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Railfanning Alabama

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Railfanning Alabama
Posted by Railfan1 on Saturday, September 6, 2008 8:04 AM
Where would be the best place(s) to railfan in Alabama. Taking into consideration volume, SAFETY, and variety.
"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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Posted by ringo on Monday, October 20, 2008 11:49 AM

I can help you, a great spot in Alabama is Decatur, about 60 miles north of Birmingham,  this is where both the NS and CSX cross the Tennessee River with a shared bridge.  The CSX line is quite busy which runs from Birmingham to Nashville and the NS which runs from Memphis to Chattanooga, a little less busy.  It is a very safe spot, you can watch near the bridge.  There is also a hotel right next to the junction, just ask for a room facing back and you can see the parade of trains.

Birmingham is also a good spot.  I have never had a problem there in the daytime.  Anyone of the bridges over the tracks near the Amtrak station is good, as NS and CSX both share this line.  In fact Birmingham is very busy.

I think you would be very with Decatur

 

Ringo                                                                                                   

 

 

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Posted by overall on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:37 PM

Ringo mentions the bridges near the Amtrak station ( the old L&N station)in downtown Birmingham. My favorite is the 22nd Street overpass. There are parking spaces with meters right on the bridge so you can park there legally.You can see Amtrak's Southern Cresent enter and leave the platform. The only problem I had was a very aggressive panhandler.Also, the Sloss Furnaces historical site is another good place to watch trains. Don't forget to photograph the Baldwin Diesel switcher on display there.If you like museums, try the Heart of Dixie Museum in  Calera. There is a lot of equipment on display there.The CSX main line passes by it also.

George

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Posted by David in Opelika on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:41 PM

 Another good spot is the Irondale Cafe in Irondale.  Home of the fried green tomatoes.  The Cafe is a trio of storefronts with picture windows, features good Southern cooking, and looks out at the NS mainline just outside of the Norris Yard.  There is also an observation deck.  I believe the Crescent passes by, but haven't seen it.

 http://www.irondalecafe.com/

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Posted by JamesD&RGW on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:24 PM

 the Cresent does follow that line ive been on it through irondale also Mobile is a great place to watch there is 1 train coming into Mobile in the Morning on the CN ex ICG line or was a lot of CSX NS and a few BNSF

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Posted by wwhitby on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 5:09 PM

I live a few miles north of Montgomery.  There are quite a few trains coming through Montgomery to and from 4 CSX subdivisions, and many locals originating in Montgomery.

 Here are a few places to railfan in the area:

 - Overlook Park - Bell Street in Montgomery.  Its an small park located on a bluff between the Bell Street Interlocking and Union Station.  Montgomery PD patrols it heavily, so its pretty safe.

- Union Station - the trainshed is now a parking lot.  I haven't been there in years, but it was a nice place to watch trains but not so good for photos, due to the chain link fence they've put up.

- Montgomery riverwalk area - between the Alabama River and the CSX M&M Subdivision tracks.  You can get to the riverwalk by use of the riverfront tunnel beside Union Station. 

- Elmore, Alabama - Just north of Montgomery in Elmore County is the small town of Elmore located on the CSX S&NA South Subdivision between Montgomery and Birmingham.  Right off Jackson Street is a small park that borders the tracks.  A good place to watch and take pictures.

- Thorsby, Alabama.  Thorsby is a small town off US-31 in Chilton County.  There is a public park that is seperated from the S&NA South main by a split rail fence. 

 If you need directions to any of these places, or more information, let me know.  Also, CTC is used on the M&M and S&NA South subdivisions, so ATCSMon works great.  Don't forget to bring a scanner, since CSX crews call signals.

Warren

CSX Montgomery, Alabama ATCSMon feed at atcsmontgomery.dyndns.org

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Posted by Railfan1 on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:37 AM

Lots of great suggestions and info. Will look into. Thanks.

"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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Posted by misteradio on Sunday, December 28, 2008 5:01 PM

 I used to live in Birmingham and frequented the Lovick area, between Irondale and Leeds just east of the main RR yard. The mainline track runs alongside the Little Cahaba River. Very scenic. Several overpasses.

There is a nice tunnel just off the Cooks Springs exit between Leeds and Pell City. I once walked through it. Not a bright idea, but I survived. 

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Posted by BamaCSX83 on Friday, January 9, 2009 9:06 PM

I used to live in Montgomery and I'll vouch for all the spots mentioned on it.  Right now I live in Troy, AL, and while its no where near as busy as Montgomery was, I still normally see 7-11 trains a day go through Troy.  There's also a shortline (techinally the Conecuh Valley RR, owned by the Gulf & Ohio, so you see pretty much any of their owned companies on the line).  Most of the traffic is covered hoppers (plastics plant and two agricultural feed elevators in the local area), but you'll also get a autorack coming through along with the occassional rock train.  There are also several local freights that come through, heading down to Dothan, or either up to Montgomery.

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Posted by overall on Monday, January 12, 2009 3:00 PM

I have heard that there is a railfan platform in Irondale Alabama. Does anybody know if it exists and where it is. I would presume close to the tracks of course, but does anyone know what street?

George

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Posted by overall on Friday, February 6, 2009 7:28 AM

I visited Irondale and they do have a very nice railfan platform across the street from the Irondale Cafe. I didn't get to stay long, but I was rewarded with a mixed frieght that came through while I was there. It gave me a chance to try out my brand new Nikon D60. There is also a Southern Railway caboose on display across the tracks from the Cafe.

George

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Posted by Railfan1 on Sunday, February 15, 2009 7:08 AM

Sounds great.

"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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