The Alabama Southern Railroad (reporting mark ABS) is a class III railroad that operates in the southern United States. The ABS is one of several short line railroads owned by Watco Companies. The railroad operates a 85-mile (137 km) line leased from the Kansas City Southern Railway. It began operating in 2005.
The Alabama Southern's line is composed of three Kansas City Southern branch lines totaling 85.6 miles (137.8 km): the Tuscaloosa Subdivision (Columbus–Tuscaloosa), the Warrior Branch (Tuscaloosa–Fox, Alabama), and the Brookwood Branch (Brookwood, Alabama–Brookwood Junction). The line runs between Columbus and Brookwood, with trackage rights over the Kansas City Southern from Columbus to Artesia, Mississippi.
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.
The railroad began operating on November 20, 2005. The railroad interchanges with the KCS at Artesia, CSX Transportation in Brookwood, and the Norfolk Southern Railway in Tuscaloosa.
- Press Release Announcing Alabama Southern Railroad July 20, 2005 
- The Historical Guide to North American Railroads - 2nd ed., (Kalmbach Books, 2000) for info on the Class I mergers.
- Trains.com 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.