Kevin’s Komments 05/25/23

Southern Railway

Our good friend and fellow club member George is recovering from a health issue and will miss a few meetings. George is a Southern fan, hence I decided to take a look at some Southern equipment.

A quartet of Southern E8A’s, led by #6913, are about to cross under the 10th Street overpass in Anniston, Alabama with the southbound “Southern Crescent,” on October 23, 1977. D.A. Woodworth, Jr. photo. collection.

The ALCO DL-109 was one of six models of A1A-A1A Diesel locomotives built to haul passenger trains, built between 1939 and 1945.  The “DL” stands for Diesel Locomotive. Four cab-equipped lead A units DL-103b, DL-105, DL-107, DL-109 and two cab-less booster B units DL-108, DL-110 models were built.  The units were styled by noted industrial designer Otto Kuhler, who incorporated into his characteristic cab the trademark three-piece windshield design.  Here, Alco DL-109 is pictured in a publicity postcard for the NYCSOUSAL “Florida Sunbeam”.

Southern’s lone streamlined steam locomotive, Ps-4 (4-6-2, Pacific) #1380, powered the Tennessean between Lynchburg and Washington, where the new train is seen in 1941.  Imagine the traditional bright green & gold paint scheme with the added wide white stripe!  Photograph from the Frank Clodfelter collection.

Here’s another SOU Ps-4 Pacific –  “Crescent” Locomotive #1396, ALCO Richmond built in 1926.  Again, it sported the green & gold paint scheme with probably a white smoke box.

This is a (my source says “apparently rare”) Southern PA unit #6902.

Since it’s rare, I thought we’d get another look at it.

SOU #2716, a 2-8-4, runs a railfan special in 1981, Waverly, AL. It was originally built by ALCO in 1943 as C&O #2716, one of their 90 “Kanawha” type steam engines. It was painted in the Southern scheme as part of its second career as an excursion train lead. The railfan trip ran from Birmingham to Opelika, AL. Photo is by Bernie Feltman.

Locomotive #4501 displays the classic Southern bright green & gold paint scheme. #4501 was built by Baldwin as an Ms Class freight locomotive (2-8-2 Mikado) and originally worked in the black freight paint scheme. She hauled freight for Southern for four decades, and was then sold to a Kentucky short-line. When retired and listed for scrap, a railfan intervened and in 1966 had her restored with the classic passenger paint scheme seen in this pic.

Getting close to home, a pair of EMD MP15DC’s pass through Ludlow, KY on their way back to Gest St yard in Cincinnati. SOU #2426 and #2382 had just finished the chore of acting as pushers for a southbound going up Erlanger Hill. Photo is by Mark Chester, Sr.

I’ve seen pics of this collection of overpasses before, but this one captures it well – This was a staged triple crossing in 1983 during the NRHS convention in Richmond, Virginia. C&O #8295 crosses over SAL #6719 which crosses over SOU #6143 (an EMD FP7). And there’s an auto viaduct above all three! Photographer is by Doug Lilly.

A pair of EMD SD40’s lead the Catawba unit train westbound (empty hoppers) towards Big Stone Gap, 1985. It looks like another three SD40’s follow behind the first car. Apparently, the car sandwiched by the power units is the radio car. SOU #3195 is the lead SD40. Running the empties downhill is not a radio train, but the eastbound coal laden train is. Photo is by Ron Flanary.

Here’s three pics of Southern’s headquarters in Atlanta during some restoration of the structures.  There are two main buildings – both are eight stories.  But, this longer structure—connected via a multistory bridge over Nelson Street—is twice the size of its counterpart. The two brick buildings at far left are being held for future development.  The Southern Railway Office is now Norfolk Southern.

SOU #1016, an NW2, leads a short train northbound near Greensboro, NC, on the A&Y (Atlantic and Yadkin Railway) line to Sanford, 1975. Photograph by Tom Sink

Here’s a great photo of the working end of the Southern, taken by one of my favorite RR photographers, J. Park Lamb. Eastbound SOU freight gets orders at Boylan tower in Raleigh, NC, in 1972. Photograph by J. Parker Lamb, Center for Railroad Photography and Art.

…And another from J. Park Lamb – Washington-bound SOU passenger train #76 leaves Greensboro, NC with a cut of TOFC loads in 1966. Photograph by J. Parker Lamb, Center for Railroad Photography and Art.

…And, Eastbound SOU passenger train #16 passes local freight at Selma, NC, 1962.  Photograph by J. Parker Lamb, Center for Railroad Photography and Art

We’d be remiss if we didn’t show a few classic Southern cabooses. No X450 appears to be retired, but sports a new paint job with the classic SOU red caboose scheme.

This photo appears to catch Nos X688 during it’s working years. There’s a little fade to the red, and the windows aren’t trimmed in white.

SOU Nos X237 has it’s bay window dressed in yellow – another common version of the red caboose theme.

I’ll finish with this builder’s photo of SOU 50098 coming out of the Atlanta shops in 1967.  It appears to be a specially built version of a well-flatcar.

Even though Southern Ry pics seem to pop up under almost any search, I hadn’t spent much time looking it over in the past.  Just this brief study has me wanting to do further research on the Southern Railway.  (George – thanks!)



Kevin’s picture of Southern #4501 reminded me of a railfan excursion that I was on behind locomotive 4501 between Hamilton, OH, and Muncie, IN, back in 1991.  I believe George played an important role in organizing that trip.  The attached photo shows my ticket and the locomotive during our layover in Muncie.

Thanks, George, and thank you, Kevin, for helping to keep those memories alive.


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