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View Full Version : Major trestle destroyed on the Alabama Southern


ShortlinesUSA
05-01-2011, 05:21 PM
The catastrophic tornado outbreak in Alabama has also claimed a railroad infrastructuer casualty-- a major trestle on Watco's Alabama Southern just east of Tuscaloosa has been completely destroyed.

ABS trains between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa will detour via NS from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa for this operation to resume.

Take a look at the pictures on their homepage, at the links. I've seen aerial
shots, but these from a ground perspective show just what a substantial
structure this was.

http://www.watcocompanies.com/

Not knowing what customers there are between Tuscaloosa and Brookwood, one might even think that replacement of the trestle may not occur and an attempt to work out a permanent trackage rights agreement with NS may be the most practical and economical route to take with this one.

Regardless, if a replacement is constructed, it will be a major undertaking and observers in central Alabama can expect to see the ABS runthrough trains to and from CSX Boyles Yard in Birmingham on NS rails for at least the next year.

nikos1
05-01-2011, 05:29 PM
Have you recieved official word that they will be using NS trackage? There is pretty much no online traffic between Brookwood and Tuscaloosa, the fate of the old L&N line looks pretty bleak.

ShortlinesUSA
05-01-2011, 05:49 PM
While I would hesitate to call it "official" word, you should begin seeing ABS trains on NS next week...

JRMDC
05-01-2011, 10:50 PM
Larger versions of the same photos were posted in these forums, in an otherwise unrelated thread: http://forums.railpictures.net/showthread.php?t=13863&page=2

stlgevo51
05-02-2011, 08:47 PM
It's too bad that trestle had to fall. It looks like a cool bridge. It kind of reminds me of the Kinzua Viaduct collapse.

IHapsias
05-04-2011, 04:38 PM
It's too bad that trestle had to fall. It looks like a cool bridge. It kind of reminds me of the Kinzua Viaduct collapse.

The Kinzua Viaduct should have never fell. The state government started restoring the bridge due to the historial value of the bridge. By luck a tornado (an F1) took it down. The pillars that are still standing as of today were the pillars restored by the project.

Before the rebuilding began, the train came onto the bridge causing it to bow as much as I believe anywhere from 12 to 36 inches I was told. I was fortunate enough to ride the Knox & Kane before its closure, going across that bridge was sure something! Even as a little kid!

All in all the restoration project came too late.

ShortlinesUSA
05-06-2011, 02:24 PM
The detours have started, and are more significant than what I originally posted. The ABS trains are operating via NS from Birmingham to Meridian via NS, then via KCS to Artesia, MS for interchange at Bent Oak or Columbus. This represents a detour around ABS' ENTIRE railroad. I do not know of what damage there is west of Tuscaloosa.

This extensive detour may just be due to the fact they are unable to get through their yard in downtown Tuscaloosa, which interchange with NS would not solve. It is possible that the detour may be shortened back to Tuscaloosa as they are able to get things straightened out in Tuscaloosa. More updates as I get them.

Joe the Photog
05-07-2011, 07:24 PM
Well, not to chuckle at a really bad news story, but it is a bit ironic that a tornado took out the Hurricane Creek Bridge

nikos1
05-08-2011, 12:39 AM
The detours have started, and are more significant than what I originally posted. The ABS trains are operating via NS from Birmingham to Meridian via NS, then via KCS to Artesia, MS for interchange at Bent Oak or Columbus. This represents a detour around ABS' ENTIRE railroad. I do not know of what damage there is west of Tuscaloosa.

This extensive detour may just be due to the fact they are unable to get through their yard in downtown Tuscaloosa, which interchange with NS would not solve. It is possible that the detour may be shortened back to Tuscaloosa as they are able to get things straightened out in Tuscaloosa. More updates as I get them.

I hope they do get back on the original alignment sometime soon, its a quite scenic line that I wish I'd railfanned before the storm. The storms path did not go over the yard so I dont think thats an issue, the existing interchange track would be akward to use for road trains since trans would have to back out of the yard but I imagine they will put in a crossover east of town where the lines run parrallel.

ShortlinesUSA
05-15-2011, 04:54 PM
Detours appear to have now settled into a more standard pattern, interchanging at Tuscaloosa. Northbound is NS symbol 30V, southbound is 31V. With NS assigning dedicated symbols to these trains instead of the standard "O" symbol for a detour, that tells me they are planned to be around for quite some time.

No particular run times or days, just that they don't run both directions in the same day. So, if they go north to Birmingham Monday, they'll come back south on Tuesday, and so on.

nikos1
05-22-2011, 03:37 AM
It appears the bridge will be rebuilt, from firsthand reports crews are already on the site beggining work.

ShortlinesUSA
05-22-2011, 06:48 PM
Great, glad to hear that! Appreciate the report, Nikos.