Land Company had to create a great deal of infrastructure for
"their" new City. One of their projects was to build a
"steam dummy line" from Downtown to Highland Avenue.
Subsequently there was also a freight component to this railroad.
At a point in time it
was decided that the two components, passenger and freight would have to
be separated. The freight component became the Birmingham Belt
Railway. Years later, this line was acquired by the Frisco Railroad
which in turn became part of today's BNSF.
The Belt line operated
out of small terminal south of the railroad reservation at 15th St S
and Avenue E and
generally encircled the business district of Birmingham. Sanborn
Eventually the Frisco
operated the remainder of the Belt. As changes
occurred to the rail system in downtown and customers became fewer, the
Frisco operations became ever smaller.
In 1991, Model
Railroader magazine published an article about the last vestiges of
Frisco's street operations. It is an interesting closure, so to
speak, to an interesing part of Birmingham's railroad history.
Click on the map to
view the MR article in a new window.