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Locust Grove, Georgia

By | October 19, 2020

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Locust Grove is a city of 5,600 about 35 miles south of Atlanta, located just off Interstate 75 for easy access. It is situated along the Norfolk Southern Atlanta South District, which runs from Atlanta to Macon. The line was completed in 1882 as part of the East Tennessee, Virginia, & Georgia Railroad to connect its other disconnected lines. It later was part of the Southern Railway before the formation of Norfolk Southern in 1982.
icon_railroad_45TRAIN WATCHING

The city of Locust Grove built a train-watching platform downtown on U.S. Highway 23/State Highway 42 near where the station once stood.

A local resident donated materials for the platform, and labor to build it was provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections. Additional funds for building it came from a local hotel tax. The city also built additional parking adjacent to the platform and a new crosswalk connecting it to local businesses. The platform is intended to aid in the growth of Locust Grove as a destination for visitors, inspired by similar train watching sites in other places like Folkston in southeast Georgia and others throughout the Midwest.

Traffic on the line totals 25-30 trains a day and includes manifest freight, intermodal, and unit trains of various commodities. There’s also a McDonough-based local that serves local industries on the line. (The roughly parallel Griffin District also runs between Atlanta and Macon further to the west.) Visitors can hear the operations through a scanner mounted at the park.

Of interest are unit coal trains with BNSF Railway power, which come from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coalfield and are destined for a power plant north of Macon, operated by Georgia Power.

The line runs primarily north-south through town, curving away towards the southeast at the south end of town. The train-watching platform is on the west side of the railroad with largely clear views in both directions, making afternoons an ideal time to visit for photography. However, there are public streets on both sides of the tracks providing access for photographing trains from wherever the light is best.

tracksideicon_frequencyRADIO FREQUENCIES

NS road, 160.950; dispatcher, 160.245; Atlanta Terminal, 160.740.
tracksideicon_famFOR YOUR FAMILY

There is much to do in the area besides watch trains. An outlet mall is located by the highway in Locust Grove. Several state parks are within a 25-mile drive, including Panola Mountain, Indian Springs, and High Falls. When mealtime comes, The French Market directly across the street from the platform offers Southern and New Orleans fare. A short drive will take you to a number of other dining options.

5 thoughts on “Locust Grove, Georgia

  1. I like what was done Good work on the part of all the volunteers and local supporters to get the project going. The corrections staff and inmates did a great job as well. I think a camera should be placed here as well.

  2. I spent a few hours here on vacation in Atlanta in November of 2014. Liked it, and will come back here when I am visiting Atlanta later on this year.

    I liked to thanks for the city, and the volunteers for making it possible. You can either sit on the deck which has an scanner feed, or sit in the parking lot next to it and relax in your vehicle.

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