Working the local Bham to Amory

Discussion in 'Birmingham Subdivision' started by dennis nabors, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. dennis nabors

    dennis nabors Member

    During the summers of 1967, 68, 69, 70, and 71 I worked for the Frisco as a brakeman on the Birmingham Sub, and for a while in the Memphis yard. Then we worked off the extra board and mostly served as cover for those taking summer vacations. Much of the time was spent working on the local from Bham to Amory, the "high car" jobs were thought of as easy money and didn't come open as often as the back-breaking locals. The time of service law then was 16 hours. Many times an agent would have to come out to a side track and pick us up in a car or another crew would come out and drive the train in. When working the local we would oftentimes stop (about lunch time), pull into a side track, and walk into downtown Jasper, Carbon Hill, or Winfield and sit down at a local cafe and have a hamburger or the "blue plate special". I recall the conversation with some of the 'old heads" when a "blue plate special" (including iced tea and corn bread) jumped from $1.00 to $1.25. There was discussion that we might have to stop eating at such expensive places.

    Bob Aikens was the Superintendent at the time and kept a very close eye on the subdivision. After I graduated from college I worked a short while for the Frisco in Memphis. Bob offered me a job as an assistant trainmaster, but I decided to go to law school. My father worked for the Frisco and I loved working for the Frisco, although I've enjoyed my practice, I occasionally reminisce as to how things would have turned out had I gone to work for Mr. Aikens and the Frisco. As the old railroad songs mention it is something that gets into your blood and never quite gets out. If any of you old friends on the Birmingham sub are out there, hello from an old friend.

    Dennis Nabors
  2. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    From 1987-89, I would sit by the window in my math teacher's classroom at Sulligent Elementary School so that I could look north up Elm St. with the best view possible and watch trains go back and forth through the crossing around midday as they picked up pulpwood and dropped off empties. (Somehow, I still managed to do well in math.) We had 4 pulpwood yards within 6 miles of Sulligent: Sulligent, Crews, Gattman (Miss.), and one between Sulligent and Gattman. Had I been a little older, I could have really burned up a lot of gasoline doing some railfanning.

    By the way, today's average going rate for a "blue plate special" in the same area you mentioned... $7.50! :eek::(:confused::mad:


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