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Here we will take a look at the Southern Railway System, its operations, and the nine men from Samuel Spencer to Harold Hall, who guided the railroad from its inception in 1984 to its merger with Norfolk and Western in 1982. Both freight and passenger operations, including Amtrak operations will be covered as will some of the innovations in rail transportation that made the Southern known as the Railway System that Gives A Green Light to Innovations or Road of the Innovators. Sample freight and passenger timetables will be presented in the Supporting Material section. All other material will be presented in the text section. Welcome aboard the Sout;hern Crescent, now boarding at Track 17 with E8 Diesels 6900-6917-6905 and6907 as the power.

The Southern Railway as merged into today's Norfolk Southern system, is the product of a series of mergers involving approximately 150 companies into a single, cohesive 10,400 mile railroad serving 13 southern states. Among the companies now part of the larger system are Carolina and Northwestern, the original Norfolk Southern Railroad, Central of Georgia Railroad, Georgia Southern and Florida, Live Oake and Perry, State University Railroad, Tennessee,Alabama and Georgia, and Cincinnati,New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway, to name a few. Major freight classification yards around the system include the following; Chattanooga,TN (deButts Yard,named for Harry DeButts,who completed dieselization of the property),Atlanta,GA(Inman Yard),Birmingham,AL (Norris Yard,named for Earnest Norris.), Macon,GA (Brosnan Yard, named for Bill Brosnan), and New Orleans(Oliver Yard), to name the principal terminals,many of which also had intermodal loading ramps and facilities as well. Of the Southern presidents, both Harry DeButts and Bill Brosnan are responsible for developing much of the track maintenance machinery seen on most railroads today. In addition,Bill Brosnan was instrumental in the development of Locotrol, a radio control system that facilitates the operation of locomotives placed in the middle of a train controlled from the head end, thus facilitating quicker acceleration and smoother braking of trains. Many unit trains operated over Southern tracks are operated in this manner. The remote units are coupled to a special rail car built to house the radio control receiver equipment for controlling the midtrain diesels, which are connected to this car by means of multiple unit connections and jumper cables. These remote locomotives are then inserted into the body of a train by a yard switcher at the terminal where the train is originating its run. On empty unit trains returning for another load of coal, grain or some other bulk commodity, the remote units go up front with the head end power. Merger partner Norfolk and Western tried out Locotrol on a number of its trains, including a 500 car unit coal train operated from Iager,West Virginia to Portsmouth ,Ohio in November,1967 essentially as a publicity stunt to demonstrate Locotrol's capabilities.

However, N&W's experience with Locotrol operations was less than stellar, for even while there were successful runs with Locotrol consists on trains, the N&W experienced such maladies as broken knuckles, drawbars and the fact that some trains turned out to be too big for the terminals they were headed for. Locotrol, the Big John covered hopper car, and dieselization, are among the innovations the Southern Railway is noted for. As we delve into Southern's operations, we shall take a look at a few of these innovations.



Miles of Track:16,125

Locomotives: 1459

Freight Cars: 74,159

Approx. Number of daily freight trains: 616.

THE PRESIDENTS-The Men Who Made It All Work.

1.Samuel Spencer, 1894-1906

2.William W.Finley,1906-1913

3.Fairfax Harrison,1914-1937

4.Earnest E.Norris,1937-1951

5.Harry A. deButts,1951-1962

6.D.William Brosnan,1962-1967

7.W.Graham Claytor,1967-1977

8.L.Stanley Crane,1977-1980

9.Harold H. Hall,1980-1982 (last Southern President)
The Southern Railway was divided into two basic operating districts, EASTERN LINES and WESTERN LINES, each with a group of divisions in its jurisdiction. Eastern Lines, where the railroad had its origins consisted of the following divisions:
Eastern Division 1028.9 miles
Piedmont Division 1159.1 miles
Coastal Division 2697.1 miles
Winston-Salem Div. 373.1 miles
Georgia Division 718.5 miles
Total mileage, EASTERN LINES, 5976.7 miles
Crescent Division 612.4 miles
Tennessee Division 864.3 miles
Alabama Division 1227.5 miles
Kentucky Division 470.2 miles
Western Division 390.6 miles
Appalachia Division 706.3 miles
Total WESTERN LINES 4271.3 miles
Total EASTERN LINES 5976.7 miles
Total Southern Railway 10,248.0 miles

This section will contain sample freight train schedules,passenger train timetables and other similar data pertaining to Southern Railway System operations, including the final diesel roster and the like.Schedule designation system: Freight train schedule tables will be designated; Table F-1 and so on and those for passenger trains will be designated Table P-1 etc. This to keep the trains of the two services in their proper categories. Sample freight train schedules will be shown first, then selected passenger timetables from Southern Railway and appropriate Amtrak timetables.
Table F1.Train 123 East St. Louis to Macon
Lv East St. Louis 0230 CT
By Princeton 0830 CT
Ar Louisville 1400 CT
Lv Louisville 1430 CT
Ar Danville 2100 CT
Lv Danville 2300 ET
By Oakdale 0500 ET
Ar Chattanooga 0730 ET
Lv Chattanooga 0800 ET
Ar Atlanta (Inman Yard) 1600 ET
Lv Atlanta (Inman Yard) 1700 ET
Ar Macon (Brosnan Yard) 2030 ET
Blockings for this train were as follows:
A.East St. Louis
Connections to and from this train were as follows:
Chattanooga: 179 to Birmingham Lv 2030 CT
Atlanta: receive from 469 from Spencer, Ar 0600 ET
receive from 159 from Spencer, ar 0500 ET
receive from 143 from Cincinnati, ar 1100 ET
Macon; Connect to the following trains:
146 to Savannah, Lv 0800 ET
135 to Columbus, Lv 1100 Et
138 to Augusta, Lv 1330, ET
185 to Albany, Lv 1900, ET
Table F-2. Train 124 Jacksonville to East St. Louis
Lv Jacksonville 0600 ET
Ar Valdosta 1000 ET
Lv Valdosta 1100 ET
Ar Macon 1800 ET
Lv Macon 0830 ET reclassify entire train
Ar Atlanta 1300 ET
Lv Chattanooga 0001 CT
Ar Louisville 1400 CT
Lv Louisville 1530 CT
Ar East St. Louis 0630 CT
Blockings for this train were as follows:
2.Potomac Yard
2.Chattanooga fill
3.Cincinnati-CR (5000 tons)
D.Atlanta Chattanooga and Cincinnati CR blocks moved on 350.
D. Chattanooga
2.East St.Louis-CNW
3.East St.Louis TRRA
4.East St.Louis
E. Louisville: blocking out of Louiville same as Chattanooga.
Connections at Chattanooga:
180 from Birmingham, ar 1300 CT
162 from Sheffield, ar 1300 CT
160 from Macon, ar 1500, ET
Table F-3.Train 159 Spencer to Atlanta
Lv Spencer 0800 ET
Ar Charlotte 1000 ET
Lv Charlotte 1100 ET
Ar Greenville 1700 ET
Lv Greenville 2000 ET
Ar Atlanta 0500 ET
Train blocked out of Spencer as follows:
3.Kings Mountain