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Railroad pictures from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and beyond

Shortlines, Private Switchers, Stations, etc

odds and ends main page   H&MCRRA page 1   H&MCRRA page 2   IIC (HMAA)   CaGY


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The elusive switcher at Tuscaloosa Steel, actually located in Holt, Al. This switcher only rarely gets close enough to see anything but it's strobe lights and vague outline. However, on this occation, I was able to fotograph it at night fall through a chain link fence. The immage has been enhanced for clairty and brightness.

The switcher is radio controlled. A man wears a pack on the front of his chest and controls it from there.

Note that this switcher is actually leased from SRA Mill Services. Tuscaloosa Steel also operates at least two trackmobiles. The switcher is usually involved with the scrap metal operations and not the steel making, whereas the trackmobiles are used in and arround the mill itself.

Tuscaloosa Steel upgraded all their tracks between 1996 and 1999. The scrap area was reworked in 1996 and/or 1997, and the rest of the plant was upgraded in 1999. The 1999 upgrade included many new tracks.

Tuscaloosa Steel is a mini-mill. They recycle old steel by melting it down and reforming it. They get most scrap in by rail, only a little bit locally by truck. The ship out the new steel as coils by truck and rail, and new plate steel by rail.

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Fellow Railfan and friend Jeff Robertson sits in an abandon track inspection car in Gordo, Al. This is actually owned by Kansas City Southern and belongs in the KCS section, but it's also got Jeff in it... so that qualifies it for the oddballs page. I believe this is the first railfan photo I ever took.

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Another oddball, David, stands next to a sign in Gordo, Al along KCS's main line. The sign reads "Control Point West Gordo" and is used on this dark territory track to help the dispatcher keep track of where the train is along the line. There is pretty much nothing but these signs and radio repeaters between Artesia Yard in Mississippi and Tuscaloosa Yard.

Photo by Jeff Robertson.

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This could actually belong in the KCS or NS section... but its here. It is the abandon interlock tower at the KCS/NS crossing in Tuscaloosa, Al. The silver boxes at right control the signals for the interlocking diamond. Norfolk Southern maintains the electronics and gives trains permission to cross; KCS maintains the rail and owns the tower. For more information, see the KCS and NS sections.

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Here is the front of Montgomery's Union Station. CSX now passes by arround back.

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Here is the beautiful passenger shed at Montgomery's Union Station. This is located in downtown Montgomery.

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This is a remote controlled switch machine (controlled by the dispatcher). It belongs to CSX in the eastern part of Tuscaloosa County. Only a few hundred yards from here the main line changes ownership to KCS. CSX has a branch off the main though, going to the Jim Walters Resources coal mines in the area.

KCS has nighttime trackage rights over this line. The extra-east and extra-west traverse this line. The extra's run over CSX, KCS, and C&G track.

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Part of an NS sprung switch. A sprung switch allows a train traveling on the main to stay on the main, but a train on a siding to re-enter the main without the switch being thrown. This can save time on lines that do not have remote controlled switches.

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A former Southern flatcar re-incarnated as a bridge in Boligee, Al.

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Safety propoganda. From an NS freight depot, but probably put up by Southern.

Please pay special attention to the above photo and always expect a train.

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On lines with track signals or at crossings with lights/bells/gates, the rail actually carries an electric current. These are insulators and keep the track circuits from shorting, which would give false readings to RR safety equipment.

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The old L&N passenger station in Tuscaloosa. This is actually the back side. The main line was on the far side of the building.

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Another shot of the L&N depot in Tuscaloosa. To the left, you can see Greensboro Ave, which crosses the KCS and NS tracks on the far side of town. The NS/Amtrak depot are at the other end of Greensboro.

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An abandoned L&N passenger car near Montgomery Union Station. Anyone know anything about this car?

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Two locomotives at the other RR museum in Huntsville, the Huntsville Depot (see also Mercury & Chase RR operated by the North Alabama Railroad Museum).

The light blue locomotive is an Alco S4 owned by the North Alabama Railroad Museum.

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This locomotive was built for the Army. I don't recall the make/model. It was later sold to TVA, and then donated to the Depot Museum.

This caboose was stored temporarily in Huntsville, Al in the Huntsville & Madison County Railroad Authority yard. It was sold to a private individual who moved it to his mountainside home. I am told his wife uses it as a sewing room. I believe this was in 1998. It is a former KCS caboose.

odds and ends main page   H&MCRRA page 1   H&MCRRA page 2   IIC (HMAA)   CaGY

Kansas City Southern---Norfolk Southern---CSX---Amtrak---Conrail---Western roads---Mercury and Chase---Sperry Rail Service---odds and ends---Tuscaloosa---Huntsville---Other parts of Alabama---Columbus, MS---Harrisonburg, VA---Erie, Pa---GE locomotives---freight car types---Ringling Brothers Circus Train
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This site Copyright 1998/1999/2000/2001/2003, Paul Novarese and David Kudrav.

Last Updated:   June 2000.
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