Union Springs, Al. Coal Tipple

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There is a coal tipple still standing in Union Springs Al. and I curious to know if it was built by the Central of Georgia. For anyone interested you can walk right up to it and explore all you like. Thanks, Mike Smith

-- Mike Smith (msmith01@aol.com), May 02, 1999



I'm looking for information and pictures (or drawings) of the L&N (CSX) concrete coaling tower in Etowah.

My dad, H.E. Lea, was the agent/operator for the L&N depot.

This year a derailment there damaged the tower and it was demolished.

It was very unique and I want to model it. (It was one track wide, had only had 2 legs, dirty-colored concrete, smooth sides, no attached building or conveyors, etc.. It sort of looked like a crude, smaller version of this one: http://atsf.railfan.net/chutes/ccgbend3t.jpg ,but there were no recesses or openings in the sides.) (The top was angled similar to that image, though.)

Do you have any information? (I would accept images or drawings of similar concrete coaling towers, if there are any.)

Thank you,

Phil Lea 176 CR 127 Athens TN 37303 (423) 745-6962 http://www.PhilLea.com http://www.DRTRAIN.com

I do websites at: http://www.drwebman.com

-- Phil Lea (lea_phil@hotmail.com), November 06, 2001.

Sadly, the CofGa coaling tower at Millen was torn down about 3 or 4 years ago. The old concrete water tower over near the yard is (was) still standing about 2 years ago. Also, I believe that the coaling tower at Macon is still standing, although there was talk recently about tearing it down.

-- Allen Tuten (allen@cofg.org), May 06, 2001.

The CofGA's big concrete coaling tower at Millen--which sounds like it may have been built on the same or similar plans to the one at Union Springs--was still standing the last time I was down there in the mid-80's. It's not on the Central of GA, but the L&N's big coaling tower at Etowah TN was still standing the last time I was through there. I guess that they were built with high enough clearances that they are not really in the way of anything, so the railroad didn't see the point in spending the money to demolish them. It would probably cost several times as much to safely demolish one of those big concrete towers as it did to build it in the first place.

-- Lamar Wadsworth (LW.Sou.Ry.steam@juno.com), May 06, 2001.

Bryan...unless it has been demolished in the last couple of years, there was a tower standing just east of Newnan, Ga., near Raymond, where the old Columbus ("Man-o-War") route once branched off to the south. I would like to visit the site myself, someday.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), May 06, 2001.

I had been wanting to get to Union Springs for some time to check out this coaling tower but just never got around to it......until today. My knowledge of steam locomotives and the facilities to support them is limited at best and I was wondering if I would be able to find the tower since I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for. I had never seen a coaling tower up close and personal, only in photos. Was I ever wrong. It is a very imposing building at least 4 or 5 stories high. Like an earlier posted, I am amazed it still stands in 2001. It has been over 50 years since it was needed and yet it survives.

Does anyone know if any other coaling towers remain anywhere else on the old CofG???

I took several photos of the tower and will have them at the upcoming meeting in Albany.

Bryan Smith

-- Bryan Smith (bsmith3608@aol.com), May 06, 2001.

The coal chute at Union Springs was built by Fairbanks Morse for the CofGa during the 1930's. It was either a 25 or 40 ton capacity. The Montgomery to Eufaula(M&E) main line passed the chute and the wye was just to the east of it. The Columbus to Andalusia(M&G) line was the N/S line that made up one leg of the wye. Its hard to believe this today standing in Union Springs, but the two CofGa lines were not the only railroads to service U.S. There was also the Union Springs and Northern, later Birmingham and South Eastern. Even tho' they left U.S. by 1940 their turnout for their switching lead can still be seen in the pavement of Hwy 82 just a few feet west of where the CofGa crossed 82. The old freight depot in U.S. was replaced with a brick office building in the early 1980's and this building still stands and is used as an office by Haynes Ambulance Service. Rick Perry

-- Rick Perry (railsend@mindspring.com), May 02, 1999.

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