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You’re right that trains 1 & 2’s schedule changed from daily to New Orleans in the August 12, 1970 timetable, to tri-weekly in the November 20, 1970 timetable between Birmingham and New Orleans; the trains still ran daily between Atlanta and Birmingham. Effective with the June 1, 1975 timetable, trains 1 & 2 became tri-weekly south of Atlanta.
One of my most poignant memories from my childhood was, right after high school, I took a trip from where I grew up in New Brunswick Canada to Atlanta. I had dreamed about going to Georgia for years, and this was finally my chance.
I rode the Southern Railway from Washington to Atlanta on October 9 to October 10, 1970. I know for sure that, on that day, the train did not terminate in Atlanta.
At that time, I did not know the country nearly as well as I do now, but I was very excited to be going to the south on the train. I was looking at everybody’s hat check, and I saw some abbreviations that I initially did not understand. I had just assumed the train terminated in Atlanta.
Finally I figured out the train went to Birmingham and New Orleans. I can’t remember exactly the abbreviations, but New Orleans may have been simply NO instead of the current N0L.
The train arrived on time in Atlanta which was I think at 8:55 AM.
I have a schedule from the Southern Railway System dated November 20, 1970.
The schedule states that the train only continued beyond Atlanta on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. This must have started sometime between October 10 and November 20 of this year, 1970. (?)
Brooklyn, New York
Yes I did meet Ben Roberts at his home. He was a very nice man, and he had an impressive collection from the Southern Railroad.
Ben Roberts and Oscar Kimsey were the "heart and soul" of the Southern Railway Historical Society. Both were prolific photographers and more or less produced "Southern Rails" by themselves. They were not really interested in incorporating the "SRHS" or dealing with officers, etc. It was primarily operated to produce the magazine, largely from Ben's and Oscar's collections.
A group of Southern fans that wanted a more structured organization, created the Southern Railway Historical Association (SRHA) at Spencer Shops. Bill Schafer is the organization's historian and can fill us in on the early details. The two organizations continued for a number of years with many people maintaining memberships in both.
After the magazine had been out of production for a number of years, SRHS was dissolved and combined with SRHA. (SRHA owns both names but is concerned using "SRHS" would be confusing.) As several SRHA members were good friends with Oscar and Ben, we suggested that their collections of Southern Railway material and photos could be acquired and made permanent parts of the SRHA archives. Ben's came to SRHA first, followed by Oscar's several years later. They both passed away knowing SRHA would maintain and utilize their collections as long as possible. Oscar visited the archives at Kennesaw and we believe both men were pleased with their decisions.
I spent more time with Oscar in person and on the phone the years before he passed away. His knowledge of the Southern Railway was encyclopedic and our shared interest in railroad photography and freight cars made for many interesting conversations. Both Ben and Oscar were "charter members" of the early (few) Southeastern rail photographers. Their collections, extensive trading with virtually every well known rail photographer along with other collections and the extensive materials donated to SRHA by Norfolk Southern most certainly make the SRHA archives, now at TVRM, the most extensive collection of Southern Railway and Southeastern railroad photos and documentation .
Our collective goal is to maintain the collection for people interested in the Southern....basically, to "Keep the Green Light Shining".
Ike: for Carl, Bill, the SRHA BOD and all our members