Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land

Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land

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Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Land
 
Images Of Rail Railroading Around Dothan And The Wiregrass Region by Dothan Landmarks Foundation
Softcover 127 pages
Copyright 2004

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Introduction
I.Depots
2.Riding the Rails
3.Carrying the Goods
4.Rolling Stock and Equipment
5.Working on the Railroad
6.Railroad Reflections

INTRODUCTION
In the 1880s, when railroads first pushed into the Wiregrass Region of southeast Alabama, southwest Georgia, and northwest Florida, the railroad industry was entering its "Golden Age," a time of record expansion and profits for the industry. Only a few years before, the East and West Coasts were connected by the transcontinental railroad, enabling a passenger to travel across the entire country. From 1870 to 1916, total track miles in the United States grew from 53,000 miles to 245,000 miles, an average of over 11 miles per day. During this time, technological improvements such as standard track, more powerful locomotives, air brakes, and larger cars brought uniformity to the industry.
For the Wiregrass Region, the introduction of the railroad meant unprecedented growth. Each train brought potential new settlers, products, merchandise, and a way to ship raw materials such as turpentine, cotton, and other goods to market. Dothan's population exploded with the arrival of the railroad. For example, in 1889, the year the railroad arrived, the town's population was 240. By 1893, only four years later, Dothan had grown to 1,500. By 1900, only 11 years after the first train arrived, the population had grown to 3,875, and by 1920, Dothan's population had already swelled to 10,000 residents.
The pinnacle for rail travel in terms of numbers was 1920, with our nation's trains carrying 1.2 billion passengers. From 1920 to 1941, an expanding network of paved roads, development of the automobile, and the Depression shrank demand for the railroads. Although World War II increased rail traffic, profits continued a downward slide. It was the beginning of the end.
From 1950 to 1992, total track miles decreased 39.2 percent to 136,000 miles. Bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions of many railroad companies occurred during this time period due to a continued decrease in passenger travel and freight and mail service. In 1971, the federally subsidized Amtrak was born as a way to help relieve railroads of passenger service deficits.

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