Gainsville & Midland #203 : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Was the Gainsville and Midland #203 (2-10-0) that is at the Southeastern Railroad Museum in Duluth, Georgia ever owned by the Seaboard Air Line RR?

-- Dick Kearns (, August 24, 2003


Bill Parks' information on Gainesville Midland Ex-SAL locomotives is essentially correct. However, I would add this information. Decapods Nos. 208 and 209 did not go directly from the SAL to the Gainesville Midland. Both of these locomotives were sold to the Durham & Southern Railroad when the SAL started to buy diesel power. As delivered new from Baldwin, both of these locomotives had a "Clear-view" tender in that they were sloped inward at the top on both sides in order to provide an unobstructed view to the rear of the train so that the engine crew could see signals given at the rear of the train. The 209 eventually received a conventional tender to provide a greater coal and water capacity. The 208 on display in Winder, Ga. still has the "Clear-view tender attached. The five chime whistle off the 208 was given to me personally by Mr. A.H. "Hack" Wilson, V.P. Operations of the Gainesville Midland Railroad in 1959. In the 1960's when Paul Merriman was a guest at my house, he ostensibly "borrowed" the whistle which I knew I would never see again. It's just as ell. That is the whistle many of you have thrilled to on the 4501 on steam trips all over the country. When I watch videos of the 4501 today, I take solace in the fact that I am listening to a "Bill Sellers" whistle. Somewhere on this fruited plain is a photo that I have seen of the 208 and 209 double-heading a Durham & Southern freight train out of Durham, N.C., and both "Clear-view" tenders are clearly visible. As for the 209, it was formally SAL No. 533. I have the builder's plate off the 209 as well as a builder's photograph of Seaboard No. 533. On Sep. 19, 1959, an 18 car steam excursion was handled by diesel power from Atlanta to Athens, Ga., and made a round-trip from Athens to Gainesville doubleheaded by GM Decapods Nos. 203 and 209. Both locomotives were retired after that event. Incidentally, that trip, sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter NRHS was a complete sell-out.

-- Bill Sellers (, August 25, 2003.

Dick -

According to Robert Johnson's book - "Through the Heart of the South" - GM 203 was originally Alabama Tennessee & Northern # 402.

Ex SAL units were #205 , #206(its the one in Spencer NC), #207, #208 (on display in Winder GA), #209(on display in Gainesville GA), & #301 (on display in Charlotte NC).

-- Bill Parks (, August 24, 2003.

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