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The Bay Line

Atlanta & Saint Andrews Bay Railway
Florida shortine

The Bay Line Railroad operates between Panama City, Florida, and Dothan, Alabama, including a branch from Grimes to Abbeville, Alabama, reached via CSX trackage rights. The line interchanges with the CSX at the former Louisville & Nashville crossing at Cottondale, Florida, and with the Chattahoochee Bay Railroad in Dothan. The company's main line between Panama City and Dothan was completed in 1908 by the Atlanta & Saint Andrews Bay Railroad (ASAB). The Stone Container Corporation had owned the ASAB since 1987, but in 1994 it sold the assets of the railroad to Rail Management Corporation, which created the new Bay Line Railroad company to operate it. Genesee & Wyoming shortline operator acquired all the assets of Rail Management in 2005, including the Bay Line. Shops are at Panama City, Florida.

1980s Official Guide ad

1950 timetable / collection

Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. In the fall of 1991, we made one more of many family trips along Interstate 10 from our home in Louisiana across the Panhandle to visit my sister in Jacksonville, Florida. Dad decided to get off the interstate at Cottondale to check on the Bay Line, just in case. No sooner had we parked the family sedan and I walked over to a field near the tracks than I heard the unmistakable blast of a Nathan 3-chime. Out of nowhere appeared Bay Line #510, hauling the mail with a southbound local in tow -- white "extra" flags flapping in the wind. We could not have planned it better if we tried.

all photos Cottondale, Fl / Nov 1991 / RWH

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2015-11-25