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In April of 1997 I planned a railfanning trip to the southeast as that was an area I had never been to before and photograph CSX and NS action as
well as any shortline operations with first generation power that I could find. Looking over a "Shortlines" book I found a number worth checking out
in the Georgia-Alabama-Tennessee area. Another goal was the FEC in Florida but I had a plan to make the most of my time and cut down
on some driving as well. I got roundtrip airline tickets to Jacksonville, FL that arranged for me to have a 4 day layover in Atlanta on the trip there.
This update will cover that first 4 days while a later update will have the Florida portion on it.
I arrived at Atlanta early on the morning of Thursday April 3, 1997. The weather was great and as soon as I had my rental car I headed to Elizabeth, GA not far from Atlanta to see the Georgia Northeastern and CSX. Then it was westward on the former Southern line that heads toward Birmingham, AL with a number of NS trains headed the same direction as I. After an overnight stay near Sylacauga, AL I photographed the Eastern Alabama Railway the next morning but the weather was not the greatest, lots of clouds. Then it was on to Birmingham where I spent a little time around the depot area and saw westbound Amtrak #19 "The Cresent" arrive. The diner on the train turned out to be a former Northern Pacific car, No. 460 so that was kind of a pleasant surprise to see. Then it was north to Huntsville, AL where I found an interesting rail museum along the NS line. I spent a few hours there looking it over. With plans to photograph the Nashville and Eastern GE's the next morning I then headed for Nashville later that evening.
The next morning April 5 was overcast again. I checked out the N&E's shops with no movement observed and the offices were closed. I drove out the line a ways but no trains. Somehow I thought the line operated on Saturdays but it looks like that was not the case. So I continued south on CSX through Tullahoma, TN where ex-RF&P GP40 6855 was tied up on a local. Back in Alabama I spent a little time at Bridgeport where I caught a number of CSX and NS trains as well as a very rusty looking ex-MILW E-unit sitting in the yard. Then I headed back into Tennessee where I spent the night in Chattanooga.
Sunday morning, Apr. 6 I headed back south into Georgia and spent a little time at Cartersville on the Chattanooga-Atlanta CSX line. After seeing a few CSX trains there I headed back to Atlanta to turn in my rental car and get my flight to Jacksonville. That portion of the trip will be covered in a future installment.
And now on to the Gallery....
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