books available for purchase : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Hi I am a 3rd generation family who worked for the Seaboard Railroad when it was just Seaboard (Portsmouth, Va. Shop) and later family who worked in Jacksonville, Fla., Wildwood, Fla. St. Petersburg and also in Charlotte/Monroe, N. C. I am trying to locate a couple of books that my husband who also worked at the portsmouth shop would enjoy. He was there in 1960-1966 and would love a history type book on the Seaboard. I understand from a local train friend, that Seaboard, Route of Courteous Service is very hard to get. Can you help with that one or andy other one on the history of the seaboard? He also recommended Thru the heart of the South. We would love a book that includes photos of the Portsmouth Shop/and train station. I now live in Suffolk, but my husband was recently back at the old shop in portsmouth which is being rented. It brought back many great memories and has started us again checking with family members to collect old memorablia. We have old pass books/and some other items. My husband has an old anvil he bought from the shop many years ago. We would like to talk with others regarding the RR. How do we join the society? How do I find any good books now available. Thanks for your time. Joan Turner (family name was Foster and had many uncles/dad and grandfather with this railroad. Please respond

-- Joan Turner (, December 05, 2002



I for one would be very interested in seeing a copy of your work. Please contact me so we can make arrangements to get a copy of the tape to me. I for one will insist on covering your costs in making the tape.

Thank you!

-- Michael W. Savchak (, December 09, 2002.

Ms. Turner,

After reading your question on the ACL/Sal web page, I thought I might be able to assist you. I am from Portsmouth and familiar with the shops. Several years ago I produced a Video Documentary on the History of the Seaboard in Portsmouth. The video covers the Seaboard from the late 1800's to around 1993 when the yard was closed. The best way to describe the video is it is like an "amateur Ken Burns" work. There are many rare pictures from the public library, shipyard museum and from retired employees. Perhaps the best aspect of the tape however, are several interviews of retired and current employees. I am sure your husband would know some of them.

I will be happy to make a copy of the video for you. Just e-mail me and we will make the arrangements.

To anyone else who is reading this. I will be happy to share this work with anyone. I am not trying to sell it. I am not a business! I just appreciate history and the railroads. The invitation is open to contact me.

Van Welton

-- Van Welton (, December 07, 2002.

Ms. Turner -

Thanks very much for contacting us - you will find a lot of excellent information on the Seaboard here. First, our catalog (see the catalog section on our web site) has many excellent books on Seaboard history. The 3 most pertinent start with our own book, "Orange Blossom Special," which covers the full history of this famous Seaboard luxury passenger train from 1925 to 1953 and has a lot of general SAL history as well. "SAL Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment" is an all-color book focusing on the railroad's freight and passenger cars. "SAL Steam Boats, Locomotives and History" is the complete story of SAL steam locos and trains, and again has much general history in it including details of all SAL predecessor lines. Other books that have some SAL material include "Classic Diesels of the South," "Classic Steam Trains of the South," "Railroads of Southwest Florida," "Tampa Union Station," and "Virginia Railway Depots." Now is an excellent time to buy these books since all are on sale.

Membership in the Society is a reasonable $24 for one year or $45 for two; see the Membership section of the web site to join. Membership includes our excellent quarterly magazine, Lines South, which frequently features material on the Seaboard. Some recent back issues of Lines South, still available through our catalog, that cover the SAL include 2nd quarter 2002 on Florida passenger trains, 1st quarter 2002 on SAL rail cars, 4th quarter 2001 on the SAL Savannah-Montgomery line, and 3rd quarter 2001 on SAL's Ft. Meyers extension, just to name a few.

Finally, this Q&A forum is an excellent way to "meet" other SAL fans and ex-employees. Our twice-a-year membership meetings are another excellent place to meet members. The next two are Jacksonville, Fla., the weekend of Feb. 14-16 and Albany, Ga., the weekend of May 2- 4. Lines South and this web site will have full details on these meetings.

Please let us know if you have other questions, and thanks again for your interest.

-- Larry Goolsby (, December 06, 2002.

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