Mobile & Gulf Railroad

Standard Gauge

Headquarters: 

Years of Operation: 1925-1984

Predecessor Roads: Baskett Lumber & Manufacturing Co.

Successor Roads: none

Miles Operated: 31.888

Locomotives Owned: 

Equipment

12/31/1928: Locomotives: 3. Cars: 3 flat, 1 box, 1 caboose.

 

Click Map for Larger Version

HISTORY by Gil Hoffman:

The Baskett Lumber & Manufacturing Company was incorporated at Fayette, Alabama on February 24, 1912, Construction of a standard gauge logging railroad was begun that summer and a sawmill built at Fayette the following year. On July 2, 1914, the sawmill was leased to W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company of Louisville, KY. The logging and railroad operations continued to be performed by Baskett Lumber & Manufacturing Co. In late 1917 logging operations were taken over by J. P. Daniels. On April 6, 1918, W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company acquired the Baskett railroad and its remaining equipment. The logging line acquired the name “Mobile & Gulf Railroad,” but as yet was not incoporated. 

The Mobile & Gulf Railroad was incorporated in Alabama on July 1, 1925, to acquire and operate a line of railroad in Fayette and Tuscaloosa counties, Alabama, and to construct and extension of this railroad. It was controlled by the W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company, of Louisville, KY, through ownership of the entire $300,000 in capital stock. The main purpose of the line was to serve the mill of the parent lumber company at Fayette, AL. 

The railroad extended from Fayette, AL southward to Buhl, AL, 31.888 miles. At Fayette it connected with the Southern Railway, and at Buhl with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. Much of the line was built as a logging road prior to 1918. On April 6, 1918, about 25 miles of logging railroad was purchased from the Baskett Lumber & Manufacturing Company by certain individuals who on July 1, 1919, sold the property to the W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company. During the years 1919 through 1925 the Brown company extended the line to a point near Buhl, AL, and between 1925 and June 14, 1926, it was extended about 3.5 miles to a connection with the Mobile & Ohio at Buhl. The Mobile & Gulf Railroad acquired the entire line by deed dated May 14, 1926. The line was opened as a common carrier on June 15, 1926. The railroad granted trackage rights to W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Company for its log trains over the entire line. With the purchase of the railroad came three locomotives. 

The railroad traversed the bottom lands of the Sipsey River for its entire length. Some of this land was quite swampy and subject to flooding. The line was laid chiefly with 56 and 60-lb. relay rail.

 About 1930 the Brown Wood Preserving Company built a creosote plant at Brownville, AL, on the M&G. which soon became a major source of traffic for the line. Late in 1946 the Brown sawmill at Fayette burned and was not rebuilt. In 1948 the section of line between Fayette and Brownville was abandoned, leaving 11 miles in operation between that point and Buhl. Number 97, the last M&G steam locomotive, was retired on August 22, 1970, making the M&G the last common carrier in the US to use a steam locomotive. The M&G was abandoned in 1984.

  

REFERENCES

 

1.  ”Operation of Line of Railroad and Construction of Extension by Mobile & Gulf R.R. Co.,” Finance Docket No. 4961, Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 99, p. 773-6.

2.  ”Mobile & Gulf Railroad Company,” Valuation Docket No. 1090, Valuation Reports, Interstate Commerce Commission, Vol. 43, p. 309-18.

3.  Finance Docket No. 15942, Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 267, p. 820.

 

The first 6 photos appeared in an old newspaper article on the Fayette area and depict early Baskett Lumber & Mfg. operation of the Mobile & Gulf. Even though the quality is extremely poor, the subject is worth showing them anyway. 

A homemade loader loading logs on the Mobile & Gulf at Moore's Switch in 1916.

Baskett Lbr. & Mfg. camp at Moore's Swich was near Sheltons Chapel Church in Tuscaloosa County.

Baskett No. 1 was an attractive Baldwin 2-6-0 bought new in 1912.

Tiny 18-ton Shay No. 7 at the shops in Fayette in 1918.

Interesting slab-hauling car at the creosote plant at Brownville.

Builder's view of nicely-proportioned No. 9 bought new in 1920.

M&G 97 switches the GM&O interchange at Buhl in 1970.

97 turns on the wye at Buhl in 1970.

M&G 97 rests while the crew takes a lunch break at the company commissary on the left at Brownville.

A fabulous shot of 97 at Buhl.

Another stunning photo of 97 as it tops "Skidder Camp Hill" in 1970.

No. 97 at the creosote plant at Brownville in June 1970.

M&G 97 at Buhl and the once-common Alabama Law Stop sign.

97 switches the interchange yard at Buhl.

ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:

 

Road No.

 

Type

 

Builder

 

C.N.

 

Date

 

Cyls.

 

Dri. Dia.

 

Engine

Wt.

 

Previous Ownership

 

Disposition

 

1

 

2-6-0

 

Baldwin

 

37893

 

6/1912

 

13x20

 

42

 

62000

 

Baskett Lumber & Manufacturing Co. #1, Fayette, AL

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #1,

on 4/6/1918.

Baldwin class 8-20 D 145

 

Wrecked and scrapped 1930.

 

2

 

0-4-2

 

Baldwin

 

 

 

 

 

10x14

 

 

 

30000

 

Code name “Lumber City.”

Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co. #1277

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #2,

on 6/14/1920.

 

Scrapped ca. 1930.

 

1st 3

 

32-2

Shay

 

Lima

 

2003

 

10/1907

 

3-8x12

 

28

 

64000

 

White Sulphur Lumber Co. #3, Jena, LA

Lettered “Catahoula Central Ry. Co.”

Haynesville Lumber Co., Haynesville, LA

J. F. Worsley, Ltd., Atlanta, GA (dealer).

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #3,

in 2/1921.

