With the recent focus on Railroad Park, we’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the unique and expansive railroad history of Birmingham. It inspired us to explore a few tracks in our area including:
those downtown near Morris Avenue, but also those in Bessemer, Irondale, Ensley, Fairfield, and the coal loading rail-to-barge stations in Port Birmingham (also known as Bimingport) on the Warrior River. We discovered that Birmingham Southern Railroad is one of the busiest railroads in the country. And through sites called American Rails.com, and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, Wikipedia, Birmingham Historical Society, and an excellent local hobbyist site called Birmingham Rails, we found a list of all the railroads that continue to serve Alabama as well as the history of our railroads. There are even some interesting maps of the railroad lines. It’s amazing what we have right here in Birmingham! Even today, over 20 trains a day come right through Birmingham. We can be extremely proud of our railroad heritage!
So here’s a preview of Bob’s watercolor tribute to the railroads and industry of Birmingham. I think he makes our railroads look beautiful! And if you get interested in the railroads like we did, take a tour of the area. There’s lots to see just within Jefferson County! Finally, railroads are still a leisurely way to travel and if you have the time, we can personally recommend taking the AmTrak sleeper car from Morris Avenue to Washington D.C.’s Union Station. You board at Morris Avenue in the afternoon, and arrive the next morning in the heart of Washington D.C. in the completely renovated Union Station. It’s a great trip for kids AND adults!