When was the last RS-3 retired?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

RS-3s are a personnel favorite of mine. As a small child in a small town called Blackstock, SC I watched in wonder as huge clouds of black smoke belched from them as they switched pulpwood at the depot. I grew older and forgot about them until the mid 70s. Now as a Signal Maintainer in Chester,SC I ofton wonder when they last ran, especially along the Rline between Charlotte and Columbia. Anyone know?

-- Turner McCarley (tmccarley@infoave.net), October 17, 2003


While I can't say for certain when they last ran (likely most were stored in late-75) a fairly large number of RS3s lasted on the roster until 1976.

The following units were retired in 1976: (Interstate) 31, 33, 35, (Central of Georgia) 117, 118, 135-140, 145, 146, 148, 150-152, 154-159, (Southern) 2025-2032, 2034, 2037, 2041- 2044, 2046-2048, 2050-2051, 2053-2058, 2060-2062, 2132-2133, 2138- 2143, 2145, (CNO&TP) 6210, 6220, 6231, 6234 and 6236. This information is from Paul K. Withers bood entitled "Diesels of the Southern Railway 1939 - 1982."

-- Jerry M. LaBoda (laboda@bellsouth.net), October 17, 2003.

Turner, as far as I know the last run was night industrial turn from Forest Park to Inman and return. At the time I was hump trainmaster in Inman Tower. I think it was late summer of 1976. Somewhere I think I have the lineup sheet for that nite. We knew the end was coming. There were two CofG RS3's trailing behind a GP7. They brought in a long hump cut and yarded it. I held them in the clear while I humped out the last of the Ford 5 AM spot cars to 65 class yard track. We were runnng late with the spots, it was already 6 AM. I let them go down the no. 1 inbound and get their three spots through the electric crossovers into 65. I remember one of the spots was a pristine SR 50 foot double door DF , still with the big SR emblem and its roofwalk. I had them already lined up by Howell Tower and the Inman operator, routed out One Thouroughfare. The RS3's were now leading. They mortally blasted out of there, easily hitting 30 by the tower. It was a memorable sight, to say the least. The RS3's went out owning Atlanta, rushing to keep Ford from shutting down. As far as the Rline is concerned, I would guess maybe til the end of 74. I'll try to ask Mozdierz, he might remember. The last RS3 in Greenville was the 6210 in late 75 or early 76. It came up in conection with a grade crossing lawsuit. And I remember the RS3 dead engine train leaving Inman behind two GP30's. A lot of old friends headed for scrap sadly. ALCO-White did talk to VP-Mech Joe Moore about re-engining and rebuilding the RS3's in 1976 though. I rode up in the elevator at Spring Street with them.

Ben Lee

-- Ben Lee (Bengineer7@aol.com), October 18, 2003.

Ben: Enjoyed your rememberences of the RS-3s.... I remember seeing them working around on Atlanta's southside when I was a boy growing up there in the late 50s -early 60s. Seemed very prevelent on the CG around Industry near Ft. Mac. You mentioned the SR Building on Spring St. I vividly remember the huge "SOUTHERN RAILWAY" sign that was mounted on the roof...those big red letters could be seen from quite a distance at night. (weren't nearly as many tall buildings in Atlanta back then) Do you know if there are any NS offices in that building today, or has everything pretty much gone to Norfolk?

-- Greg Hodges (lynnhodges@earthlink.net), October 19, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