Here is a listing of sources of information about Birmingham, industry and railroads that I have enjoyed and from which I have used information for this web page:

Ethel Armes, The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama, (Leeds, AL: Beechwood Books, 1987) ISBN 0-912221-03-8

This is a wonderful book, originally printed in 1910, and made available today as a reprint.  Originally commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce, and written by a professional woman journalist, this book reflects the excitement and enthusiasm of the Magic City.

Marjorie Longnecker White, The Birmingham District, An Industrial History and Guide, (Birmingham, AL: Birmingham Historical Society, 1981)

This book really was my first real look at the industrial history of the City, and started my fascination with the topic.  With this book in hand you may prowl the City and see wonderful views of the past.  Organized by topic and by site, it is an indispensable guide to anyone learning about the Magic City.  Join the Birmingham Historical Society, its worth it.

William Warren Rogers, Robert David Ward, Leah Rawls Atkins, and Wayne Flint, Alabama, The History of a Deep South State, (Tuscaloosa, AL:  The University of Alabama Press, 1997) ISBN 0-8173-0714-1

This is a true history textbook, which may be approached in pieces depending upon the reader's interest.  While there is not a great deal specifically about railroads, iron and Birmingham, it does assist in understanding the politics of Alabama, which is not always the politics of Birmingham.

Pierce Lewis and Marjorie Longnecker White, Birmingham View, Through the Years in Photographs, (Birmingham, AL: Birmingham Historical Society, 1996)

A wonderful photo archive book about the City, with a few great railroad pictures.

Philip A. Morris and Marjorie L. White, Birmingham Bound, An Atlas of the South's Premier Industrial Region, (Birmingham, AL:  Birmingham Historical Society, 1997)

This is a large format summary of the efforts of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) surveys in Birmingham during  the years 1992-1997.  It provides some fascinating information with photos and drawings which document some of the remaining active and inactive industrial sites.

Phillip A. Morris and Marjorie Longnecker White, Designs on Birmingham, A Landscape History of a Southern City and Its Suburbs, (Birmingham, AL:  The Birmingham Historical Society, 1989)

A neat booklet that includes some interesting maps, aerial maps, and photos of the development of the City.

Larry Ragan, True Tales of Birmingham, (Birmingham, AL:  The Birmingham Historical Society, 1992) ISBN 0-943994-19-5

A series of reprints from The Birmingham News, this provides short snapshots of key people and places from Birmingham's history.

James R. Bennett, Old Tannehill:  A History of the Pioneer Ironworks in Roupes Valley, (1829-1865), (Birmingham, AL:  Birmingham Printing and Publishing Co., 1986)  ISBN 0-9617257-0-2

This is an interesting book about the early iron industry that led to the development of Birmingham.  This great book was my introduction to the iron and steel industry in Birmingham.  The Tannehill furnace is a park that is worth visiting, located outside of Birmingham.

Robert David Ward, Convicts, Coal and the Banner Mine Tragedy, (University, AL: The University of Alabama Press) ISBN 0-8173-0304-9

An interesting book that sheds light on the actual conditions of the coal industry and the politics that played a role in allowing this to maintain.  For me, the book clarified how harsh this industry could be, and what was really behind the development of the iron and steel industry, in terms of politics and economics.

Wayne Cline, Alabama Railroads, (Tuscaloosa, AL:  The University of Alabama Press, 1997) ISBN 0-8173-0812-1

This book provides in depth information about the role of railroads in Alabama, and has some great pictures.

R. E. Prince, Southern Railway System, Steam Locomotives and Boats, (Salt Lake City, UT, K/P Graphics, Utah Division, 1970)  ISBN 9600088-4-5

This is one of a series of definitive books on various railroads.  If you want to learn about the types of equipment that operated in the steam era on this railroad, one of the major carriers in Birmingham, then this book is a key reference.

Louis M. Newton, Rails Remembered , (Roanoke, VA: Progress Press, Inc., 1992)

I am grateful to the author's nephew, Larry Bates, for giving me a copy of this great book.  It covers detailed information about the north Alabama and southeastern Tennessee railroads based on the point of view of the author's personal recollections and photos.

John Krause with H. Reid, Rails Through Dixie, (San Marino, CA:  Golden West Books, 1965)  ISBN 87095-020-7

Another in a series of good books, this one provides some unique photos of coal operations on short lines in Alabama.

Charles B. Castner, Ronald Flanary, and Patrick Dorin, Louisville & Nashville, The Old Reliable (Marceline, Mo., Walsworth Publishing Co., 1996)  ISBN 1-883089-19-0

A must have book for fans of the L & N.  Not so much about Birmingham per se, but a wonderful railroad book with lots of great photos.

Charles B. Castner, Robert E. Chapman, and Patrick C. Dorin, Louisville & Nashville, Passenger Trains, The Pan American Era, 1921-1971 (Lynchburg, VA, TLC Publishing Co., 1999)  ISBN 1-883089-49-2

This is a wonderful book with some information and photos of Birmingham.

Ronald G. Mele, Birmingham Southern Railroad Company, The First Century (Rail Images, 2000)

This is a great book on a unique local railroad in Birmingham.  The history of this railroad and the City are tied together throughout.

