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The Silver Comet Trail was built over an abandoned rail line in northwest Georgia. At the state line, it connects to the Chief Ladiga Trail in northeast Alabama. Both trails were built on connected rail lines that carried passengers and freight throughout the south and southeastern United States.

  • 1897 - Original rail line (the original brick tunnel still exists under Brushy Mt. Road, just north of the current Silver Comet Brushy Mt. Tunnel)
  • 1947 - 1969 - Silver Comet passenger service
  • 1989 - CSX Railroad discontinued over 37 miles of rail in Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties
  • 1992 - Abandoned rail line purchased by Georgia DOT; Cobb County leased rail line from GDOT for non-motorized tail use
  • 1998 - Trail construction started in Smyrna, Cobb County; the first section of trail was very popular and is still the busiest part of the trail

The Silver Comet Trail was named after the Silver Comet passenger train. It was introduced by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1947. During the height of rail travel, the trains consisted of sleek passenger, sleeper, dining, and observation cars. People could connect to other rail lines; therefore, they were able to travel to to big cities in the north, and tour areas in Florida.

Travelers enjoyed luxury accommodations, friendly service, and still speak about the very scenic route. The Silver Comet traveled through small towns, thick forests, open farmlands, and big cities. Passengers remember parts of the trail, the local depots (some still exist), and are thrilled to be able to enjoy the trail again.

When rail travel declined, the Silver Comet discontinued the sleeper, dining, and observation cars. The train started to carry freight along with passengers. Eventually the trains only carried freight. This section of rail line closed in 1989.

In 1992, The Georgia Department of Transportation bought the closed rail line that ran through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties from CSX. The GDOT wanted the rail line for future transit expansion. Though future transit use is a possibility, it was decided to make a multi-use, non-motorized trail instead. Cobb leased their 12.8-mile section of trail from the GDOT, and started construction in Smyrna in 1998.

More Silver Comet Train History More Silver Comet Trail History
Silver Comet Passenger Train