Terminal Station (Atlanta)

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Terminal Station
Inter-city rail
Atlanta Terminal Station.jpg
Terminal Station in 1918.
Location75 Spring Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Coordinates 33°45′11″N 84°23′46″W / 33.753°N 84.396°W / 33.753; -84.396
Latitude and Longitude:

33°45′11″N 84°23′46″W / 33.753°N 84.396°W / 33.753; -84.396
Line(s) SOU
OpenedMay 1905 [1]
ClosedJune 1970 (demolished 1972) [1]
Rebuilt1947 [2]

Terminal Station was the larger of two principal train stations in downtown Atlanta, Union Station being the other. Opening in 1905, Terminal Station served Southern Railway, Seaboard Air Line, Central of Georgia (including the Nancy Hanks to Savannah), and the Atlanta and West Point. The architect was P. Thornton Marye, whose firm also designed the Fox Theater [1] and Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, as well as the Birmingham Terminal Station.

At the station's opening in 1905 the military band of the 16th Infantry Regiment played "Down in Dixie" according to a report that appeared in the Atlanta Journal. [3] On May 21, 1910, a statue of Samuel Spencer, who had served as the first president of Southern Railway, was dedicated at the station, where it would remain until the station's closing. [4]

In its 20th century heyday, Terminal Station was used by such well-known trains of the time as the Crescent, Man 'o War, Nancy Hanks, Ponce de Leon, and Silver Comet. A veritable rail-travel crossroads of the American south-east, it was a critical railroad link between the warm climate of Florida and the Gulf Coast, and the rather colder, more densely populated states of the north-east and mid-west. For many residents of the Northeast, Terminal Station was the gateway to the sunshine. The Atlanta Convention Bureau released a postcard in the 1920s that claimed that Terminal Station was served by 86 trains per day. [5]

The train shed that had originally been built alongside the head house was torn down in 1925. [6] The Southern Railway built an office building next door to the station at 99 Spring Street that is still standing, although the Southern eventually moved their local offices to another building in Atlanta. [6] On 17 May 1938 a five-story Terminal Hotel, that had been built across the street from Terminal Station, burned in a disaster that claimed 27 lives. [7] [8]

Terminal Station showing its shortened towers, c. 1949

The station head house was renovated in 1947 just after World War II. [2]

After Terminal Station closed in June 1970, Southern continued to operate its Southern Crescent and Piedmont passenger trains using the much smaller Peachtree Station, commonly known as Brookwood Station and built as a suburban station, as their only stop in Atlanta. The only other passenger train remaining at that time that had been using Terminal Station, the Nancy Hanks, used a makeshift ticket office and waiting room in the Southern office building next door.

Terminal Station was razed in 1972, although Southern retained one platform for its use. The site of Terminal Station is now the Richard B. Russell Federal Building [1] which was built in 1979. [9]

The aforementioned platform and a portion of lead trackage are all that remain of the station.

The interlocking switch tower was removed in June 2018.

Major trains

  • Atlanta & West Point; and Southern Railway
  • Central of Georgia Railway
  • Seaboard Air Line (Seaboard Coast Line after 1967)
    • Cotton Blossom: New York - Birmingham
    • Passenger Mail and Express: Washington - Birmingham
    • Silver Comet: New York - Birmingham
    • Southerner: New York - Birmingham
    • Sunnyland: Atlanta - Birmingham
    • Washington-Atlanta-New Orleans Express


  1. ^ a b c d Storey, Steve. "Atlanta Terminal Station". Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Pyron, Berry O. "Atlanta History Center Album. Terminal Station". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  3. ^ Sabin, Pat. "Terminal Train Station-Atlanta,GA". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  4. ^ Kelley, Collin (May 6, 2014). "A Look Back: This month in Atlanta's history". Atlanta INtown. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  5. ^ "Terminal Station Atlanta, GA". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Hayward, Dillon; Kavoori, Nikos. "Atlanta Rails » Atlanta Terminal Station". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Lanham, Jenni. "Atlanta, GA Terminal Hotel Fire, May 1938 : GenDisasters ... Genealogy in Tragedy, Disasters, Fires, Floods". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  8. ^ "Terminal Station and Hotel Atlanta Georgia". Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  9. ^ "Richard B. Russell Federal Building". Downtown Atlanta, GA. Retrieved December 30, 2010.


External links