Photo of the Day-- Mobile, Alabama

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Photo of the Day-- Mobile, Alabama
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 9:53 AM

Todays photo shows the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern at a refinery on Blakely Island, Mobile, Alabama.

My question: Is that snow all over the ground? Can't be, can it? Maybe it's just beach sand. Can't imagine they get snow on the gulf but maybe here and there they do. This Vinnie says " I'm so confused!"

PHOTO OF THE DAY

20200512

High-pressure short line

Alabama, Tennessee & Northern No. 11, a General Electric 45-ton center-cab diesel, switches high-pressure tank cars for a refinery on Blakely Island at Mobile, Ala. The railroad, which otherwise consisted of about 200 miles up the west side of the state, operated a car ferry and docks to reach this trackage. It was merged into Frisco on Jan. 1, 1971.
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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:27 AM

Yes, after several years of operation by the Frisco, the AT&N was fully absorbed by the Frisco. In the last month of operation as the AT&N, I took a 40 mile round trip on the northernmost 20 miles of road--maximum speed was 10 mph. We left Reform after dark, did some switching in Aliceville, ate supper (the crew paid for my supper!), and returned to Reform.There was very little traffic by then, with most of it being interchange traffic with the GM&O in Reform. I do not know just when this part was abandoned, but when I drove through Reform in 2003, all signs of its existence were gone. Almost all of the rest of the AT&N was gradually abandoned, and now only a little bit around Mobile still exists. 

I do not remember just what year it was, but the bridge across the Tombigbee fell in immediately after a southbound freight crossed it, and the bridge was never replaced. After that, the Memphis-Mobile traffic continued on the Frisco from Aliceville to Boligee; from their it used trackage rights on the AGS to York and from there it continued to Mobile on the AT&N. The Frisco crews claimed that they should operate the trains between Aliceville and York; the AT&N crews said they should--and they won.

I talked with the conductor who was on that last trip across the Tombigbee,, and he said is really something to watch the bridge crumple into the river.

Johnny

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:22 AM

Yeah but? What's on the ground in the photo? 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:37 PM

Hard to tell with a black & white shot, but that could very well be snow.  It can get cold in the South, even that far south, so while snow is unusual it's been known to happen. 

I got curious and enlarged the shot 200%.  Sure looks like snow to me, there's what looks like a layer of same on the storage tanks to the right, and on the roof of the building in the background. 

Too bad there's no date attached to that photo so we could nail it down.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 4:40 PM

Miningman
Yeah but? What's on the ground in the photo? 

Most likely sand with Mobile being on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 5:54 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Miningman
Yeah but? What's on the ground in the photo? 

 

Most likely sand with Mobile being on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  

 

I thought so too, but see all those spots and lines of what looks like dark earth?  

That's the reason "snow" entered my mind.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 6:16 PM

Voodoo fallout from gnawlins".  Wink

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 7:05 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Miningman
Yeah but? What's on the ground in the photo? 

 

Most likely sand with Mobile being on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.  

 

That's my thought, too. During the nine years I lived at the north end of the AT&N, we had very little snow. I remember one snow that did stay on the highways for a few hours in the morning.

As I recall, when I was living 55 miles south of Jackson, Mississippi, we had one snowstorm that came up from the Gulf--and stopped about 40 miles south of Jackson. Perhaps this picture was taken after that storm hit? That was in '64 or '65.

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 9:16 PM

Penny Trains

Voodoo fallout from gnawlins".  Wink

 

Yeah, who knows what  goes on there in the back alleys?

"Marie, Marie, da voodoo veau, she'll put a spell on you..."   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHEuSGGmX-c   

Seriously, it can get cold in New Orleans too.  It was pretty chilly on that January morning when the British ran into Andrew Jackson.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 9:31 PM

Just great.. I got one snow, one sand, one voodoo and one it could be either snow or sand.

So I got nuthin'.  

I would say snow. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:00 PM

Miningman
Just great.. I got one snow, one sand, one voodoo and one it could be either snow or sand.

So I got nuthin'.  

I would say snow. 

Your brain has been frozen from it's existance in the frozen North to think that everything is snow.  

The weather in Mobile on the day in question

https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/al/mobile/KMOB/date/1971-1-1

Snow was doubtful on that day.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:33 PM

The photo has no date identified.  

The Jan 1 1971 reference is to the date of the merger with the Frisco. 

 My head could well be frozen but at least I can friggin read!!!

Nice job with the retro weather report though. 

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 2:19 AM
Snow is Rare There! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2knuEF-hy5Y

https://www.al.com/live/2014/01/coastal_alabamas_snowy_past.html

 

 

 

The most snowfall the Mobile region has ever seen takes you back two centuries to January 24, 1881 when five inches of snow was recorded.

