Birmingham Beltline Railroad

Discussion in 'Birmingham Subdivision' started by trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017), Oct 2, 2013.

  1. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    I just stumbled upon this article from Model Railroader at http://www.bhamrails.info/Birmingham Belt Ry/MR 10 91 Bham Belt.pdf while searching google.com for maps of the B'ham Beltline. I'm anticipating being in the B'ham area soon and thought I might try to retrace some of the streets that the Frisco ran on just to get a feel in case I ever want to model industrial street tracks. I thought the article was interesting enough to mention here. I've often wondered how the Frisco got into downtown from East Thomas Yard. I can't really tell from the satellite images with google maps. It appears that I need to take 1st Ave. north to 12th street and head north. I hope the area isn't a bad part of town. I'm not sure just how far I'll venture.
     
  2. train61

    train61 Member

    Just let me know ahead of time, before you get here. Ill be glad to show you around. BBR is one of my proto types Im working on for my layout, when i get more money and time. Plus I have pics of some of the old bldgs on the o'l BBR on Frisco.org. My Email is thetrain61@ymail.com.
     
  3. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    I hope this image posts large enough for someone to be able to tell me if the red line/arrows I've drawn correctly traces the Frisco's link over to Birmingham's Terminal Station.
    How Frisco Reached Terminal Station.jpg
     
  4. nickmolo

    nickmolo Member

    No, this is not Terminal Station, you are showing the L&N depot Frisco didn't use that station. You're nearly right, you need to head east at Freight Yard JCt. which is at the end of 14th, up on the "hill". The Belt line went east as far as Block No.1 and then headed south at the wye.

    Nick Molo


     
  5. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    Believe it or not, I'm still not clear on exactly what route Frisco passenger trains used to reach Birmingham Terminal Station:confused:. I thought I had it figured out finally but apparently I don't. I assume Frisco passenger trains would have traveled over the current BNSF line that appears to very briefly parallel I-20/59 (on google earth) just prior to the Arkadelphia Rd underpass into East Thomas Yard. I'd like to get as close to retracing the route to Terminal Station by car as possible the next time I'm in the area so I need street names.
    I remember 2, nearly parallel, railroad bridges that were used to span over Arkadelphia Rd./US 78 between the Arkadelphia Rd. bridge overlooking East Thomas Yard and the I-20/59 interchange up until they were removed about 20-25 years ago. They both had low clearances and showed clear visible damage of having been "T-boned" by 18-wheeler trailers over the years. For a while, I had assumed that at least one of those bridges belonged to the Frisco for reaching Terminal Station but I could be wrong. Any info or maps would be great. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
    By the way, I'm not even sure if what I'm looking for should be on the B'ham Beltline thread. I mean, I'm not sure if the beltline was used to reach Terminal Station or not. I just assume it was since I also assume that the end of the mainline was East Thomas yard.
     
  6. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Brandon, if anyone on this group knows the answer to your question, I'd dare say that it would Ken McElreath. His Frisco library handle is kenmc. He is one of the individuals who has posted photos of some of his fabulous Frisco passenger cars in HO-Scale, and has modeled the Birmingham area.

    Best Regards,
     
  7. train61

    train61 Member

    ill check into that. by way of the sanborn maps from bham public lib.
     
  8. slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018)

    slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018) Engineer Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Trainchaser007,

    Go to this web site and it will tell you every thing you want to know about Birmingham rails: http://www.bhamrails.info/

    The two mainlines that you refer to are the old BS main line and the original Frisco main line. The BS turned toward the L&N depot (no connection) and the Frisco went straight to the original yard at 9th Av.. All that is gone now due to highway construction, but if you look at the above web site it will answer all and more than you want to know about all the railroads in Birmingham.

    Also, in reference to your question about the Mississippian railroad. The only rolling stock I know of that was lettered for the Mississippian were engines, cabooses, and a few maintenance of way cars. However, the Pickens railroad had some kind of relationship with the Mississippian back in the late 70's early 80's. I believed some of their rolling stock might have been lettered for the Mississippian. The Mississippian at the time (and may still) got box car loads in and out of Fuller Brass (I believe that is the name).

    Jerome
     
  9. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    Thanks for the link to B'ham rails. As for the Mississippian...

    The only thing that came up in a google search for "Pickens railroad" was about a short line in South Carolina. I'm not saying a connection between the Mississippian and a S.C. RR is impossible, but the distance between the two makes me question it. However, by "Pickens Railroad," would you possibly referring to the AT&N/Frisco? The AT&N (later absorbed into the Frisco) started out as the Carrolton Short Line RR in Pickens County, Alabama... Reform, AL to be exact... only about 65 miles from Amory by rail via the Frisco and GM&O. The only reason I mention the AT&N is because it and the Mississippian share something in common. They were each built by John T. Cocherane. He started building in the Carrollton Short Line in 1900 and the Mississippian in 1923. Here's a quote from a link:

    "John T. Cochrane of Mobile, Ala., is the president and builder of the (Mississippian Railway) road. Mr. Cochrane is also president of the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern and the Alabama & Northwestern railroads. The new line is independent of these two lines however, and is in no way connected with them." http://itawambahistory.blogspot.com/2007/06/mississippian-railway-opening-up.html

    It seems Mr.Cochrane had a knack for linking towns without a railroad to other railroads by building short lines.
     
  10. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Nick and Brandon,

    Here is an image that I drew the route on. Note that the line jogged north a block to bypass the Frisco Ninth Avenue Yard and proceeded along Tenth avenue parallel to the SAL line. The SAL actually had trackage rights on the Frisco from FY (Freight Yard) Junction over Billy Goat hill to Pratt City.

