Alabama Southern Railroad

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Alabama Southern Railroad
Reporting mark ABS
Locale Columbus, Mississippi to Birmingham, Alabama
Dates of operation November 6, 2005–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 85 miles
Headquarters Pittsburg, Kansas

The Alabama Southern Railroad (reporting mark ABS) is a class III railroad that operates in the southern United States.

ABS is one of several short line railroads owned by the Watco Companies.

The ABS consists of 85 miles (137 km) of track between Columbus, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama, with trackage rights over Kansas City Southern Railway/CSX Transportation between Brookwood, Alabama and Birmingham. The line interchanges with the Kansas City Southern at Columbus, with the Norfolk Southern Railway at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and with CSX at Birmingham.

The tracks were leased to Watco Companies by the Kansas City Southern effective November 6, 2005, resulting in the formation of three railroads; the Arkansas Southern Railroad, Louisiana Southern Railroad, and the Alabama Southern Railroad. The Alabama Southern consists of the Kansas City Southern's Tuscaloosa Branch, which includes the Tuscaloosa Subdivision east of Columbus to Tuscaloosa, the Warrior Branch between Tuscaloosa and Fox, Alabama, and the Brookwood Branch from Brookwood Junction to Brookwood.


The entire line from Columbus, MS to Brookwood, AL was formerly operated by the Kansas City Southern with the Columbus and Greenville Railway, having trackage rights over the line.

The line was originally constructed by the Mobile and Ohio Railroad which was purchased through a foreclosure sale by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad (GM&O) on August 1, 1940. The GM&O merged with the Illinois Central on August 10, 1972 resulting in the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

On March 31, 1986, the MidSouth Rail Corp. purchased 373 miles (600 km) of track, which included this line, from the Illinois Central Gulf. On January 1, 1994 the Kansas City Southern bought out Midsouth Rail.


  • Press Release Announcing Alabama Southern Railroad July 20, 2005 [1]
  • The Historical Guide to North American Railroads - 2nd ed., (Kalmbach Books, 2000) for info on the Class I mergers.
  • Information on MidSouth Rail
  • SPV's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America - Southern States by Mike Walker (Steam Powered Publishing & SPV, 2001) Ownership and detail of rail line.

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