Southern Ry in AL : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

Hello, I have a rather large 3 level 18 x 22 layout which depicts the IC on 1 level from Jackson, MS to New Orleans and the KCS line from Jackson, to Vicksburg, MS on the second. I have been kicking around an idea I have had for years to model a line that I knew little about for the third level so as to make it interesting to learn and railfan. I am interested in a Southern Railraod( or a current NS) route maybe in Alabama or Geogia that has big rugged grades and sharp curves neccessitating pushers. I would like to find that this line also hauls pulpwood(or a lot of wood products since I already own the cars) and general freight along with anything else. Can anyone suggest a particular route? If none exists in these regions, is there somewhere else on the NS system that would qualify? Thanks,CECIL

-- Cecil Stringer (, December 12, 2000


The former Central of Georgia line from Birmingham to Coumbus, Georgia, qualifies.

First, it was a Southern line from 1963 until NS was created, so bring on the high short hoods. The Central built the line in the 1880's.

Second, it has some tough grades. In the days of steam power the Central kept a helper in Sylacauga to shove east bound trains over the hill at Trammels, which is just east of Sylacauga. They called the locomotive the "Sylacauga Pusher." It coupled on in Sylacauga, cut out on the fly at the top of the grade and and ran light in reverse back to Sylacauga. Even today I hear NS sometimes has to double Trammels.

The only two tunnels on the CG are on this line, just east of Leeds through Rattlesnake and Coosa Mountains. Supposedly "Jawn Henry" the steel drivin' man battled the steam hammer in these tunnels. Also there are numerous deep cuts and if you model the line you should see the trestle over Hatchet Creek in Goodwater. It is about a hundred feet from the trestle to the creek.

A good bit of the current traffic on the line is wood chips and some pulpwood bound for the paper mill at Coosa Pines. This used to be Kimberly-Clark, but was sold to a firm from Canada several years back. It would be quite prototypical to string up a couple dozen of Southern's distinctive pulpwood racks loaded with pine logs, along with a dozen or so wood chip hoppers and a chemical tanker or two and head to Coosa Pines. If it is prior to the eighties on your route, include a Southern bay window caboose, of course.

Finally, CG and the after it Southern interchanged with the IC in Birmingham, an added bonus, as you can use those IC freight cars on the first level. You can also use your IC varnish on "City of Miami" and "Seminole" runs to Florida. Just the excuse to paint up some chocolate and orange E-units. If you want to go the extra distance paint 811 and 812 in chocolate and orange with Central of Georgia lettering and let them handle the Florida trains.

No doubt you will hear other suggestions, but this line is a possiblilty based on the critera you have stated.

-- Ron Wright (, December 13, 2000.

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