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Mobile & Gulf Railroad

Near the shores of the Sipsey River stretch 11 of Alabama's 5,500 railroad miles. The state claims one train mile for every nine square miles, while Mobile & Gulf's main aim is to get from Brownsville to Buhl. It gave up long ago trying to make it to Mobile in the southern part of the state. Still, it had tried. Mobile & Gulf fell short of Mobile by only 150 miles. The Gulf of Mexico may have been another 40 or so miles beyond. The little road then, is content with its brief span, following a custom of steam energy in a state embued with tradition.

John Krause, Rails Through Dixie, 1965

Alabama shortline

The 10-mile long Mobile & Gulf Railroad was a terrific Alambama shortline, despite the fact that it never came close to either of its namesake locations. Located in northwest Alambama, to the west of Tuscaloosa along Route 82, the line was owned by a lumber mill operation in Brownsville, Alabama, and ran 10 miles due south to an interchange with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio line between Tuscaloosa and Columbus, Ms. The little road operated a high-stepping Baldwin 2-6-0 steamer. Still in service as late as 1972, it was one of the last operating revenue steam engines in the United States. MG #97 is preserved at the Indiana Railway Museum in French Lick.

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