Old railroad bonds

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I found a old "STATE OF ALABAMA" Eight per cent Bond in my grandmother attic. It was issued to The Montgomery & Eufaula Rail-Road Company. It was issued in 1870. Does it have any value?

-- Michael Shanks (Dalmtions@aol.com), November 25, 1999


Iam looking for Dayton Mighigan railroad bonds. Please e-mail at pacificrimfinancial@yahoo.com or call 541-944-1608 thank you monica

-- monica knapp (pacificrimfinancial@yahoo.com), April 02, 2004.


He lists a bond such as you describe under Alabama, State of (in aid of Montgomery & Eufala RR), ALA-427-B-40 in, Bond, $1000, 8% coupon, 1870-1900, black, AL, by Ben, train r-l under bridge, horizontal format, green overprint...$150.

-- William Bryk (wmbryk@nyc.rr.com), January 04, 2004.

Go to the Coxrail site. He doesn't buy and sell obsolescent railroad securities. He has compiled a superb research catalogue of them and is working on a second edition. He ought to have a listing for the M&E. It probably went bust during Reconstruction, but I can't say for sure. Check it at Coxrail.

-- William Bryk (wmbryk@nyc.rr.com), December 09, 2003.

Iam interested in old bonds because I found a lamp and on it is a Forte Wayne and Southern railroad Co. It looks to be a $3.00 pay to the bearer on demand note dated 1854. It also has signatures,the President at that time, Martin Vanburen. It also has been signed in pencil. It also has been numbered,What could it be worth if it is the real thing?

-- Elaine Ellis (bankersroll64@ aol.com), March 30, 2003.

I truly have no idea what the value of your Montgomery and Eufaula Railroad bond would be worth. Perhaps one way of finding out would be to go to the e-bay auction site and check out the going prices for other items of this nature. I watch e-bay quite regularly for Central of Georgia Railroad relics and have seen some items that were quite old being offered for sale. I can't say I can remember seeing anything from 1870. As info the M&E became part of the Central of Georgia in the early 1900's. Later on the Central of Georgia was bought out by Southern Railway and through mergers Southern Railway became Norfolk Southern in the early 1980's. Unfortunately the M&E line from Eufaula to Montgomery has been abandoned and for the most part the rails have been taken up. There are still remnants left in places. The segment from Eufaula to Union Springs was abandoned in the 1960's and the line from Union Springs to Montgomery was abandoned in the mid 1980's. I served as Agent of the Eufaula agency of Norfolk Southern from 1983 until 1985. At that time we still used part of the M&E to serve a chip mill on the outskirts of town. The chip mill has since closed and no part of the M&E is in use in Eufaula. One of the last functions of the line from Eufaula to Union Springs was to store boxcars taken out of service. At one time there was about 1000 boxcars stored on this line. Almost 10 miles worth. Kudzu vines (a fast growing vine native to this area) would literally cover the cars during spring/summer then die during the winter months turning dark and dry. The vines would cover the cars so completely that you couldn't see them.......only the outlines of boxcars covered in kudzu. As they would die and dry out, they would become fire hazards. Nearby forest fires would spread to the cars and with the kudzu as fuel, many cars burnt down to a shell. Some of these cars had wood floors which added further fuel. About 30-40 of these cars "burnt up", some so bad it was hard to get car numbers from them, and had to be gingerly towed to a siding in Georgetown GA and scrapped on the spot. Fire is what brought about moving them off the line and to the scrapper in the first place. There were a number a small wooden trestles located on the line and some of the cars sat on these trestles. During one of these forest fires one of the trestles caught fire. As luck would have it, a track foreman happened to be riding by with a group of track workers and spotted it before it got out of control and was able to put it out. The railroad was faced with this happening again and perhaps having a trestle burn out with a 1000 or so boxcars on the other side. The line from Union Springs had long been taken up so the cars couldn't be gotten to from that end. The cars that didn't burn were all sent to a scrap yard in East Point GA........after they were made road ready, which brought about another problem. Here again they were older cars and many of them had old style friction bearings rather than roller bearings. Someone with obvious railroad experience knew that there was a piece of brass that sat between the axle and the truck assembly to help disapate the heat generated by this older style of bearings. This "someone" had slipped the brass out (you can do this with a standard hydraulic jack since all you need to do is get the tension off the bearing......you don't have to lift up the entire care or lift one end off the track) on about 1000 bearings. The shop forces had to put brass plates back into every bearing that was missing them so they could make the trip to the scrapper. It was quite an ordeal. We moved them from Eufaula in cuts of 50 and would await notification from mechanical forces in Atlanta before moving a cut out. They would let the scrapper get through with 50 of them before sending them 50 more.

I know I veered far from the original question but back to the bond, if it is uncancelled, you may want to let a stock broker look at it. There is always a chance it may be worth something. If it isn't worth anything from the angle of a bond maturing, perhaps someone on this board can give you an idea of what it would be worth to a collector.

Bryan Smith Columbia Alabama

-- Bryan Smith (bsmith3608@aol.com), November 25, 1999.

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