What-if the SAL had merged with Frisco/CofG?

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I've been thinking a lot about the former SAL Atl-B'ham line and how it might have had a more deserving fate. Q: During the 1960s, did the SAL ever court suiters other than the ACL?

It's well known that the Frisco actually owned a controlling interest in the CofG, but because they did not ask the ICC first, the ICC made them divest of the stock and so they sold it to the Southern, despite the obvious fact a Southern/CofG overlapped, but Frisco/CofG was end to end.

What if the Frisco had been successful acquiring the CofG? Might the SAL had pursued a marriage there instead of the overlapping ACL? Imagine what the Atlanta landscape might be today if three entities had resulted (ACL/GA/A&WP/L&N, Southern, Frisco/CofG/SAL), instead of just two. Each would have entered the market from 3 or 4 directions on the compass.

Anyone care to comment on this what-if scenario?

Tom Randall Kennesaw, GA

-- Tom Randall (tom.randall@delta.com), June 20, 2001


Whoops, as for that routing to the west for the Florida stock trains, a quick look at my maps suggest that the route was possibly over a SAL-Columbus-C of G-Birmingham-Frisco-KC ATSF routing. SAL direct to birmingham from Florida would have had the trains going to Hamlet first, then back down the Atlanta-Birmingham line, very round-about, and the nature of the stock trains would have dictated the most expeditious routing.

-- John V. Pasquariello (GRIZZLETOAD@AOL.COM), June 23, 2001.

"If" is the biggest word in the English language, and "What if..." is its most profound question. My favorite "what if" is if the Erie had merged with the Wabash instead of the Lackawanna. It would have created a much stronger competitor to the Pennsy and NYC, and later the Penn Central, than the E-L did, and might have changed the whole railroad scene in the Northeast. A SAL/Frisco/C of G merger could have brought on the spector of a coast to coast merger with the AT&SF. The Santa Fe always had a close relationship with the Frisco, going back to the 1800's, and the Santa Fe used the Frisco to reach the St. Louis Gateway. There were also stock trains that ran on a regular basis to between Florida and poits west via SAL-Birmingham- Frisco-KC-ATSF, if I'm not mistaken. (I'm using the KC gateway as the most probabble connection between Frisco and Santa Fe.) Such a "What if" would be very intriguing indeed!

-- John V. Pasquariello (GRIZZLETOAD@AOL.COM), June 23, 2001.

Actually, you are not far off. The Seaboard and Frisco management were quite chummy at times and this might have been a consideration; however, from what I read I think the stronger relationship that Frisco had with the Southern sort of kept the possibility of a merger somewhat chilly. Anyone else?


-- Buck Dean (bdean@jngray.com), June 21, 2001.

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