Engines used in Jacksonville, Alabama in the 1950's

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Were steam or diesel engines, or both, running through Jacksonville, Alabama in the 1950's. If diesel, was it an F unit or GP? Did freight and/or passenger travel through the town? Thanks for any info. Jim

-- Jim Kramer (jakramer@nefcom.net), September 09, 2000


Southern Railway passenger train service through Jacksonville, Alabama, ended about April 1954.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), September 10, 2000.

Since the late thirties, the passenger service on the Rome, GA (Atlanta Jct.) - Selma line was provided by a mixed train. Toward the end of mixed service in 1954, the service had been cut back to Rome, GA - Wilton, AL.

Steam power on the mixed probably ended in the spring of 1950, when four steam generator equipped GP7's, nos. 6201, 6203, 6204, and 6205, were assigned to the Mobile Div. Through the forties, typical steam power would be Class Ks 2-8-0's. I have a Mobile Div. Employee Timetable dated 11/18/51 that has tonnage ratings between Wilton and Rome for a 1200 HP switcher, GP7, F7, and FT. I would think that the road switcher type GP7's would be the most common power on the mixed. As a former power distributor, I have learned to say "never say never" when it comes to the occasional use of a type of locomotive not suited for a particular service.

I have a copy of a snapshot taken in Rome by Clark Tilly, Jr. that shows nos. 2173 and 6203 on what was likely the Rome-Selma mixed. Since no. 2173 was assigned to the Mobile Div. on 7/9/51 and the 6203 was reassigned to the Birmingham Div. on 8/9/51, the date of the picture is narrowed to that range, unless those two units happened to get together again after the 2/1/52 date of my assignment list.

In the late fifties when I was growing up, I seemed to remember seeing ALCO RS's on those trains. However given my young age at the time, those might have been false memories.

-- Jack Wyatt (cjwyatt@wavegate.com), September 12, 2000.

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