The Hartwell Railroad Company was chartered in 1878, and its 10-mile line from Hartwell to Bowersville was completed in late 1879. In 1898, it was reorganized as the Hartwell Railway.
Southern Railway gained control of the line in 1902 and converted it from 3-foot gauge to standard gauge in 1905. The Hartwell's narrow-gauge wood-burner Nancy Hart was then replaced with a larger coal-burning engine.
In 1917, Poor’s Manual of the Railroads
reported that the Hartwell still only operated
one locomotive and one passenger car. In
1924, Southern sold the line to a group of
local businessmen. In 1990 Bennie Ray
Anderson purchased and still owns the line.
In 1995 the name was changed and still
operates today under Hartwell Railroad
In addition to its original line, the Hartwell
now operates the 48-mile former Norfolk
Southern line between Toccoa and Elberton.
Reporting mark: HRT
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