And while it didn't snow in December of 1963, seven days of near or below freezing temperatures left its mark. Between December 6 and 13 temperatures were near or below freezing, with the coldest day being December 13 at 10 degrees. Because of the continuous days of cold, parts of the Mobile Bay froze along the Causeway.

 
RankDateSnowfall
1 Jan. 24, 1881 5
2 Feb. 14, 1895 4
3 Feb. 9, 1973 3.6
4 Jan. 23, 1955 3.5
5 Dec. 31, 1963 3
6 Mar. 13, 1993 2
6 Feb. 12, 1899 2
6 Feb. 15, 1895 2
9 Feb. 5, 1988 1.7
10 Mar. 6, 1954 1.6
11 Jan. 31 1977 1.4
11 Feb. 12, 1958 1.4
13 Feb. 23, 1968 1.2
14 Dec. 18, 1996 1
14 Jan. 17, 1893 1

**The snowfall numbers were provided by the National Weather Service of Mobile.

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 6:26 AM

Aerial photos show the remnants of the car float bridge near the East Bank Shipyard.  The refineries all seem to be surrounded by white surfaces, and there is a materials plant on the island that is well stocked with white stuff.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:15 AM

Guys -- that is typical Gulf sand.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:33 AM

Overmod

Guys -- that is typical Gulf sand.

 

Could be, but as the Miningman's post shows and as I said earlier snow's been known to happen down there.  Hey, they've even gotten snow in the northern parts of Florida!

There's a Stan Kistler shot of a Pacific Electric streetcar running through snow in Los Angeles, of all places!  Taken some time in the 40's I think.

So, in a lot of cases, never say never.

What's the next un-important controversy we can get involved with?  I can't wait to find out!   Wink

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 9:33 AM

Flintlock76
So, in a lot of cases, never say never.

With the amount of time I have spent in the Gulf, looking at this sort of scene, and the amount of time I have spent looking at snow in various parts of the deep South -- yes, it's not 'never' but it's a really, really strong 'hardly-ever' unlikely.

At least it's not that-topic-we're-not-supposed-to-discuss; perhaps we should code-name it DIVOC (for 'discussion is very off community')  Next meaningless topic coming right up: acronym or initialism?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 10:14 AM

Overmod
 Next meaningless topic coming right up: acronym or initialism?

How 'bout how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 10:56 AM

Flintlock76
Overmod
 Next meaningless topic coming right up: acronym or initialism?

 
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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 11:37 AM

Well it seems rcdrye's comment seems to be in the lead now.. a materials plant that makes 'white stuff' ! 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:17 PM

Miningman

Well it seems rcdrye's comment seems to be in the lead now.. a materials plant that makes 'white stuff' ! 

 

My God, you mean, it's ASBESTOS?  Surprise  Tongue Tied  Indifferent  Ick!  

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!  

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:19 PM

Everything looks 'normal' here...interesting though 


Blakeley Island 

 
Frisco 11
In the early 1930s the AT&N established a railroad car ferry and related track facilities to serve newly established refining industries on Blakeley Island, across Mobile River from the Docks. During WW2, rails were extended southward on Blakeley Island to serve added industries, a number of which were in receipt of extensive government ship building contracts during WW2. Blakeley Island, a large industrial development, was reached by rail ferry from Mobile. The Ferry operation consisted of a small tugboat and two barges which held six or seven railroad cars depending on the size of the cars. Only one barge was in use at any one time, the other being on standby.  The barges belonged to the Frisco and the Tugboat was contracted. On the City of Mobile side, the Alabama State Docks and Terminal Railway unloaded/loaded the barge. Once the barge arrived at Blakeley Island it was spotted to the slip and unloaded/loaded by the A&N. The slip was a simple operation with manual chain lift for adjusting to the level of the tide. The AT&N maintained a small industrial type switcher on the island, a 45-Ton General Electric switcher with side rods. This switcher was later replaced with a 600-HP EMD model SW-1. Industries served included chemical processors, scrap yards and shipbuilding. Track maintenance on the island was a headache due to the high water table and this coupled with the cost of maintaining the barges, slips, and contracting the tugboat made this operation very expensive and consequently the development never materialized to the extent hoped for.
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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 6:52 PM

Frisco 11

I've actually seen (and photographed) this unit.

I was travelling along the Gulf Coast with Alan Miller in 1977 and we came across this unit, although I had no idea where we were at the time.

Alan assured me that this could not actually be a Frisco locomotive because they didn't own anything like that.

I'm pleased to know that it really was a Frisco unit. I thought it was appropriate to give it such a low road number, too...

Peter

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 7:22 PM

It certainly is different from the Frisco engines that I saw--a passenger engine named for a racehorse in the Birmingham Terminal station, and what GP it was that ran between Aliceville and Reform (even though I saw it many times, rode it, and even ran it around the wye, I never thought to see just what model it was).

Johnny

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