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Columbus and Greenville herald.
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CAGY 801 on display in Columbus, MS.

The Columbus and Greenville Railway
The original Columbus and Greenville Railway (reporting mark C&G) was a Class I railroad that was created by the sale of the Southern Railway-operated Southern Railway in Mississippi, to local operators. It operated 168 miles of road all in the state of Mississippi, east to west from Columbus via West Point, Mathiston, Winona, Greenwood, Moorhead, and Elizabeth, to Greenville.

By 1950 all passenger service had been discontinued, however the company still had five passenger cars on its roster. Also in 1950, the C&G operated two through freights daily, bidding for bridge traffic from the west and southwest to the south and north. Although the company maintained two steam locomotives, they completely dieselized by 1950. That year also saw the company earn $1,994,204 in total operating revenue. The C&G continued operating until 1972 when it was purchased by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

Present Columbus and Greenville
The second Columbus and Greenville Railway (reporting mark CAGY) was founded in 1974 and began operations in 1975 over divested Illinois Central Gulf Railroad trackage across the state of Mississippi. Its terminals, as the name implies, are Columbus and Greenville, Mississippi.

In 2001, CAGY suspended service over 89.5 miles of track between West Point and Greenwood due to a washout. This action split the line in two. The western section operates between Greenville and Greenwood with an interchange with Canadian National in Greenwood. The eastern section operates the remaining trackage from West Point onward.

The company once specialized in transporting wood and paper products to and from local factories. The company's traffic base has expanded to include bricks, plastic products, feed grains for catfish and swine, finished and raw steel, and biodiesel as well as cotton and rice products. The company runs six trains a day, two between Greenwood and Greenville, two out of Columbus and two at the Severcorr steel mill between Columbus and Artesia.

The majority owner of the Columbus and Greenville is CAGY Industries, which also owns the Luxapalila Valley Railroad and the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway.

In June 2008, CAGY Industries was purchased by Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.

The transition to diesel-electric power began in 1945 and represented the first time the Mississippi short line was able to buy brand new locomotives. The railroad turned to the Baldwin company in Philadelphia and ordered five 1500 HP road switcher units with six wheels on each truck to help distribute the weight over poor track conditions. This order was Baldwin's first diesel order in the United States. These locomotives served CAGY well for forty years, remaining in service until the 1980s. CAGY 601 and 606 are the only two survivors. 606 is on display at the Illinois State Railroad Museum in Union, IL and 601 is shown here on permanent display in Columbus, MS.    By Matthew Nichols (CAGY Baldwin Road Switcher) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Several pieces of CAGY equipment have been preserved and put on display:
Baldwin locomotive No. 601 is on display in front of the Columbus & Greenville shops in Columbus, MS.
Baldwin locomotive No. 606 "City of Moorhead" is on display at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Caboose No. 500 is on display in Winona, MS next to the train depot downtown.
Caboose No. 503 is on display in Propst Park in Columbus, MS along with some C&G passenger coaches and a GM&O steam locomotive.
Caboose No. 506 is in downtown Kosciusko, MS.
Caboose No. 508 is in front of a doctor's office in Greenwood, MS.

See also:

Illinois Central

Genesee & Wyoming

Railroads of the U.S.A.

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