What is the history of the Athens Branch?

The Georgia Railroad, Georgia’s first state-chartered railroad, opened in 1841 to connect Athens to Augusta by way of Union Point. Originally, it terminated in Athens at Carr's Hill, but in 1888, bridges were added over Trail Creek and the North Oconee River to bring trains into downtown. The Athens Branch was abandoned in 1984 by CSX Transportation, which finished removing rails and other structures by 2000. Public outcry over the demolition of the Trail Creek trestle, made famous by the band R.E.M., led Athens-Clarke County to buy the trestle in 2001.

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1. What is the Firefly Trail?
2. What is a rail-trail?
3. Which communities will the Firefly Trail connect?
4. What benefits do trails provide?
5. What is the status of trail development?
6. What is the history of the Athens Branch?
7. Is the corridor intact?
8. What about crossing Trail Creek?
9. How much will it cost to build the Firefly Trail?
10. Where will the money come from to build it?
11. Are other trails proposed for Northeast Georgia?
12. How can I help?