Mining along Andalusia linegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread
At the Savannah meeting last year, I spoke with a couple of former C of G train service folks who mentioned that, once upon a time, fairly significant mining took place around Brantley or Dozier, with the material moving out over the Central. Can anyone supply any details, such as - mine locations/facilities, what was mined, dates of operation, tonnages/carloads, destinations of the material? Thanks.
-- David Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2001
I have a few old timetables that offer a bit of insight. It would appear that CofG employee timetables did not list business's and small stations in the special instructions section until the 1960's. A 1953 Columbus Division timetable has no such section while a 1961 Macon division that I have does have such a section. Not having this section takes away one avenue to find mining locations. I do have a 1982 Southern Railway Alabama division timetable that has a small bit of info. As referance, Troy was located at MP S376, Brantley was located at the MP S401 and Dozier was at MP S410. The special instructions for this timetable list Henderson Mining Co at MP S378. There are no other mining companies listed. By this time they may have gone out of business.
As for the Eufaula-Ozark line, there appears to have been much mining activity on this line. Again as referance, Eufaula is located at MP H334, Louisville at MP L365, and Ozark at MP L394. I have a 1966 Southern/CofG timetable that has the following notations in the "business tracks" section of the special instructions: Ore Track MP L363 capacity of 25 cars Ore Track MP L364 capacity of 35 cars Ore Track MP L367 capacity of 30 cars Ore Track MP L371 capacity of 35 cars
All the above are listed as having switches that open to the mainline on both ends of the track.
Fast forward to the early 1980's and I know from personal experience that A.P. Green operated a loading facility at White Oak at the MP L348. The track also opened on both ends and held 25 cars. Harbison- Walker operated a facility in Eufaula on a stub end track that held 20 cars. There was another facility in Eufaula just east of H&W's facility but I can't remember the name of the company. This one loaded "roof hatch" type boxcars and went out of business in the early 80's. In the early 80's, H&W typically loaded 40 cars a week. As previously noted, most of the ore went to the steel mills in the Birmingham area. With the influx of foreign steel in the mid 80's, steel making fell on hard times and H&W fell back to around 10-12 cars a week. H&W's loadings were fairly consistent whereas A.P. Green may go a couple of weeks and not load anything then load anywhere from 2-20 cars in one week. Both these companies operated in a similar manner. The loading ramp would be located at the mid point of the length of track. Cars would be spotted past the ramp and then as they were loaded they would be pulled toward the other end of the track. A.P. Green closed their facility in the late 1980's and the last time I was in Eufaula, it looked like H&W's had been closed several years. Located across the mainline from H&W is an industry that opened in the mid 1980's, Carbo Ceramics. They make a product used in oil exploration that is produced from the ores in the area. I'm not sure how much they ship out but I don't think it is more than a couple of cars a week at best.
I was the agent at Eufaula from 1984 until 1986 and saw the mid 80's operations first hand. I have always been told that there is much ore in the area and hopefully one day a mining operation can resume business with the former CofG line through Eufaula. With the last industry on the Ozark line recently closing, LA Pacific at White Oak, the end may be near for this line unless another industry locates there soon.
-- Bryan Smith (email@example.com), April 28, 2001.
In the late 1950's Iron ore was mined in this area along with mining done in Barbour County near Louisville, Clio, and Elamville. It was loaded by dumptruck from earthen ramps into railroad cars. There were 3 ramps along the Eufaula-Ozark line and there was mining done in the Glenwood area. The ore was taken to Birmingham. I think I may be able to get the names of the mining companies but don't know about tonnage ect. The mines were strip mines and were located in many different locations. Let me suggest that you look in the AU library for geological survey maps that shows the location of the ore.
-- Steve Riley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2001.