locked Re: Black SOU 4-8-2s in the 1940s

Kevin Centers


Whereas I agree that many of the lower level ICC accounts aren’t very interesting (replace 100# rail with 110# rail), many of them list the tracks they are related to. So many times you can determine tracks that were built for operations and customers that are no longer there. It also gives the reader a good date for when those tracks were constructed and/or removed. Much of the data is boring dollars, but Southern and many of the predecessors were very good about itemizing their completion reports, which allows you to determine track length. 


On Sep 18, 2020, at 2:24 PM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Thanks..that’s my guess but the Athens, GA Acct 20 example didn’t include a turntable. I think (!) Frank Greene and I scanned all of the summaries but we have to remember, they only cover what existed 1916-26 when the Val study was first conducted. All of the updates have never been inventoried so we cannot guarantee we have every segment update for every year. (The originals are all in the ICC archives in MD.) We also have the field notes used to create the summaries. Some include nicely done depot and structure sketches.)

As you know, there was a lot of disagreement about Val data after everything was submitted in 1926. Most of the pages have a note about 1932. I think (!) that was after the arguments were over and the Govt accepted the 1916-1926 numbers as final? (We have CofG filings as well..not inventoried except I scanned everything for GA Val Section 1 (starts at Savannah) some time ago.) I went into Pegram Shops years ago looking for something for a fiber optic project. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of Valuation binders there. I only had time to look at one…it was the ICC Account for velocipedes! I was “good” and put it back on the shelf, it’s certainly in the Atlanta dump now.

I have paid a lot of attention to the rolling stock Account updates (Accn’t 50 and up) over the years but not so much the fixed plant accounts, there are literally thousands of pages, in  different binders, for them in the archives.

A lot of the lower numbered account info is not of any interest (except maybe to a ballast freak) but extracting items like depots, water stations (towers), coaling towers (fuel stations) would be interesting. We have thought about publishing a series of books with photos, maybe some drawings of depots, etc. in line segment and MP order; S Line-MP 1 to Knoxville, for example. They could include photos of locos parked in front of the depot and such if we can ID locations that may not be in the photo captions. Train X, Loco Y at Depot Z would be neat. Track charts across the bottom of the page for locations might be possible. As always, it takes volunteer time to do things like that…..


On Sep 18, 2020, at 7:40 AM, Kevin Centers <klcenters@...> wrote:


Turntables were typically accounted for in ICC 20. 


On Sep 17, 2020, at 9:08 PM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


The Val section data for Brunswick would include any turntable info through the years, although I do not know which ICC account that would be shown under (turntables are not shown separately, shops and engine houses are Account 20?). Typically, the items in a Val Section ICC Account appear in milepost order with other Accounts shown separately, also in MP order. After the initial entries 1916-1926 changes were filed 6-30 and 12-31 every year until the early 60s.

I’ve attached a page from the Engineering Report for Val Section 55 in Georgia, it has Account 20 for Athens, GA. BUT, it's from the original 1916-1926 summary so it only shows what existed there at that time. If we assume Athens eventually had a turntable (likely), it would appear in the report the year it was installed. Note the very hard to read but useful hand written notes showing retirements. Either Engineering or Accounting people kept the summaries updated into the 1950s in many cases.

The Summaries have mostly been scanned but there are simply too many updates for us to be scanned. Making a list of water towers, coaling towers (whatever) by Val Sec and MP would be an interesting project.


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On Sep 17, 2020, at 5:05 PM, C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:

The 99 ships built at Brunswick during WWII probably accounted for some tonnage. Naval Air Station Glynco was a big blimp base, so I guess that quite a bit of helium was used there,

I am curious what size turntable Brunswick had?


On Thursday, September 17, 2020, 04:06:35 PM EDT, george eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


No doubt you are correct but I cannot find anything in the archives (that we have scanned) to provide more information about SR Mountains to Jesup. There must be something, so we’ll keep looking.

Jesup sounds more likely than Brunswick for 4-8-2s on freight. I don’t think Brunswick was a large port during WWII needing large power. Jesup had a small yard across the ACL main from the depot that was used for interchange traffic although the trackage rights agreement put some pretty strict limits on where the freight could go. (About the only concession the SR got in the SCL merger was to allow ACL/SR interchange for long-haul traffic at Jacksonville rather than Tifton, GA.) During the War, the Southern paid as much, or more, to maintain the line based on traffic, from Hardeeville to Jacksonville as the ACL. Was the reason for the large engine on freights to Jesup for connections to SR freight trains passing Jesup on the ACL? (I will ask Sonny Riggs if he has any info.)

