Alabama Midland Information (old Plant Line ACL) : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Does anyone have information on the Alabama Midland? This was the original name for the still-used line from Montgomery, AL to Bainbridge, GA. After reading some of the prior posts on the Montgomery area, I realize that the pickings are slim. Further, this line was absorbed into the Plant System in 1902. What I'm mainly looking for are operations=type answers for this line (such as industries served, connections in Montgomery, etc.), evan after it became ACL (particularly the old facilities at Midland). I used to live in Troy, and stupid me, I didn't get to the State Archives where any photos would be kept.

Thanks in advance.

-- Kirk Boutwell (, May 30, 1999


I live in Ozark and have some knowledge of traffic along this line after it became SCL. E-mail me if you would be interested in some information.

-- Matt Smith (, July 16, 2000.

The initial construction of the Alabama Midland line was by the 3ft gauge Montgomery Southern RR, opened south out of Montgomery in April 1882, reaching Luverne in November 1888. Prior to this, the Alabama Midland was chartered on October 24, 1887. The AM opened throughout to Bainbridge, Ga., on May 22, 1890. The AM was controlled by the Plant System from the beginning, indicating that Plant was probably behind construction of the line. The MS was converted to standard gauge in July 1889 and merged into the AM in December 1889. The AM was merged into the Plant System in 1901. As for traffic on the AM line, remember that this rural America, so there would have been carloads of farm machinery, hardware, builders supplies, new automobles, etc. As most small towns had a team track, this freight would have been off loaded into trucks there. Major on-line cities would have had some private sidings, such as coal dealers in Brundage, Dothan and Ozark. There were cold storage plants in Dothan and Bainbridge with their own sidings, and cotton seed dealers in the same towns. Bainbridge Fertilizer Co. had a siding and Dothan had fertilizer factories. Dothan also had two each produce warehouses and grain elevators and there was a lumber planing mill in Bainbridge. If you are serious about researching traffic, I'd suggest visiting city libraries along the line and see if they have business directories for the era in which you are interested. Another source of information is the Sanborn fire insurance maps. Not only would they show sidings, but would also show the shape and size of buildings perhaps no longer standing in 2000. Hope this is of help.

-- Tom Underwood (, January 22, 2000.

It was built after 1885 because it is not shown in the map of Alabama railroads as of 1/1/1885 in Doster's "Alabama's First Railroad Commission 1881-1885." At that time, the railroads into Montgomery were the South & North Alabama from Birmingham, the Mobile & Montgomery from Mobile, the Western from Selma and Opelika, and the Montgomery & Eufala from Eufala.

-- Chuck Till (, June 19, 1999.

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