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Meridian, MS

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: The Beautiful North Georgia Mountians
  • 2,362 posts
Meridian, MS
Posted by Railfan1 on Sunday, October 12, 2008 7:24 PM
Can someone tell me about the train watching in this area? Is there a spot where the locals gather? How about some info on the Meridian Railfast '08?
"It's a great day to be alive" "Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, It might have been......"
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 186 posts
Posted by G Mack on Monday, October 13, 2008 7:17 PM

Railfan 1,

I was surprised to see mention of Meridian, MS on the Trackside Guide. This is where I grew up many years ago. So, I'm somewhat familiar with the area, but I must admit I don't get to go back there much anymore, so my memories are from a distance.

But the basic layout of the town is still the same, especially regarding the railroads. In Meridian the major player is NS. The KCS is the other class 1 in the area. Then you have the Meridian & Bigbee and what is left of the old GM&O route to the south towards Mobile, AL. The former GM&O route is still in business as far south as Waynesboro, MS. From there south it was abandoned. Traffic on this line would most likely be very light.

To get to a good place to see the NS, you can go to the Meridian Amtrak Station on Front Street. I assume you will be coming into town on I-20 from the east if you are coming from GA. To get to the station you need to go to the 22nd ave exit and go north to Front Street. Take a right on Front and the station is on the right side of the street. As you go up 22nd street you will go over a bridge that spans the tracks and if you look to your right you will see the station. It was recently (about 8 - 10 years ago) reworked and is a nice safe place. I can't inform you on the amount of train traffic through Meridian, as it has been a while since I've railfanned there.

From the station you can go east to 18th street and turn right (south) to get to the Meridian & Bigbee shop area. It is located just off the side of 18th street. In the past, it was very easy to walk around the shop area and take photos, but I'm not sure if this is still possible.

I'm not as familiar with the Meridian Speedway trackage as it was practically dead when I started railfanning around the area years ago. I know that if you go west on I-20 you will see the Key Field, Meridian's airport, to your left and on your right, just north of the highway, you should see the KCS tracks. I'm sure you can find a place to get off and get down to the tracks. Meridian isn't too big of a city, so I would suggest buying a local map at a quickie-mart, go out driving around, and you will be okay.

As far as people bothering you, I've never had anyone say anything to me on my rambles around the area. I know that there is a locomotive fuel rack and service area to the west of the station on the NS; I would be careful about venturing onto NS property at a facility such as that. Otherwise, I doubt anyone will approach you.

Well, that's all I can think of. If you go, I hope you have a safe and pleasant trip!

Gregory

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: The Beautiful North Georgia Mountians
  • 2,362 posts
Posted by Railfan1 on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:39 AM

Thanks A lot.

"It's a great day to be alive" "Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, It might have been......"

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