A last-minute one-night trip to Tuscaloosa afforded me the opportunity to do some rail fanning on the way back, mostly CSX in the Birmingham area.
I did not go looking for trains in Tuscaloosa itself. This is the only photo taken in Tuscaloosa, and it shows the remaining ballast and ties of the L&N line from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa. This was taken near the city water works along Jack Warner.
Rest assured there is still plenty of active rail in Tuscaloosa but we won’t be visiting it today.
Now in between here and Birmingham a couple of things happen. This line crosses the Alabama Southern shortline, which operates the former ICG eastward from Mississipi into Alabama. Eastward from that crossover, the dead L&N line goes active and used by Alabama Southern to send trains to CSX in Birmingham.
At Brookwood, the track comes under CSX ownership, the direct successor to the L&N. This is the “Birmingham Mineral subdivision” and it serves the still-active mines in that area.
This is a coal train that I caught next the the Lowe’s store off of I-20/59 in Bessemer, where the line from Brookwood joins with tracks that make a loop around the western side of Birmingham.
Here you can see another train waiting for this one to pass:
I was able to stay ahead of the train for a while and caught it again a couple of times.
Now back to downtown Birmingham. I got Amtrak 19 as it came into the station, and an intermodal train that passed immediately after.
These are views taken from the 1st avenue north viaduct that overlooks the 27th street interlock. I stood out on that bridge long enough for three trains to go under it before leaving Birmingham.