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Southern Railway freight trains remembered

By | June 17, 2022

Southern Railway freight trains are part of the June 2022 celebration of the Southern

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Above, head-on photograph of a black locomotive leading a long freight train forward the camera.

Southern Railway freight trains remembered: All through June 2022, Classic Trains editors are celebrating the grit, panache, and charm that was the Southern Railway.

Large steam locomotive leads a train off a hill among leafed-out trees.
Southern 5027, a 2-10-2, begins an attack on Saluda grade with a north-bound freight. Sister engine No. 5047 in on rear (out-of-sight) giving a helping hand in Melrose, North Carolina, in May 1948. Saluda is the steepest main line grade east of the Rocky Mountains. David W. Salter photo
Large steam locomotive leads a train off a hill among leafed-out trees.
Streamlined diesel locomtoives lead a trailer-on-flatcar train through a lush valley.
Southern train 119 operates 6 days a week from Frisco, Tennessee, connecting with 19 eastbound to Asheville-Spencer, North Carolina. Here F7As 4188 and 4233 roll a solid piggyback train into Church Hill, Tennessee, on June 5, 1965. Charles K. Marsh Jr. photo
Streamlined diesel locomtoives lead a trailer-on-flatcar train through a lush valley.
Black diesel locomotive leads a freigh train through a rock cut.
Southern Railway northbound train 216 glides through Black Creek Cut at New River, Tennessee, along the Kentucky Division, part of subsidiary CNO&TP on Sept. 2, 1973. Mike Iczkowski photo
Black diesel locomotive leads a freigh train through a rock cut.
Above, head-on photograph of a black locomotive leading a long freight train forward the camera.
Southern Railway No. 2783 leads a freight train toward two target signals and a cut passed a freight train that is going away from the camera and switching tracks. Curtis C. Tillotson Jr. photo
Above, head-on photograph of a black locomotive leading a long freight train forward the camera.
Rear view of a steam locomotive about to climb a steep grade. A runaway ramp is in the foreground.
A little over a half-mile to go after crossing the points at Safety One and No. 5017 will have her westbound grade over the crest of the grade at Saluda, N.C. Allan D. Krieg photo
Rear view of a steam locomotive about to climb a steep grade. A runaway ramp is in the foreground.
Two diesel locomotives lead a freight train through a rail yard and under a highway overpass.
Extra 8291 North. Two GP7s lead 37 freight cars, mostly loaded tri-level auto-racks, under the Peters Street overpass in July 1979. Curt Tillotson Jr. photo
Two diesel locomotives lead a freight train through a rail yard and under a highway overpass.
Diesel locomotive in the middle of a freight train.
Southern's Georgia Division main line at Lowe, Ga., west of Atlanta, is the point chosen for a meet between a unit train of empty Silversides coal gondolas and southbound pig train 229. The unit train, headed for the coalfields of Parrish, Alabama, has just left Atlanta's Inman Yard, where two U30Cs were dropped; the two U33Cs on the head end are spliced by a radio control car. M.E. Iczkowski photo
Diesel locomotive in the middle of a freight train.
Heavy steam locomotive with freight train in the mountains surounded by trace amounts of snow.
Thundering steam and steel working up the grade through Alpine, Kentucky, in the heart of the Cumberland Mountains. Doyle B. Inman photo
Heavy steam locomotive with freight train in the mountains surounded by trace amounts of snow.
Low-angle image of a black diesel locomotive leading a freight train on a curve.
Southern SD40-2 No. 3240 leads a freight train of 3 cars in the afternoon at Kings Mountains, North Carolina, in June 1974. Curtis C. Tillotson Jr. photo
Low-angle image of a black diesel locomotive leading a freight train on a curve.

As part of the celebration, please enjoy this freight train photo gallery as the perfect accompaniment.

Each month since October 2019, Classic Trains editors have showcase one “Fallen Flag” railroad — one whose name and heritage has succumbed to bankruptcy, merger, or abandonment — as a railroad of the month. All of our past articles are available online.

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