    I am modeling the Ninth Avenue Yard. It remained in service to support the downtown industrial switching long after East Thomas opened in 1909, at least until 1935.

    Enjoy.

    Ken McElreath
     

    Attached Files:

  11. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Excellent info and clarifications, Ken and Jerome - thanks very much for sharing!

    Ken, I may be terribly behind, but is your 9th Street Yard a new venture? If so, have you backdated?

    Best Regards,
     
  12. slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018)

    slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018) Engineer Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Trainchaser007,

    The Pickens was a short line rr in South Carolina that was owned by a person or group that also had box cars for lease and use. The Mississippian apparently provided reporting marks and storage for those cars. I am not sure if they actually owned the Mississippian or just found them convenient.

    Here is a couple of link that has information and pictures: http://www.msrailroads.com/Mississippian.htm

    http://www.arc.gov/magazine/articles.asp?ARTICLE_ID=21&F_ISSUE_ID=&F_CATEGORY_ID=

    Also, in the link I gave you earlier, if you go to Birmingham Belt 1935 downtown it will show not only the railroads of 1935 but when you click off to the right side it will show what trackage is left.

    And one last thing: it was called Birmingham Belt not Birmingham Beltline.

    Jerome-OKC
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2014
  13. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Chris,

    I'm still in the 1949-50 era, but definitely more steam-focused. Ninth Avenue Yard itself lasted until the '50's, but the roundhouse was gone sometime before that. I will keep the roundhouse and base all of my local and transfer operations from there, using the Frisco's smaller steam power. I won't have any real mainline operations, but this is a very interesting plan for me. I will post photos as the development accommodates.

    Ken
     
  14. train61

    train61 Member

    Hey Ken your doing 9th AVE yard. I've got plans for that one too. 1950-51, when all the remaining steam switchers, and a few gp7's, was in Bham before the SW9's showed up in Jan 52.
     
  15. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Even in the absence of mainline ops, Ken, it sounds like there should be plenty of fun to be had. I'll look forward to further updates.

    Best Regards,
     
  16. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    In my quest to retrace the Frisco to Terminal Station...
    From looking at maps on Birmingham Rails and satellite imagery on Google Maps, it appears that from the point where 12 Ave. W currently seems to dead end near the BNSF mainline west of Arkadelphia Rd., the Frisco paralleled 12 Ave W. Then the old ROW seems to have been used for the "Dorothy Spears Greenway" over or around "Billy Goat Hill" (I never knew before that the hill on I-20/59 between I-65 and Arkadelphia had a name). Then, it paralleled Tenth Terrace N, through what is now I-65, over to a split of the line near the intersection of 9th Ave. N and 12 St. N, I would appreciate it if someone would pick up where I'm stopping and explain how the Frisco got to Terminal Station... from the split near the 9 Ave. N & 12 St. N. intersection.

    Also, I don't know how or even whether or not I have the ability/authority to correct the title of this thread to "Birmingham Belt Railroad" but if that is possible, be my guest. I would certainly do it if I could.

    Finally, as for the pictures of the Mississippian Railway on msrailroads.com, I found no pictures of "Mississippian" equipment other than locomotives and cabooses. Unless I see something later to prove otherwise, I have to assume that there never were any Mississippian freight cars. This past Monday, around 3:30pm, they brought 2 boxcars into their yard at Amory, from some point up the line, before uncoupling the locomotive from them and returning it to the engine in the engine house for the night... the same engine house shown in the B/W photos. However, I did not think to look at the boxcars. I was so thrilled about seeing a train at work on the Mississippian that I forgot to pay attention to the freight cars. It's my understanding that they normally only run 3 trains per week... 1 each day on M, W, & F. It's very rare for someone from outside of Amory like myself to be in Amory at just the right time to catch any action on the Mississippian.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  17. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

    trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017) Passed away September 22, 2017

    I had to go to downtown B'ham today. I decided to go on a Frisco hunt so from Arkadelphia Rd., I turn east on 12th Ave. W, then kept left onto Bankhead Hwy before taking 3rd St toward Parker High School. Behind Parker HS, I turned left on 10 Ct. N. which led me onto 10 Terrace N (the old roadbed). What I found at 5th St N was pretty exciting.

    Old Frisco roadbed leaving B'ham near 3rd St W & 12 Ave W. Now the Dorothy Spears Greenway (walking trail).
    [​IMG]

    Old Roadbed near 3rd St W & 12 Ave W looking toward B'ham.
    [​IMG]

    Trackside Inn at the intersection of 3rd St W & 12 Ave. W.
    [​IMG]

    Looking away from B'ham from the 11th Ct N bridge.
    [​IMG]

    Looking toward B'ham from the 11th Ct N bridge.
    [​IMG]

    Driving toward downtown B'ham on the old roadbed, now 10th Terrace N. behind Parker High School.
    [​IMG]

    Rails are still in the street at the old 5th St. N crossing (at 10th Terrace N).
    [​IMG]

    Looking away from downtown at the intersection of 12 St N and 9th Ave. N.
    [​IMG]

    On the way home (on Corridor X / I-22), I was passed by this SUV pulling a speeder. My daughter got the shot for dad. They had Georgia plates.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  18. Frisco Al

    Frisco Al Member

    Seems to me the Frisco 9th Avenue yard is where the Birmingham Jefferson civic is now
     
    Ozarktraveler likes this.

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