About the Author
Stewart (John Rhoads Stewart), PE, is a practicing Civil Engineer (PE means
licensed professional engineer) with 36 years experience and an emphasis in his practice in
Transportation. In May, 2010, John retired from Gresham, Smith and
after 29 years of service and 20 years as a Partner in the firm. John is
considering his options at this time and is open to opportunities for
John has a deep interest in railroads that goes back to
the proverbial Lionel train layout as a child. The fascination with
railroads is unexplainable. It is coupled to interests in the history of
technology, and the development of iron and steel in the United States.
Moving to Birmingham, in a corporate relocation, was a serendipity, and he has
been absorbing the local landscape ever since.
Nancy and their three sons are all Web surfers. All of my sons have
assisted their confused father in the development of this website over
time. In particular, Jeff introduced the author to Microsoft Front Page,
which is being used to update this website. (This photo was taken years
John's interests includes railroading, model
railroading, photography, and local history. Since growing up in
Nashville, which is sort of a one railroad town, his interests before Birmingham
were mostly related to the L & N, and the N C & St L, which were joined
in the late 1950's.
After moving to Birmingham in 1992, John discovered the
Norfolk Southern and was thrilled to find the operation of the steam excursions
originating in Birmingham, although sadly, these have stopped. Additional
efforts to learn about Birmingham led him to learn about other railroads that
were unknown to him, such as the Alabama Great Southern, and the Atlanta,
Birmingham, and Coast.
Since traveling to Pittsburgh as a
child to visit family, John has
always had a fascination with steel mills or any large industrial complex,
especially if it makes noise and lights up at night. This image was
taken from another web site, which I regret I did not document. This sort
of mental image has been with me for a long time, based on trips to
Pittsburgh. Trains at night, industry at night, smoke, water and other
elements of this picture are typical of the things that fascinate me.
When I surf the web looking for items of interest, I do
not seem to find sites that integrate history and current items as a reflection
of the author's interests. Birmingham is blessed to have a rich industrial
heritage, something that is not always appreciated in today's environmentally
conscious, politically correct, society. Birmingham is again blessed to
have the Birmingham Historical Society
with its wonderful leader, Marjorie L. White, and her supporters. If you
want to learn about Birmingham, join the Historical Society.