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Vinings Rotary: History of the Western & Atlantic Railroad
August 12, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Author Todd DeFeo will discuss the history of the Western & Atlantic Railroad and its impact on surrounding communities, including Smyrna.
Program: The State of Georgia chartered the Western & Atlantic Railroad in 1836. The railroad aided in the development and growth of many communities between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. In constructing the railroad, workers created a winding route that cut its way across the North Georgia landscape. During the Civil War, both armies used this vital artery, and it was the setting for one of the war’s most iconic events, the Great Locomotive Chase. The state still owns the Western & Atlantic and has leased it since 1870.
Biography: Smyrna resident Todd DeFeo has studied railroads since growing up alongside the Northeast Corridor line in New Jersey. He is the editor of Railfanning.org and founder of The DeFeo Groupe. Today, he lives near the historic Western & Atlantic.
He has written books about the Western & Atlantic and the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville railroads. In August, DeFeo is publishing books about the Indiana, Alabama & Texas Railroad and the history of streetcars in Clarksville, Tennessee.
DeFeo is an avid traveler, photographer, amateur historian, a Civil War buff, a ferroequinologist and part-time folk singer. But, DeFeo has made a habit of mixing business and fun. In 2002, he launched Railfanning.org, one of the most popular websites dedicated to the hobby of train-watching. DeFeo is also editor of Sightseers’ Delight, a travel site.