Birmingham Southern Railroad

From Bhamwiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Birmingham Southern Railroad (BSRR, AAR reporting mark BS) was a short-line railroad which operated as a subsidiary of Transtar, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based operator of several short-line railroad companies. Its local offices were located in the Flintridge Building in Fairfield. In 2011 the railroad was sold to Watco Transportation Services of Pittsburg, Kansas and reorganized as the Birmingham Terminal Railway.

Organized in 1899, BSRR was one of the busiest local rail systems in the United States. It operated on 84 miles of track, providing switching services in the Birmingham area. Lines included a primary route from East Thomas to Bessemer, with interchanges with BNSF, Norfolk-Southern, and CSX carriers. The route included Thomas, Ensley, Fairfield, and Woodward. A second line split off between Ensley and Fairfield and continued past Norrell Junction (where the owners of the Oak Grove Mine operate a spur to Concord). From there the line continued through Mulga to Port Birmingham. The railroad operated an Ensley Yard and East Thomas Yard.

Contents

[edit] History

BSRR bridge at Arkadelphia Road in Thomas
BSRR bridge at Arkadelphia Road in Thomas

The Birmingham Southern Railroad Company was organized on March 3, 1899. The line was originally built beginning in 1878 connecting Pratt City's coal mines to the steel mills in Birmingham. The line was extended to Ensley in 1887.

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Southern Railway jointly purchased and operated the Birmingham Southern shortly after its organization. The Birmingham Southern was later sold to the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, which in 1906 became a part of United States Steel and remained a US Steel subsidiary until 1988. The railroad expanded its lines in the western industrial section of Jefferson County by 1910. In 1966, the Birmingham Southern acquired the 18-mile Federal Barge Lines Railroad that ran from Ensley to Port Birmingham, giving the Birmingham Southern access to Mobile via the barge lines of the Warrior River. The Barge Line Railroad track was formerly owned by the Southern Railway.

In 1973 five crewmen (R. E. Collins, W. J. Weldon, B. S. Card, Benjamin Baldwin, and L. C. Walton, Jr) were killed when a 67-car train hit a washout, derailed, and plummeted down a 40-foot embankment between Birmingport and Fairfield.

In 1988 the Birmingham Southern was sold to Transtar, Inc., the transportation subsidiary of United States Steel. In 1989, United States Steel sold off Transtar, which became a privately held company specializing in the operation of short line railroads and barge lines, primarily serving United States Steel and its predecessors.

On May 17, 2007, Birmingham Southern Railroad was awarded a Gold E. H. Harriman Award in the S&T Group for the railroad's 2006 safety record. In early 2009 the railroad laid off 41 workers, citing "waning market conditions".

After the railroad was sold to Watco on December 2, 2011, the company's 200 employees were required to re-apply for a total of 88 openings with the Birmingham Terminal Railway.

[edit] Locomotives

BS 223, a 1,000 hp diesel switcher
BS 223, a 1,000 hp diesel switcher
  • BS 10: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1967)
  • BS 11: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1967)
  • BS 12: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1969)
  • BS 13: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1969)
  • BS 14: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1969)
  • BS 15: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1971, wrecked July 13, 1973 and scrapped)
  • BS 16: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1971, wrecked July 13, 1973 and scrapped)
  • BS 17: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1971, wrecked July 13, 1973 and scrapped)
  • BS 18: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built May 1973)
  • BS 19: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built June 1973)
  • BS 21: GM EMD NW2 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built for Lake Terminal Railroad, January 1948)
  • BS 22: GM EMD NW2 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built for Lake Terminal Railroad, February 1948)
  • BS 23: GM EMD NW2 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built for Lake Terminal Railroad, March 1948)
  • BS 25: GM EMD NW2 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built for Lake Terminal Railroad, March 1948)
  • BS 71: EMC NC1 900 hp diesel switcher (built March 1937)
  • BS 72: EMC NC1 900 hp diesel switcher (built March 1937), rebuilt as BS 92 & BS 292
  • BS 73: EMC NC1 900 hp diesel switcher (built March 1937)
  • BS 74: EMC NC1 900 hp diesel switcher (built March 1937)
  • BS 75: EMC NC1 900 hp diesel switcher (built March 1937), rebuilt as BS 95
  • BS 92 GM EMD SW900 900 hp diesel switcher (rebuilt from BS 72 in January 1958)
  • BS 95 GM EMD SW900 900 hp diesel switcher (rebuilt from BS 75 in January 1958)
  • BS 151: GM EMD SW1500 1,500 hp diesel switcher
  • BS 210: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher
  • BS 212: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (formerly BS 12)
  • BS 213: GM EMD SW1000 1,000 hp diesel switcher (formerly BS 13)
  • BS 218: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher
  • BS 219: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1974)
  • BS 220: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1974)
  • BS 221: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1974)
  • BS 223: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1974)
  • BS 224: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built January 1974)
  • BS 225: GM EMD SW1001 1,000 hp diesel switcher (built October 1974)
  • BS 260: GM EMD MP15DC 1,500 hp diesel switcher (built August 1976)
  • BS 261: GM EMD MP15DC 1,500 hp diesel switcher (built August 1976)
  • BS 292: GM EMD SW900 900 hp diesel switcher (formerly BS 92)
  • BS 297: GM EMD SW9 1,200 hp diesel switcher (built for Woodward Iron Company, March 1952)
  • BS 360: GM EMD SW1504 1,500 hp 4-axle diesel locomotive (built for Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, May 1973)
  • BS 370: GM EMD MP15DC 1,500 hp diesel switcher
  • BS 575: GM EMD SW900 900 hp diesel switcher (built for Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, July 1955)
  • BS 630: GM EMD SD9 1,750 hp 6-axle diesel switcher (built for Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, February 1957)
  • BS 631: GM EMD SD9 1,750 hp 6-axle diesel switcher (built for Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, February 1957)
  • BS 632: GM EMD SD9 1,750 hp 6-axle diesel switcher (built for Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, March 1957)
  • BS 633: GM EMD SD9 1,750 hp 6-axle diesel switcher (built for Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, February 1957 )
  • BS 700: GM EMD GP38-2 2,000 hp diesel 4-axle roadswitcher (built for Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, December 1972)
  • BS 701: GM EMD GP38-2 2,000 hp diesel 4-axle roadswitcher (built for Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, December 1972)
  • BS 702: GM EMD GP38-2 2,000 hp diesel 4-axle roadswitcher (built for Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, December 1972)
  • BS 702: GM EMD GP38-2 2,000 hp diesel 4-axle roadswitcher (built for Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, December 1972)
  • BS 848:

[edit] Customers

Primary users of the BSRR include:

[edit] Abandoned Track

Some of the Birmingham Southern's track has been abandoned as described below:

[edit] References

  • "New Railroad" (April 22, 1899) Pratt City Herald - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
  • "14 Killed in State Accidents" (July 16, 1972) Associated Press/Tuscaloosa News
  • "Birmingham Southern Railroad". (December 19, 2009) Wikipedia - accessed June 16, 2010
  • Lewis, Edward A. (1996) American Shortline Railway Guide. 5th ed. Kalmbach Books
  • Mele, Ronald Gregory (2000) Birmingham Southern Railroad Company: The First Century. 2nd ed. Rail Images/Craftsman Printing
  • Walker, Mike (2001) SPV's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America - Southern States. Steam Powered Publishing & SPV
  • Tomberlin, Michael (February 3, 2009) "Fairfield railroad cuts 41 jobs." The Birmingham News
  • "Watco Transporation Services unit buying Birmingham Southern Railroad." (December 2, 2011) The Birmingham News

[edit] External links

Personal tools