ATLANTA — A new book by Todd DeFeo, founder of The DeFeo Groupe and the editor of Railfanning.org, will focus on the Atlanta Northern Railway, marking the first complete standalone history of the interurban line.
The rail line connected Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia, starting in July 1905 until it ceased operations in early 1947. A predecessor of Georgia Power owned and operated the line for much of its history.
“The Atlanta Northern helped shape the region and provided an invaluable transportation link for residents living in the region,” DeFeo said. “Like so much of railroad history, the story of the Atlanta Northern has been largely overlooked and forgotten over the years. I hope this work helps keep the railroad’s story alive for current and future students of history.”
The interurban line more or less paralleled the Western & Atlantic Railroad, a state-owned line that connected Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new book features rare photos, details about the line’s operations and anecdotes and stories rarely published and nearly forgotten by history.
Using newspaper accounts, rarely seen historic documents and other research, DeFeo weaved together the story of this interesting line, which passed through Smyrna and other smaller communities between Atlanta and Marietta.
DeFeo is working with officials in Cobb County and the cities of Smyrna and Marietta to designate Jan. 31, 2022, the 75th anniversary of the final Atlanta Northern run, as Atlanta Northern Railway Day.
An award-winning journalist and marketer, DeFeo has previously published books on the Western & Atlantic, the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville and the Indiana, Alabama & Texas railroads in addition to works on streetcars in Clarksville, Tennessee, and the Northeast Corridor.
The book, to be published by The DeFeo Groupe in mid-December, will be available for purchase on the Railfanning.org store and at other retailers. For more information about the history of the Atlanta Northern Railway, visit Railfanning.org.