Southern Fairbanks Morse Units : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

The February photo on the Atlanta NRHS calendar is of Southern Ry Fairbanks Morse motor car #2, The "Joe Wheeler" leading 3 cars near Macon in 1950. How many of these FM units did the Southern own, and when were they retired? When scrapped?

-- Greg Hodges (, February 14, 2002


Much of this data I originally obtained from J.C. Paschal....

Southern had six railcars built in January 1939. They were manufactured by St. Louis Car Company, with Fairbanks-Morse model 38D8 800 hp, 5-cylinder opposed piston engines. The cars were: no. 1, The Goldenrod no. 2, The Joe Wheeler no. 3 and 4, The Cracker no. 40 and 41, The Vulcan

The cars went into service between August 24, 1939 and October 11, 1939. The Goldenrod initially operated between Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; the Joe Wheeler operated between Oakdale, Tennessee and Tuscumbia, Alabama; the two Cracker trains operated between Atlanta and Brunswick, Georgia; the two Vulcan trains operated between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Meridian, Mississippi.

No. 1, 3, 4 and 40 were scrapped at Hayne in August 1954. No. 2 was sold on June 8, 1954 to the Georgia Northern Railroad, where it became their #2. No. 41 was sold in December 1954 to the Georgia and Florida Railway as their #81. Car no. 41 was finally scrapped in January 1963. Car no. 2 was donated to the Atlanta Chapter of NRHS - it's current status is unknown.

The original units had 4-wheel front trucks and a powered, 6-wheel rear truck. The front trucks were replaced with 6-wheel passenger car trucks at an unknown but early date. The original color scheme was dark green with an imitation aluminum roof, the color extending down to the letterboard. A second aluminum band ran below the windows and dipped down in front. A latter color version eliminated the upper aluminum and the lower band came up to a point (rather than down) in front. St. Louis Car also constructed matching partitioned coaches 72'9" over buffers (44 white/32 colored) with a green / aluminum paint scheme matching the power units. In 1940, four 66' heavyweight coaches and three 61' baggage cars (all 1910-era) were rebuilt to supplement the original equipment.

-- Tom Warne (, February 19, 2002.

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