Birmingham Terminal Division - Birmingham Belt

Discussion in 'Birmingham Terminal' started by andrew, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. andrew

    andrew Guest

    Dear folks,

    I am free-lance modelling the fictitious Birmingham Terminal & Transfer Rwy in N Scale. I am living in a small country town called St Arnaud in the State of Victoria, Australia. The period modelled is basically the 1970's and while I have a main interest in the Seaboard Coast Line I am also interested in Frisco operations due to the operation plan of the BT&T being serving local industries and transfering freight cars between the three main yards of Boyles, East Thomas, and Norris.

    I do not have direct internet access but rely upon my local library and local businesses that provide public access. My HOT-Mail address is `' if anyone is wanting to contact me. My apologies if this message is not 100% appropriate for this part of the site.

    Many thanks, Andrew George.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2023
  2. mike

    mike Guest

    The Birmingham Belt, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Frisco, chartered September 7, 1899 under the laws of the state of Alabama, was a Belt Railroad in downtown Birmingham with several leads that served various industries and warehouses including the Powell Street Freight House and Team Tracks.

    Predecessor roads included Highland Ave. Belt RR and Improvement Company, Birmingham Traction Co. and Metropolitan Raid Transit Light and Power Company. First board meeting was September 7, 1899 and board meetings were continued until January 8, 1968. Frisco controlled from about 1901, although the property was not conveyed to the Frisco until May 9, 1923. On October 1, 1968 after receiving authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Frisco dissolved the Birmingham Belt Railroad Company.

    In 1919 there were 38.723 miles of yards and sidings, in 1955 there were 37.48 miles of yards and sidings including 8.03 miles of joint track. Until the 1960s yard transfers were run between East Thomas Yard and Powell Street with the downtown crews going on duty at Powell Street. Since the Birmingham Belt was a wholly owned subsidiary all equipment and manpower was Frisco.

    Too my knowledge the only motive power lettered for the Birmingham Belt were three steam engines, all 0-4-0s. These are listed in Stagner's "Locomotives of the Frisco Line" as numbers 1 (SLSF 3699), 4 (SLSF 3631) and 5 (SLSF 3698). Joe G. Collias "Frisco Power" Pg.217 shows the 3631 as a 0-6-0 type switcher, however, a print I have shows the 3631 to have the 0-4-0 wheel arrangement. I am not sure about the rolling stock, but I never saw or knew of any rolling stock lettered for the Birmingham Belt.

    By the early 1970s with the redevelopment of downtown Birmingham and the decline of the steel industry and movement of other industries to the outskirts of the city, the former Birmingham Belt trackage was shrinking and it no longer made a complete loop. By 1976 only a portion of the former trackage remained serving several coal yards, the Powell Street Freight House, and Team Tracks, Farmers Gin and Cottonseed Oil Co., a scrap yard and several smaller warehouses.

    There is an excellent article on the Birmingham Belt in the October 1991 issue of Model Railroader.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2023

Share This Page