Alabama Central Railroad
Headquarters: Jasper, AL
Years of Operation: 1913-1948
Successor Roads: none
Miles Operated: Jasper to Manchester- 6.665 miles
1. Cars: 1 passenger, 1 freight.
1928: Locomotives: 2. Cars: None.
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HISTORY by Gil Hoffman:
The Alabama Central
Railroad was incorporated in Alabama on May 19, 1906, for the purpose
of building and operating al line of railroad from Tuscaloosa, AL to
Decatur, AL. The date of organization was May 19, 1906. Authorized capital
stock was $100,000 of which $65,000 was issued to Enos M. Barton in part
payment for construction costs of the road.
The line extended from
Jasper to Manchester, 6.665 miles. At Jasper, it connected with the
Frisco, the Illinois Central and the Northern Alabama Railway. The company
had trackage rights over about 6.40 miles of railroad belonging to the
Manchester Saw Mills between Manchester and Sunlight.
The line was built to
transport lumber from the mill of E. M. Barton at Manchester to Jasper for
shipment. Construction began
in 1906 and the road between Manchester and Jasper was placed in operation
about August 1, 1907. The company was controlled by E. M. Barton through
ownership of the entire capital stock. Costs of construction amounted to a
little over $100,000. The difference between the cost and the par value of
the stock represented advances made by E. M. Barton. The country traversed
was rough and broken. The principal industry was logging and lumber
In 1912 Barton
sold his timberlands and sawmill to the Manchester Saw Mills, which
proceeded to build a logging railroad from Manchester in a northeasterly
direction to Sunlight, approximately 6.3 miles. On April 10, 1915, the
Alabama Central Railroad entered into a contract with the Manchester Saw
Mills to operate one train a day over the line to Sunlight. Operation over
this line began on July 1, 1915. On January 15, 1926, the Manchester Saw
Mills notified the AC that it had finished cutting and hauling logs over
this line and was about to take up the railroad from Manchester to
In 1921 the
Manchester Coal Company built a line from Manchester northwesterly to its
mine, about 2.25 miles. The Alabama Central operated trains over this line
from the date of its construction.
mining was begun at Sunlight in 1915. In 1921 the mine was purchased by
the I. O. Drewry Company. This operation continued and by 1927 the
company had also commenced underground mining. In May 1926 Drewry
purchased the railroad belonging to the Manchester Saw Mills extending
from Manchester to Sunlight for $7,000. Rail in this line was leased from
the Illinois Central
On January 15, 1927, the
Alabama Central Railroad applied to the ICC for permission to abandon its
railroad from Jasper to Manchester, to abandon operation of the railroad
owned by the I. O. Drewry Company from Manchester to Sunlight, and to
abandon operation of the railroad owned by the Manchester Coal Company from
Manchester to its mine. The AC stated to the ICC that it had neither the
funds nor the credit to buy and rehabilitate the line from Manchester to
Sunlight. About $25,000 would be required to rehabilitate this line. With
the closing of the Manchester Saw Mills, the railroad stated that it could
not possibly operate at a profit over its own line from Jasper to
Manchester. Even though the coal traffic would continue and increase, the
railroad would still not be able to operate at a profit. Only during 1916
and 1917 did the AC operate at a profit. On January 29, 1927, the ICC
granted permission for abandonment of operations over the lines owned by the
Manchester Saw Mills and the Manchester Coal Company, The certificate was
issued on the condition that the AC sell its railroad between Jasper and
Manchester within 30 days to anyone who would continue operation for fair
salvage value. The Alabama Central Railroad was sold to the I. O. Drewry
Company, with I. O. Drewry becoming president and general manager.
Central Railroad continued operation of its own line from Jasper to
Manchester, and the line from Manchester to Sunlight under lease. In 1930,
the Alabama Central RR purchased the Manchester-Sunlight line without ICC
permission. Train service ceased on the Manchester-Sunlight line in March
1939, when traffic dried up. The Alabama Central applied to the ICC on June
28, 1940, for permission to abandon the Manchester-Sunlight line and was
granted permission on July 19, 1940.
The ICC granted
permission to abandon the remaining Jasper to Manchester line on August 31,
1960, with all operations ceasing on May 28, 1961.
Central Railroad Company,” Valuation Docket No. 397, Interstate
Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 97, p. 761-72.
”Abandonment of Line by Alabama Central,” Finance Docket No.
5520, Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 117, p. 643-9.
Central Railroad Company Abandonment,” Finance Docket No. 12911, Interstate
Commerce Commission Reports, Vol. 240, p. 531-2.
Alabama Central 28 at Merigold, Alabama on November 30, 1955. This Alco 2-8-0 was bought from the Oneida & Western in Tennessee in 1954 after that road was abandoned.
Alabama Central 810 at Jasper on May 11, 1950. This locomotive was bought from the Frisco about 1942.
Alabama Central 29 and caboose. The 2-8-0 was also bought from the Oneida & Western in 1954.
|ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:
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