New life to Dothan linegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread
Lack many of the details but I heard today that NS is going to begin running unit rock trains over the Dothan line enroute to a Conrad Yelverton aggregate facility in the Panama City FL area via The Bayline. Currently CSX handles about 1 unit train a week into Dothan from Montgomery that travels over the Bayline to PC to this facility. The CSX operation has the locomotives continueing through on the Bayline all the way to Panama City. I don't know if the prospective move over NS will also see the locomotives go through to Panama City and I don't know when this will start. I do know that NS is currently T&S'ing the Dothan line as far west as Hilton and I understand they now plan to continue on to Dothan in the near future. An earlier post of mine put forth the arguement that since NS had announced their plans to sell several thousand miles of trackage that perhaps the Dothan line might be one of those lines for sale. With the prospect of unit trains, NS may not be so likely to get rid of it now.
While an aggregate rock unit train is a far cry from the passenger trains that operated between Atlanta and Panama City with through car service on into the 1950's, it would appear that through train service to the Bayline at Dothan is about to return.
-- Bryan Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 02, 2000
If the title of this thread, "New life to Dothan line", comes to pass it now appears imminent that if any additional prosperity comes to the portion between Hilton and Dothan it will be as an operation of the Bayline. I have several well placed sources that tell me the sale of this portion of the Dothan line is a "done deal" and the Bayline will be taking over very soon. The sale of this portion has been rumored off and on for probably the last 15 years but each time NS decided to retain the line all the way to Dothan. Ironically I have seen some of the biggest cuts coming out of Dothan recently than I have seen in some time. Berg Steel pipe in Panama City must have a major contract they are filling as it is common to see 20-25 car cuts of pipe travelling between Dothan and Albany. I guess in the end it wasn't enough. This sale basically marks the exit of NS from all former CofG lines in South Alabama. And I'm not sure if it is an outright sale or long term lease where NS will retain ownership like the Eufaula line.
In any event, if you want pics of NS trains in Southeast Alabama.....you better not waste any time getting to Dothan. I'll be getting all I can in the coming weeks. The local to Dothan works Monday thru Friday and usually gets to Dothan around mid morning...10AM or so. They switch around Dothan for a couple of hours before heading back east. Good for pics. At least it's not a night operation.
If I hear of an actual takeover date and the first day of Bayline operation, I'll let everyone know.
-- Bryan Smith (email@example.com), May 12, 2002.
If it is the same place I am thinking, then you are talking about the new Florida Rock Quarry. If so, I would imagine activity has already begun, or will shortly. I worked for Florida Rock at the Rome Quarry part time running a 65 ton GE center cab switcher. At first it was to be sent to the new quarry at Columbus, however it was sent out the other week, and the word I got from a man from Birmingham rail was that it was a trade in on a GP-7 that was to soon be sent to the new Columbus quarry. (I've been told its near Junction City, so I'm almost certain its the same one). If my assumptions are correct, then you should soon see the rock trains out and running. The plant manager from there told me they had the intentions of sending out 30- 40 cars at a time. If I hear anything more I'll be sure to post.
-- Jonathan Blair (JLBlair1981@aol.com), July 10, 2001.
A little more info on the unit aggregate trains over the Dothan line that I mentioned in an earlier post. I now hear that there will be around 2 trains a week that will operate via the Dothan line. The train will originate at a new quarry being constructed near Junction City GA which is between Ft. Valley and Columbus. I also heard that the quarry at Junction City will originate 4-5 aggregate trains a week going to various destinations. As further evidence of the revival of the Dothan line I also have heard of another large move that has already started. Mullite of America which has a large operation in Andersonville GA formerly received bauxite ore for processing through Savannah GA and moved it via NS to Andersonville in unit trains. They are now using the port of Panama City FL to handle this and the ore moves over the Bayline to Dothan then NS to Andersonville. They are not using unit trains for this move, rather NS is adding a couple of locomotives to the Dothan district local on the days this ore moves. This move is made 3-4 times a month and is usually 45-50 cars each trip. Seems NS and the Bayline have hooked up on a couple of lucrative moves as of late.
-- Bryan Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2000.