day it arrived and was dedicated in Chattanooga it had 50 in the number board. As a matter of fact, it already had 50 painted on the cab side in the builder's photo. This was a surprise to Dave Hedges, the TAG president. Garrison Sisken, the owner of TAG, was behind the change. It was his idea to name the locomotive after Mr. Hedges and he had it numbered 50 in honor of Mr. Hedges' 50 years service. Keep up the good work.
Warren D. Stephens
TA&G Railway Historical Society
Gadsden, Al / Mar 1955 / collection
Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia #708
Chattanooga, Tn / Jun 2016 / Heritage RailAlliance photo
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is preserving a piece of southern shortline railroading history with the unveiling of its newly restored Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway EMD GP38 No. 80. The blue-and-yellow-painted high-nose GP38 was posed outside of the railroad's Soule Shops over the weekend.
"TAG 80 has been restored to operating condition and repainted in its original color scheme," the railroad says on its Facebook page.
The locomotive was built for the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia in 1968 before Southern Railway acquired the roughly 90-mile short line operating between Chattanooga and Gadsden, Ala. In later years, the locomotive served as Norfolk Southern No. 2879 before it was retired and delivered to the TVRM's collection several years ago. It is the last remaining locomotive from the TA&G roster.
boxcar / collection
Chattanooga, Tn / collection