Pensacola Sub/AT&N Hunt

Discussion in 'A.T.&N. R.R.' started by trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017), Aug 6, 2012.

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

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

    (This is a sequal to my "AT&N Road Trip" thread. Due to the trip also turning out to involve the old Pensacola Sub, I decided to start a new thread.)

    In Mid-July, my wife's employer sent her to a conference in Mobile, AL. We tagged along as did several families of other co-workers. We, along with most of her co-workers, stayed on the AL Gulf Coast. She and her co-workers carpooled to Mobile for the conference. That allowed me and my daughters to go "exploring" during the day.

    On the way down, I had planned on taking the most direct route from Sulligent, AL down AL Hwy 17 through Reform, AL to explore the rural western edge of Alabama along the old AT&N. However, I turned a 6 hr trip down 17 into a 5 hr trip by taking US 45 (paralleling the old GM&O through extreme eastern Mississippi / SW Alabama). With young kids in the back, it was an easy decision. (Sadly, the GM&O was abandoned between Waynesboro, MS and Mobile, AL by either the IC, ICG, or KCS, I believe.)

    Once in Mobile, We took I-165 right by the old GM&O Mobile Depot. Without internet, I had no way of knowing if the AT&N depot still exists or where to look for it. I was wishing I had found out prior to leaving home. We also drove out to see SLSF 1527 in the park west of Mobile. It was coming a severe thunderstorm with a down pour. Even though I got out of the truck with an umbrella, the heavy rain messed up the focus of our camera.

    On the first day of the conference, I took my girls on our Pensacola Sub hunt. From Orange Beach, AL (where we stayed) we followed AL 182 which turns into FL 292 then we stayed straight and followed Gulf Beach Blvd. At 619 Gulf Beach Blvd, I happened to see the top of BN caboose 1094 over a privacy fence, statically restored, at a private residence. (see pics) I wonder who the owner is? An old Frisco line crosses Gulf Beach Blvd at the intersection with W Main. Tracks are still there (see pics). We followed W Main along the line until we reached the present end of the rails. Main St. continues east toward Pensacola Bay. We also found SLSF 1355 and took a pic.

    On E. Main, I spotted an old building that just had that "depot look." It is the old L&N depot (relocated and used as part of the Univ. of W FL). The host there told us about the West Florida Railroad Museum NE of Pensacola in Milton, FL. A few days later, we went there. Funny have to go through Bagdad to get there. Now I can say I've been to Bagdad. They have SLSF caboose 1102 there (see pics).

    Note: In SW Alabama and NW Florida, you have to accept the fact that the territory is a mix of GM&O, L&N, Frisco, with very little if any present signs of the AT&N's existance. However, like me, all of the railfans I met in the area are more than willing to talk about anything that traveled on rails, regardless of the road name.

    On our last day, we stopped in Foley, AL (about halfway down the east side of the AL boot heel). The L&N had a line that ended down at Foley with a depot there. They have an L&N diesel loco #13, a SLSF boxcar #4722, another non-Frisco car and a L&N caboose on the old L&N roadbed. I asked a host if that is an actual SLSF boxcar. He told me it is. He said the L&N brought Frisco rolling stock down to Foley to load produce or plants (I don't remember exactly what the product was). The L&N shipped the SLSF rolling stock from the Foley Depot to the nearest interchange with the Pensacola Sub of the Frisco.

    On the way home, I set out to track down the old AT&N. My exit off I-65 N is AL Hwy 158 W over to US 45/AL 17. However, I took a detour east over to the Saraland area. Just east of the AL 158 / US 43 intersection... there it was... the old AT&N. Of course everything that was Frisco south of Columbus, MS (the AT&N and Pensacola Sub) is now owned by Rail America's Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway.

    I'm not that familiar with the rural roads along the old AT&N between AL 43 and AL 17 from Mt. Vernon to Tibbee so I headed back over to AL 17 and headed north. A few miles up Hwy 17 there was a strange, curvy, uneven place where the road seemed to have been moved over slightly. At that spot there was a clear, straight, dirt path that headed NW from the highway. I knew it had to be the old AT&N R.O.W. No sooner than I had that thought, I saw a sign that said "Tibbee." I remembered Tibbee from the AT&N map and knew that path I saw and the strange spot in the road must have been where the AT&N crossed Hwy 17 and went SE over toward US 43. In any case I was headed north and I knew the old road bed would be on the west side of the highway. I got out my phone to take pics and there it was...the old roadbed. We went through Chatom, Milry, Silas, & Gilbertown. Along the way I saw signs that pointed to Land and other points on the AT&N off to the west of the Hwy. At Butler, AL, it was 6 pm and I had to make a decision... continue up 17 along the AT&N for 3 hours in the rural wilderness, "spooky after dark," back country of extreme western Alabama or head 30 minutes NW to Meridian, MS to eat dinner and travel a more familiar and better route back to Sulligent, AL. I knew my wife and kids would want to eat dinner soon so I headed NW to Meridian. Along the way, the AT&N crossed AL 10 / MS 19 at Lisman, AL. Going west through Lisman, I spotted a clear, straight, gated, dirt path heading south. It had to be the old AT&N R.O.W. That was my last glimps of the old AT&N.

