msrw_state The Mississippian was built in 1924 for hauling lumber products from Fulton, Mississippi, south to a connection with the Frisco Railway at Amory. The discovery of large deposits of bentonite clay in the 1950s bolstered the Mississippian's carloadings and ensured the survival of the railroad for many more years. During those years, the pike relied on a pair of ex-Frisco Baldwin steamers for motive power -- both of which survive today in museum and tourist hauling service. In 1986 the road was sold to the Itawamba County Development Council, which transferred operation over to the Mississippian Railway Cooperative -- a non-profit entity directly representing industries that relied on the railroad to transport their products. Today the line serves an industrial park in the south part of Fulton, and interchange is made at Amory with Frisco (later Burlington Northern) successor Burlington Northern Santa Fe.


MISS route map / from Mississippi Rails

While legally owned by the Itawamba County Port, the railroad is wholly funded and operated through the Mississippian Railway Cooperative, a third-party nonprofit group created in the 1980s to oversee its operations. Although not as active as it once was, the railroad is still used regularly by three local companies: Tri-State Lumber, Mueller Brass and Ferguson Enterprises. Additionally, several out-of-county customers use the railroad to unload shipments at Itawamba County Port on a semi-regular basis.

The Itawamba County Times, 2014

1988 Official Railway Guide listing

Steam Locomotives

Mississippian #10

  • builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • arrangement:2-6-0 Mogul
  • built:Oct 1907, Baldwin #31844
  • fuel:coal/water
  • notes:
  • 17x24" cylinders, 48" drivers
  • blt Alabama, Tennessee & Northern #10
    to Mississippian #10, 1925
    scrapped at Birmingham, AL, 1947
  • Mississippian #76

  • builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • arrangement:2-8-0 Consolidation
  • built:Dec 1920, Baldwin #54265
  • fuel:coal/water
  • notes:
  • 19x24" cylinders, 48" drivers
  • blt Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern #40
    leased to Frisco #76, 1925
    to Mississippian #76, 1947
    to Penn View Mountain #76, 1967
    to Gettysburg #76, 1976
    to Ohio Central System, 1999
  • See also our Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern shortline collection for more Baldwin #76 photos

    Mississippian #77

  • builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • arrangement:2-8-0 Consolidation
  • built:Dec 1920, Baldwin #54266
  • fuel:coal/water
  • notes:
  • 19x24" cylinders, 48" drivers
  • blt Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern #41
    to Frisco #77, 1926
    to Mississippian, 1947
    to North Alabama Railroad Club, 1967
    to Magnolia State Rwy, 1984
    to Central Western Rwy, 1989
    to Alberta Prairie #41
  • See also our Mississippian #77 excursion collection for more Baldwin photos

    Diesel Locomotives

    Mississippian #321

  • builder:American Locomotive Co
  • model:S1
  • type:B-B yard switcher
  • built:Apr 1950 , Alco #77080
  • series:535 produced 1940-50
  • engine:ALCo 539 (6 cyl, 660 hp)
  • notes:
  • Alco spec. #E-1530
  • builder

    Rolling Stock






    November 2016

    msrw_lagn1 I was so pleased to receive the following email correspondance from Patricia Horne and her brother:

    We are looking at your pics of the Mississippian in the 1960s. The pic of two kids, if I am not mistaken, is of me and my sister. We sat on those tiles several days and watched the train. My grandmother ran a store right behind the tracks and my grandfather ran a cotton gin on the other side of tracks. Enjoyed looking at pics.

    It was a exciting time in the late 50's and 60's there in Smithville. If the train came by my grandmother's store around 12, it would stop and they would get off and eat. There was five of us boys around there and we would jump on the caboose and ride about two miles down the track to a fishing hole. The train would stop there and water up. We either walked back or waited till it came back about three or fours hours later and rode back and jump off back in town. We did more swimming than fishing and had time to dry out before going home. Again thanks for picture. I will show it to my mother, she grew up by the tracks.

    I love receiving this kind of note out of the blue, and my dad would have been "tickled pink" to know his impromptu subjects relived this simple moment so many decades later. He loved visiting the Mississippian in the 1960s during various family travels across the Magnolia State.

    Links / Sources

    This page was updated on 2016-11-19