 

Transferred as #5 to Zama, MS, ca. 1926.

Re. #4.

Scrapped 1932.

 

2nd 3

 

0-4-0T

 

Porter

 

 

 

1918

 

12x16

 

 

 

32000

 

Uncertain.

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. 2nd #3,

on ?

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #3, on 5/14/1926.

 

In service 12/31/1928.

W. P. Brown, Live Oak, FL, in 1955.

Scrapped 1959.

 

1st 4

 

No Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unknown.

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #4,

on ?

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #4, on 5/14/1926.

 

Retired by 12/31/1928.

 

2nd 4

 

4-6-0

 

Rogers

 

 

 

1898

 

18x26

 

56

 

129000

 

Mobile & Ohio #

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #4,

ca. 1923.

 

Retired 1947.

 

5

 

4-6-0

 

Rogers

 

5270

 

4/1898

 

18x26

 

56

 

129000

 

Mobile & Ohio #133

Re. #150 in 1910.

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #4,

ca. 1923.

 

Brown-Florida Lumber Co. #5, Caryville, FL

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

18-2

Shay

 

Lima

 

2094

 

5/1908

 

2-7x12

 

26

 

36000

 

Selma Lumber Co. #1, Selma, NC

New Lima boiler, order dated 9/8/1913.

Benoy-Winston Lumber & Timber Co. #60, Selma, NC, ca. 7/1917.

Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1207

J. P. Daniel, Fayette, AL, on 12/31/1917.

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #7,

on 4/6/1918.

 

Not in service, about scrap, 11/13/1928.

Scrapped 1930s.

 

8

 

37-2

Shay

 

Lima

 

1686

 

4/1906

 

3-10x12

 

29½

 

74000

 

Pine Tree Lumber Co. #5, Winona, LA

Lettered “Winona & Western R.R.”

Pine Belt Lumber Co. #5, Fort Towson, OK, in 1912.

Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co.

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #8,

on 4/26/1923.

 

 

 

9

 

2-6-0

 

Baldwin

 

53142

 

4/1920

 

14x22

 

42

 

74000

 

New by W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co.

Lettered “M. & G. Railroad” on tank sides.

Cost $18,100.

Baldwin class 8-22 D 356

 

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #9, on 5/14/1926.

Wrecked 1929; repaired and sent to:

Brown-Florida Lumber Co. #9, Caryville, FL

 

10

 

2-8-0

 

A/Cooke

 

65191

 

11/1926

 

19x26

 

48

 

137000

 

Stock engine built in 1923 for Cuban export.

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #10, in 11/1926.

 

Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co.

Morehead & North Fork R.R. #10, Clearfield, KY, on 5/22/1939.

Scrapped 1954 at Morehead, KY.

 

11

 

2-8-0

 

Baldwin

 

7355

 

6/1884

 

15x18

 

36

 

64280

 

Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Ry. #4 (Nashville & Tuscaloosa Divn.)

Built 36" gauge.

Rebuilt in 1894 to standard gauge #196.

Re. #296 in 1904.

Georgia Car & Locomotive Co. #285,

on 12/22/1915.

Edge-Dowling Lumber Co. #1 Frank, Groveland, FL, on 2/26/1916.

Georgia Car & Locomotive Co. #398

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #11

Little Basil, on 8/11/1919. Cost $7,250.

Lettered “Mobile & Gulf”

Baldwin class 10-24 E 116

 

J. F. Worsley, Ltd., Atlanta, GA (dealer).

C. W. Cochran Lumber Co. #11, Cantwell, AL, on 3/7/1921.

Turkey Creek Lumber Co. #11, Cantwell, AL, on 2/6/1922.

Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1888,

on 10/11/1923.

Moore-Carr Lumber Co., Capitola, FL,

on 8/11/1924.

 

15

 

2-6-0

 

Rogers

 

2727

 

4/1881

 

17x24

 

52

 

85000

 

Alabama Great Southern #24

Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific #314

Re. #329.

Georgia Locomotive Co. #15

Lumber-Mineral Co. #15, Arbo, MS,

on 6/10/1907.

For sale 7/7/1917.

Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1340

W. P. Brown & Sons Lumber Co. #15,

on 8/20/1918.

 

Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1561

Sabine Valley Hardwood Lumber Co., Bon Weir, TX, on 3/15/1920.

 

96

 

2-8-0

 

Baldwin

 

11064

 

7/1890

 

20x24

 

50

 

119000

 

Richmond & Danville R.R. #594

Southern Ry. #96, in 1896.

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #96, in 2/1947.

Baldwin class 10-34 E 1159

 

Scrapped 1951.

 

97

 

2-6-0

 

Baldwin

 

58797

 

11/1925

 

18x24

 

52

 

112000

 

Built for Cuban stock. Sold to:

Veterans Administration Hospital #1000, Perry Point, MD, on 1/28/1932.

U. S. Army Quartermaster Corps #5631, Camp Davis, NC

Re. #6932.

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #97, in 1948.

Baldwin class 8-30 D 798

 

Retired 8/22/1970.

Ocean City Western R.R. #97, Ocean City, MD, in 1970.

 

363

 

4-6-0

 

Baldwin

 

29925

 

1/1907

 

21x28

 

62

 

179500

 

Mobile & Ohio #250

Re. #363 in 1910.

Mobile & Gulf R.R. #363, in 1939.

Baldwin class 10-36 D 407

 

Boiler from M&O #355

Scrapped 1948.

                             

 

 

 

 

 

                                     HOME                                              ABOUT  US                                              LINKS           

 

 

 

For more information contact Tony Howe at howe6818@bellsouth.net or David S. Price at dsprice46@bellsouth.net