    It's sad that BN abandoned the AT&N but having lived along the AL/MS border all of my life, I sincerely believe that wth the rural nature of Alabama's Mississippi bordering counties and the nature or lack of rail business along the AT&N at the time it was abandoned, keeping the line would not have been cost effective for BN or even the Frisco for that matter.
    For me, being a native of west AL and having recently traveled along part of the old AT&N and having driven through towns to my south that no longer have a railroad, I think of BN as "Beat Nothing" and BNSF as "Beats Nothing So Far." I would love to see the Frisco still in operation, but living in a town with a railroad... any railroad... is better than living in a town with no railroad like the towns along the AT&N or "Alabama's Terminated & Neglected."

    Ship It On The Frisco! - Brandon

    End of Frisco Line West Main St. Pensacola.JPG Chatom, AL City Limits.jpg Frisco Caboose 1102 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG #2 Inside Frisco Caboose 1102 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Frisco Ariticle @ W FL RR Museum.JPG #4 Inside GM&O Diner 2722 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Frisco RXR @ Idlewood and Unknown.JPG Train Ride at Foley, AL L&N Depot.JPG L&N 13 @ Foley, AL Depot.JPG Foley Club Layout.JPG AT&N Roadbed Northern Washington Co., AL.jpg Frisco into Pensacola on W. Main St..JPG SLSF N Scale as Garden RR Foley Club Layout.JPG #1 Inside Frisco Caboose 1102 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG HO Green Monster @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Pensacola, FL L&N Depot.JPG #3 Inside GM&O Diner 2722 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG SLSF 1527 #2.JPG GM&O Diner 2722 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Live Action Steam Loco @ Foley depot.JPG W FL RR Museum Garden RR #2.JPG #1 Inside GM&O Diner 2722 @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Frisco Map at W FL RR Museum.JPG The Next Generation @ W FL RR Museum.JPG SLSF 1527 in Severe Thunderstorm.JPG Diesel @ a TomThumb store.JPG Me with girls @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Yellow Bluff Depot pic @ W FL RR Museum.JPG Frisco @ Gulf Beach Blvd & W Main St. Pensacola.JPG Discovered BN caboose 1094 @ 619 Gulf Beach Blvd. Pensacola.JPG
    FriscoCharlie likes this.
  2. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

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

  3. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    Can you give us a Date for all of your pictures?
  4. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

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

    Is July 16-21, 2012 sufficient enough for the entire group of pictures? If you want a specific date for specific pics let me know.
  5. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

  6. railrider44

    railrider44 Member

    good stuff. i have seen many of the things in your pictures... the picture you took of the main line at pensecola looking north you were standing by the Pro Build gate i have spotted it many times with lumber flats. if you would have went 3 or 4 blocks north you could have walked into the pensecola yard and seen the old turntable and yard!
  7. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

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

    On the way to Perdido Key, FL, we stopped in Mobile to eat at Sonny's BBQ. Since we were so close, I stopped by Langan Park to see SLSF 1527 for the second time. To be honest, it's looking bad again. It really needs a weather shed like #1529 in Amory. From there, I went across town to see the AT&N/Frisco depot for the first time before crossing the Mobile River over the Cochrane Bridge to Blakeley Island and crossing Mobile Bay on U.S. 98. The office building looks smaller in person but it's great to see another Frisco building still standing. I wonder if there is a connection between the Cochrane Bridge and John Taylor Cochrane, builder of the AT&N. On the Blakeley Island side of the old SLSF rail ferry, there are some rails still embedded in paved driveways along the highway south of the bridge. I hope to photograph some of them on the way home. I would have done it then, but the wife and kids were getting restless after already stopping twice on the way to the beach. Personally, I'd be perfectly fine vacationing in an RV in the office parking lot were I could see all the rail traffic.
    Since we're going to Pensacola later today, I did a little research last night.
    I'm plan on going down W. Main again along what's left of the old line to the docks, then over to see SLSF 1355 again. With any luck, I'll lay eyes on the old turntable for the first time.
    20160601_171832.jpg 20160601_165802.jpg
  8. BN70

    BN70 Member

    Did you visit Blakeley Island?
  9. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    I'd like to personally strangle whoever ruined the poor 1527 with that red paint.
  10. trainchaser007 (Brandon Adams RIP 9/22/2017)

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

    From the depot, I went NNE on Telegraph Rd., then NNW on Blakely Bridge Cut-off Rd., then east over the bay, south down to I-10 via U.S. 90 Alternate. Some of the drives off the west side of U.S. 90 Alt. between the bridge and I-10 still have rails in them.

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