GM&O Freight Trains

David Johnston Collection
GM&O FA1 732 in Southern Forrest Yard Memphis, TN 11-20-65.

I was never directly involved in this operation (my railroading experience came after this run was gone) but from what I remember from Dad and other GM&O employees, the GM&O run (trackage rights on the Southern) used Sou. Ry. crews; made up in GM&O yard at Corinth, got on the Southern, worked the GM&O west side interchange at Middleton, then went to Forrest yard, and there were no GM&O switch crews in Memphis, so I assume Southern handled all interchange, switching etc. there. ICG wanted to keep the trackage rights in effect if they could run all the way to Johnston Yard but Southern wouldn't agree to that, so the run was abolished and Memphis traffic from Birmingham as well as the various GM&O locations, when headed for Memphis, was routed via Fulton, a matter of GM&O trivia, this was one of the "last stands" of the GM&O FA/FB fleet.
Contributed by George Googe
I am sure there were some IC bound cars in the daily GM&O train to Memphis out of Corinth, but as George and Tom said, this train was switched out at Forrest Yard by the Southern for interchange to the other railroads in Memphis. When I was 13, we moved from the Memphis suburb of Bartlett to Germantown in Dec 1969. Our house was about 2 miles from the Southern main so I rode my bike countless times to watch trains on the Southern and I saw the GM&O trains many times. Every train was powered by three GM&O GP35's and had a GM&O caboose. I was surprised when I learned it was Southern crews who ran these trains and not GM&O crews. The power that brought the westbound train in turned right back on the eastbound train to Corinth. After the IC-GM&O merger the traffic level on these trains dropped significantly and it was run with a single GM&O GP38 or GP38-2 at times up until the end. I never saw the GM&O FA units on this train, but have seen a few photos of them on the Southern around Memphis. I could always tell when the GM&O train was approaching my viewing point on the Southern because the GM&O horns sounded so much different from the horns on the Southern's engines. It wasn't until many years later that I learned the GM&O used 5 chime Leslies (model S5T) on their GP35's.
Contributed by Steve Forrest former MP KY St. operator

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