Traveling as a passenger or in a pullman car was a way to get to and from destinations one would not normally travel on horseback, buggy or early automobiles. Sometimes it was easier as well as faster.
According to The Green Light Newsletter published by The Southern Railway Historical Association, Inc. in July-August 1990:
If one rode a train from Atlanta, on the East Tennessee, Virginia, & Georgia Railroad to New York City in the 1880’s, the trip would have covered portions of five different railroads, passed through southern Ontario and would have taken at least three and a half days.
In 1880 the ETV&G Railroad had 36 Locomotives, 27 Passenger Cars, 12 Baggage, Mail and Express, 15 Cabooses, 671 Freight of all types and 46 Company Services listed as equipment.
In 1894 the ETV&G Railroad had grown and had 211 Locomotives, 82 Coaches, 15 Combination Cars, 36 Baggage, Mail & Express, 6 Postal, 3 Dinning Cars, 9 Sleeping Cars,134 Cabooses, 7601 Freight of all types and 140 Company Services listed as equipment.
In 1893 the ETV&G advertised two great limited vestibule trains and their tables. The Cincinnati Limited and the Chicago Limited. The Cincinnati Limited originated out of Jacksonville, FL and the Chicago Limited out of Jesup, GA. Both trains consisted of Pullman’s finest Drawing-room and Sleeping Cars, Day Coaches, Baggage Cars and Express Cars. The Chicago Limited runs solid from Macon to Chicago; Pullman Sleeper from Brunswick. The Cincinnati Limited Runs solid from Jacksonville to Cincinnati. Pullman Sleeper Jacksonville, Savannah and Mobile to Chicago.
The Cincinnati Limited left Macon at 3:20 am, left Atlanta at 6:35 am Passing through/stopping in Powder Springs on its way Rome, Chattanooga, Cincinnati then Chicago.
The Chicago Limited left Macon at 11:10 am, left Atlanta at 2:10 pm Passing through/stopping in Powder Springs on its way to Mobile then Rome to Chattanooga, Cincinnati and Chicago.
The Eastern Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad come to Powder Springs in 1882 and later became the Southern Railroad. As you can see, the growth of this Railroad afforded the people of Powder Springs advantages the city and community had not had before.
On April 30, 1967, Southern Railway System published it’s “Passenger Train Schedules”. In this booklet, it had a “Helpful Rail and Pullman Data” about the Pullman Room Accommodations and charges. There was the Roomette with bed folding into wall, primarily intended for one person. Bedroom with lower and upper bunk, for one or two persons. Bedroom Suite connecting bedrooms, with two lower and two upper berths for four people. All rooms had individual drinking water, lavatory and toilet features, also day-time lounging.
Child five years to twelve, tickets were half of the adult ticket in addition for seat or berth assignment. If not accompanied by adult (alone), full adult ticket required. Depending on one’s destination, one way or round trip, Pullman, Coach Railroad tickets could cost anywhere from $5.30 to $74. For Pullman Fares $8.50 to $62.15 depending on which room and one way or round trip. Dinning Cars and meals were usually separate charges.
A dinner card for the Seaboard Air Line Railway in the 1920’ and 1930’s Was advertised on a menu type card for the HAMLET Café. “Seaboard Air Line Railway Café Car Service. Walk into the Café Car at HAMLET and have BREAKFAST. Service is a la carte. Prices Reasonable. Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Fruits from the best markets. Here are a few items from Our menu: Cantaloupe…25 cents; Berries with Cream…20 cents; Peaches with Cream…25 cents; Cereals with Cream…15 cents; Young Chicken…40 cents; Lamb Chops… 50 cents; Steaks…40, 60, 75 cents; Eggs…25 cents; coffee…10 cents and Tea or Cocoa…15 cents
The Seaboard Air Line Railway (Seaboard Railway) came to Powder Springs in 1905 which also made travel by rail more convenient.
Not sure what the pay was in the early days, but in 1976 the United Transportation Union published a Time Book guidelines for Pay Rates
for Engineer – Passenger Trains; Engineers – Through Freight Trains; Engineers – Yard; Firemen – Passenger Trains; Firemen – Through Freight Trains; Firemen – Yard – Hostlers and Helpers; Firemen – Short Local Freight Trains; Conductors and Trainmen – Passenger and Through Freight; Conductors and Trainmen – Local Freight and Yard and Conductors and Trainmen – Without a mileage Component.
Most of these rates were set as: Weight on Drivers (pounds) and a Standard Basic Daily and Mileage Rate. These rates varied according to the job and number of days the job required.