When, beside the improbable iron of the Mississippi and Alabama Railroad a few miles outside of Vinegar Bend, Alabama, we discovered what was to all appearances a wooding-up platform liberally stocked with turpentine knots cut of length for locomotive boilers, we inclined to credit the illusion to the evening previous, which had been devoted to ill-advised enterprise in the tap room of the Battle House. It would go away later.
But when the up train from Leakesville ... came into view under a creditable facsimile of a forest fire combined with a Paine's Fireworks representation of the Burning of Chicago, we knew that nothing but fat pine on the grates could ever produce such a travelling conflagration, and, moments later, the contents of the tender justified us.
Lucius Beebe, Mixed Train Daily
The Mississippi & Alabama Railroad was incorporated in Mississippi on August 12, 1922, to acquire and operate 17 miles of pike extending from Leakesville, Mississippi eastward to Vinegar Bend, Alabama, formerly part of the Alabama & Mississippi Railroad. Operations were discontinued in the spring of 1950. The original railroad was constructed as a logging road by the Vinegar Bend Lumber Company about the turn of the century, and was operated as a common carrier for about 20 years until the 1921 abandonment and sale. Interchange was with the Mobile & Ohio (later GM&O) at Vinegar Bend. As evidenced by the photo of Baldwin #4 below, the M&A was considered the last common-carrier railroad in the country to operate wood-burning steam locomotives.
MA route map / Mississippi Rails
|HawkinsRails thanks Mississippi railfan historian David Price for use of his MA Witbeck images|
Baldwin 2-6-2 / Japser, Ms / Apr 1948 / collection