Contractors on C&W tunnels 1886-88? : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

Legends say that John Henry worked for contractors or engineers Shea/Shay and Dabney/Dabner on the construction of the tunnels at Oak and Coosa Mountains ("short" and "long" tunnels) in 1886-88. John Henry may have raced A steam drill at one of these tunnels on September 20, 1887.

I seek information on Shea and Dabney (and, of course, on John Henry).

Are papers of the Columbus and Western Railway archived somewhere?

How should I proceed?

-- John Garst (, August 06, 2001


-- Dale E. Burns (, August 21, 2002.

Since posting my original query here I have discovered from a Birmingham City Directory that Frederick Y(eamans) Dabney was the Chief Engineer for the C & W in 1888. I have also learned that he was in the railroad design and construction business as early as 1858. In 1880, and to the end of his life, his home was in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. I seek other information about Fred Dabney.

-- John Garst (, October 09, 2001.

In a recent conversation with a close friend who works for Norfork Southern T&S on the old Birmingham District iI was told that the Coosa River Bridge has been replaced.. ASlso there is talk of day lighting the Oak Mountain tunnel and boring the Coosa tunnel for double stack service... this is only hear say at this time... I also heard some romblings that Burlington Northern is interested in Birmingham to Savannah... Interesting roumrs to say the least.. Be reminded that this information is only hear say at this time...

-- Glenn K. Marsh (, October 09, 2001.

John, There is brief mention of "Jawn Henry" in the December 1958 issue of the Right Way Magazine, which was the Central of Georgia employee publication. The only information it provides, which it acknowledges may be legend, is that he "met his match for brute strength as a steel driver in building the tunnel at Oak Mountain near Leeds, Ala. on the Birmingham-Columbus line." There is also a brief history of the Columbus and Western RR in that issue. You might check with Virginia Tech archives and/or Ga. Historical Society in Savannah for more information on this or the Savannah and Western RR Company which absorbed the C&W.

-- Jim Goolsby (, August 08, 2001.

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