A “second section” article of the ACL/SR trackage rights between Hardeeville and Jax is “under construction” for a future TIES. Much more information on the original trackage rights to Yamassee, SC, Central Jct and the CofG into the port at Savannah and Jesup have been located in the SR Presidents’ files. Two pages from one item that has come to light are attached. The entire document illustrates Hardeeville-Jacksonville (actually two agreements, N and S of Savannah) was more than just trackage rights. I don’t know the “legal” meaning of “joint account” but here is the cover and sheet 18 of a document showing the track layout in detail. The entire 37 page doc could be printed or sold as an ePub if people were interested?


On Sep 17, 2020, at 12:28 PM, C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:

Ike, we are talking about Ts class engines painted black used for a limited time on a pair of freight trains between Macon and Jesup which ran at night. Interestingly, the black paint on former passenger steam engines put in freight service is only a couple of months away from the decision to paint all Southern diesels in the green scheme. If Southern wanted to present a modern image, green and gold on a steam locomotive pulling freight was0 probably not a way to convey that.

I see no reason to question Shelby Lowe on this one.

Jack Wyatt

On Thursday, September 17, 2020, 12:07:38 PM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Check out the article on Jesup that ran in TIES. Note the photos of the engines at Jesup….no 4-8-2s! Would it be logical to run a Ts to Jesup, cut it off and exchange it for a Pacific for the run to Jax? The 1951 “Guide” describes the KC-Fla Spl as “diesel powered KC-Miami, the other passenger train on the Brunswick line then was the FM powered “Cracker”.

“Never say never” but maybe Sonny Riggs can comment (most of the Jesup article photos came from him). If the 4-8-2s ran through to Jacksonville, does anyone have a photo of one of them at Simpson Yd or JT?


On Sep 17, 2020, at 7:22 AM, C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:


Macon -Brunswick got upgraded circa WWII. The May 12, 1946 Atlanta Division ETT shows 314,800 lbs. total weight 4-8-2 Mountain engines being allowed.

Jack Wyatt

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 11:07:10 PM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

The Southern had to use its Atlantics (4-4-2) then light Pacifics on the Brunswick line south of Macon because of the track. The Atlanta-Jacksonville train that ran on the Coast Line from Jesup exchanged engines (Ps-4s with ACL train control equipment) at Jesup for the run to J’ville. For the northbound trips the larger engine was cut off, turned and serviced by the ACL.

I suspect a Ts never operated south of Macon on the Brunswick line. Also the GS&F was not noted for heavy rail, there are quite a few photos of 4-8-2s in the SRHA archives but none of them were taken south of Macon. I realize that’s not definitive but logical considering track conditions on the GS&F. When the Southern was running the Midwestern-Fla passenger trains most went on the ACL south of Hardeeville.


PS The Florida Sunbeam article is about finished, Larry Goolsby has helped with photos of the Sunbeam on the SAL (it ran via Hampton, FL). If anyone has any photos of the train anywhere and can let us use them, that’d be great.

On Sep 16, 2020, at 7:51 PM, C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:


Oscar Kimsey wrote about them in one of the issues of SRHS's Southern Rails. I think it was four or five Ts class engines in total. I don't remember whether a Ts-1 got the black treatment. If I recall, Atlanta-Brunswick was one of the routes which they were used on.

Jack Wyatt

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 06:33:12 PM EDT, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

In the SRHA Archives, we have photographs of at least two Ts-class Mountains, 1453 and 1454, in black paint with dog houses on the tender decks. These are the only two 4-8-2s I know of that got the black treatment in the 1940s. In each case, "Southern" was spelled out on the tender sides instead of large numerals typical of freight engines.


* Does anyone know of any other SOU Mountains that were painted black just before dieselization?
* Has anyone seen photos of any black Mountains with large numerals on the tenders?
* Does anyone have a photo to share of black 4-8-2s from the 1940s other than 1453 and 1454?
* What service were the black 4-8-2s used in? We have seen a photo of 1454 (black) on a head-end heavy passenger train but none in freight service.

Of course, I haven't been to the Archives recently. It's possible more photos of black 4-8-2s have been unearthed and I just don't know about them.


--Bill Schafer

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