Remarks to the Rotary Club of Vinings Cumberland

As prepared for delivery.

“Once, There Was Commuter Rail.”

I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and highlight the history of the Atlanta Northern Railway. I’m particularly excited to be presenting in person. I don’t have any objection to virtual presentations, but I think in-person presentations allow for better back-and-forth…and better questions.

I have a short presentation today, and my favorite part of any presentation is the time for questions. I like to make sure I leave some time for that and answer your questions. I probably won’t know the answer to your question but that’s never stopped me before!

I find it interesting that today when people talk about commuter rail or mass transit in metro Atlanta and specifically Cobb County, they often say, “Maybe one day, Cobb County will have a mass transit option.”

Once upon a time, this area had two options: the Western & Atlantic Railroad and the Atlanta Northern Railway. When I spoke to this group last, I highlighted the history of the Western & Atlantic.

While I think it’s safe to assume more people have heard of the Western & Atlantic for more than four decades, the Atlanta Northern ferried passengers between Atlanta and Marietta, stopping in communities along the way — including Vinings, Gilmore and Smyrna.