Canadian Corner: Canadian National & Canadian Pacific Railway Depots

Featured subjects on this month’s Canadian Corner are Canadian National & Canadian Pacific Railway depots in various Ontario & Nova Scotia locations:

All photos courtesy of Railpictures.ca, Canada-Rail.com, and YourRailwayPictures.com.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Depot Doings: Wadley, AL / Mobile, AL / W. Alton, IL / Dwight, IL / Pontiac, IL

Featured Gulf, Mobile & Ohio depots this month are those in Alabama & Illinois:

GM&O Depot – Wadley, AL

Wadley, AL – The Wadley Railroad Depot is a historic train station in Wadley, Alabama. The depot was built in 1907 along the Atlanta, Birmingham, and Atlantic Railroad line as part of an expansion from West Point, Georgia, to Talladega, Alabama. The station closed to passenger traffic in 1964, and the line eventually came under the control of CSX Transportation.[2] The depot is one of only four surviving Mission Revival train stations in Alabama (the others being the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Passenger Terminal in Mobile; the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Depot in Cullman; and the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railroad Depot in the Bridgeport Historic District in Bridgeport).[3] The depot was named to the Alabama Historical Commission‘s Places in Peril list in 2009, which led to a community effort to preserve the building.[4] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.[1]

GM&O Depot – Mobile, AL

Mobile, AL – From historical research by GM&O employee (retired) Jim Sweatt –
The station was constructed in 1905-1906 by the Mobile & Ohio Railroad and was designed by architect P. Thorton Mayre; the total cost was $575,000. The style is most likely Mission Revival Style. The Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad (successor company to the Mobile & Ohio Railroad) vacated the building in 1986. After standing vacant for a number of years, the building was purchased by the City of Mobile and rehabilitated. Today the building is the headquarters office for the Metro Transit Authority, the local bus company. The original location of the tracks and platforms behind the building is now a parking lot and bus station. The building accommodates a number of businesses and is a good example of adaptive reuse.

GM&O Depot – W. Alton, IL – 9/13/90

W. Alton, ILAlton is a station in Alton, Illinois, that is served by Amtrak‘s Lincoln Service and the Texas Eagle. This was also a stop for the Ann Rutledge until April 2007. The former Alton Railroad station, later used by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad is built of brick, and is staffed. It is one of 3 Amtrak stations in the St. Louis metropolitan area; the other two are the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center located in downtown St. Louis, and the Amtrak station in Kirkwood, Missouri. The depot was razed in 2017.

GM&O Depot – Dwight, IL – 1975

Dwight, ILDwight is a historic railroad depot and adjacent 2016 train station in Dwight, Illinois, United States, served by Amtrak, the national passenger railroad system. The historic depot, in use from 1891 until 2016, served Amtrak passenger traffic between Chicago and St. Louis, via the Lincoln Service train. Passenger service moved from the former depot south to a new station in October 2016. Built by the Chicago and Alton Railroad in 1891, the historic structure, designed by Henry Ives Cobb in the Richardson Romanesque style of rusticated masonry, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since December 27, 1982.[2] The foundation is of Joliet stone and the walls above are of Bedford blue stone from Indiana composed almost entirely of fossil shells.[3] In 1999, the village of Dwight offered the use of the depot to the Dwight Historical Society. The society moved its museum into the north end of the building; the south end holds both a meeting room for the society and the present office of the Dwight Chamber of Commerce.[3]

GM&O Depot – Pontiac, IL

Pontiac, ILPontiac is an Amtrak train station in Pontiac, Illinois, United States, served by the Lincoln Service and the Texas Eagle. This was also a stop for the Ann Rutledge until April 2007.

All photos courtesy of Google; historical data courtesy of Wikipedia and Waymarking.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Southern Railway Steam Feature for December 2022

Bill Purdie, Jr, 1915-2010

Bill Purdie, Master Mechanic – Steam Engines, – RETIRED – A True Steam Driving Man
by Donald Purdie

Bill Purdie, former Master Mechanic – Steam Engines for Southern Railway, and later Norfolk Southern Railway, had a career which afforded him the opportunity to bring smiles to thousands of people, both young and old. Beginning in 1968 with a call from then Southern Railway President, W. Graham Claytor, Jr. the adventure began. Claytor’s vision was to operate steam locomotives over Southern rails to let another generation know what a steam locomotive was. The program was so successful that it evolved into nearly year round train excursions throughout the Southeast and beyond. Purdie professionalized the rebirth of Southern Steam and in consequence, made its sight and sound self-supporting and available system-wide.

Purdie began his career with Southern Railway in February 1936, as a machinist’s helper in Pegram Shops in Atlanta; he then served as machinist’s apprentice and later roundhouse foreman. Purdie preferred the shop to the road stating “The shop restores; the road debilitates.” His theory being that “The exhaust, smoke, whistling, bright headlight, and flailing rods of a photo run-by were glamorous; but the lathe, forge, drop pit, rivet furnace, crane, and hammer made the dramatics possible.”

After graduation from Russell High School in East Point, Georgia, during the depression, Purdie enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). After his time with the CCC, he was able to secure a job with Southern Railway as a machinist’s helper. During WW II, he offered his service to the Army and Navy; being turned down by both because his work for the railroad was deemed as important. Determined to serve his country, he enlisted with the Merchant Marines in 1945 and served as Junior Engineer.

A strong belief and deep conviction in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, led Purdie to be actively involved in the East Point Presbyterian Church for many years. He was Building Committee Chairman during the church’s expansion and served in several other capacities through the years.

Purdie belonged to several organizations, mostly railroad oriented. He was a charter member of the Atlanta Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) and Southeastern Railway Museum; recently receiving 50-year membership recognition. He devoted many hours working with the museum to preserve and restore railroad equipment. Bill was an honorary member of several other NRHS chapters throughout the Southeast. Additionally, he was a member of the Southern Railway Historical Society, American Legion Post 51, the National Rifle Association, National Model Railroad Association, and was a Kentucky Colonel.

During the 70’s and 80’s, the steam locomotives under Purdie’s supervision made appearances in several Hollywood productions including “Fools Parade,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Minstrel Man,” and a Johnny Cash film.

Bill Purdie was married to the former Sara Elizabeth Fries of East Point for 52 years until her death in 1993. He is also preceded in death by his parents William James Purdie, Sr. and Charlotte Taylor Purdie, both from Scotland; son John Davis Purdie; brothers Douglas, Alexander, and Kenneth; sisters, Hazel Purdie and Charlotte Boggus. He is survived by sons William James Purdie, III and wife Ruby of Milton, Georgia, and Donald Kenneth Purdie and wife Sharon of Wise, Virginia; Grandchildren Deanna Purdie, Dr. Brian Purdie, Matthew Purdie, and Jeff Roark; and one great grandchild, Juliet Rose Purdie, as well as several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind a very dear and close friend, Joyce Harris of Atlanta.

Article courtesy of Historic Transport Preservation, Inc. (Steam Specials). Video courtesy of Lathan Luu via YouTube.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Canadian Corner: Across Canada Part IV

Image


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

Union Pacific Railroad Steam Feature for November 2022

Featured Union Pacific steam subjects this month include engines in Cheyenne, Wyoming from September 1957:

All photos courtesy of Mr. John Dziobko, Jr., GodFatherRails.com.


Rock on Trains © 2022, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.