Birmingham Mineral Railroads - Red Mountain Route, Part I and Part II, Lyle Key, The Dixie Line, L&N Historical Society, April, 1997, Vol. 14, No. 1 and June, 1997, Vol. 14, No. 2

These articles tell about the operation of the local lines that the L&N had in Birmingham to serve the mining industry.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Key in 2002 when we both were speakers at the American Planning Association's Alabama state meeting in Montgomery.

Alvin W. Hudson and Harold E. Cox, Street Railroads of Birmingham, (Forty Fort, PA:  Harold E. Cox, 80 Virginia Terrace, 18704)

Alabama was a leader in the development of street railways, with Montgomery following Richmond as one of the first cities in the country to develop.  This book details the Birmingham system and helps understand the development of the Birmingham district as well as providing wonderful information about a great street railway system.

"L & N: Four Generations of "Old Reliable's" Motive Power", Locomotive Quarterly, Fall 1976, Volume 1, No. 1, pp. 10-35.

"Southern System Locomotives, Part 1," Locomotive Quarterly, Spring 1993, Volume XVI, Number Three, pp. 2-33.

"Power Diversity at Montgomery, Alabama,"  Locomotive Quarterly, Winter 1991, Volume XV, Number Two, pp. 48-61.

Locomotive Quarterly is a terrific publication and these issues include pictures taken in the Birmingham area, great steam locomotive resource.

George H. Drury, The Historical Guide to North American Railroads, (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Books, 1991)  ISBN0-89024-072-8

This is a great reference for learning about the railroads that served Birmingham and have since disappeared, or been acquired.

George H. Drury, Guide to North American Seam Locomotives, (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Books, 1991)  ISBN0-89024-206-2

This is a great reference for learning about the types of locomotives operated by different railroads.

Edward A. Lewis, American Shortline Railway Guide, (Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Books, 1991)  ISBN0-89024-109-8

Great reference for learning about the shortlines currently operating in the Birmingham area, including the Birmingham Southern.

J. Mack Lofton, Jr., Voices from Alabama, A Twentieth Century Mosaic, (Tuscaloosa, AL:  The University of Alabama Press, 1997) ISBN 0-8173-0684-6

This book a fun way to get an insight into the people that made Alabama an interesting place, and includes insight into the industrial economy and the agricultural economy.

Birmingham Magazine, various issues from the 1920's and 1930's available in the reference room at the Birmingham Public Library, Main Branch, Henley Research Library

This has been a source of interesting details about the City, prior to, and including the impacts of the Great Depression.  These magazines, published by the Chamber of Commerce, provide interesting information including photos of new projects, major industrial orders, and train schedules.

Maury Klein, History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1972)

This is a textbook look at the railroad that helped make Birmingham develop, to the benefit of the City and the railroad.

Wayne Flint, Mine, Mill & Microchip, A Chronicle of Alabama Enterprise, (Northridge, CA:  Windsor Publications, Inc., 1987)  ISBN 0-89781-215-8

This is a interesting "coffee table" type book, with good information and a lot of good historical photographs.

Patricia H. Klein, Dr. Donald B. Dodd, Dr. W. Stewart Harris, Twentieth Century Alabama, Its History and Geography, (Montgomery, AL:  Clairmont Press, 1993)  ISBN 1-5673-010-X

This was my son's Alabama History text in 9th grade, and has a few nice rail pictures.

Charles B. Caster, Jr., Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, The Dixie Line, (Newton, N.J., Carstens Publications, Inc., 1995)  ISBN 911868-87-9

This book, like the one that follows, does not address Birmingham per se, but is important as noted below.  In addition, it is dedicated to a wonderful man, Bob Bell, Jr., who lived across the street when I was growing up in Nashville, and was a dedicated rail fan and photographer.

Richard E. Prince, Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, reprinted 2001) Library of Congress 67-26269

This book may not contain anything about Birmingham, but it is an important book in the understanding of the L&N as well as railroading in the central South.

The Library of Congress web site has some great photos of Birmingham historical sites.  One is the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Bernice Shield Hassinger, Henderson Steel, Birmingham's First Steel, (Bernice Shield Hassinger in Cooperation with  the Jefferson County Historical Commission, Gray Printing, Inc., Birmingham, AL, 1978), 45 p.

This book has detailed account of first basic steel production in Birmingham.

Tennessee Coal & Iron Division, United States Steel Corporation, Biography of  a Business, (1960)75 p.

This booklet is a centennial year history of TCI, published by the company and is an interesting summary of the growth of the company.  Contains a few good photos, and sketch maps.  It is out of print, but likely available in the Birmingham library.

Larry Goolsby, Atlanta, Birmingham & Coast, (ACL & SAL HS, 2000), 256 pp., 500 illustrations, color section and covers.

From South Georgia logging line to vital CSX artery, the complete 120-year story of a fascinating railroad; includes motive power, rolling stock, stations. R&LHS book award nominee!  (see website for ACL & SAL Historical Society,  This book contains some interesting details about the railroad coming into Birmingham in 1907, and its relationships with some of the local industries.


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