Mallory Hope Ferrell has always been intrigued by the remote, often run-down and obscure railroads. A Southerner by birth, this tome covers many of these lines during the period just before World War II until the arrival of a diesel salesman or abandonment put an end to that glorious era of steam and smoke.
The Bible Belt is generally accepted as covering a sweeping, wide arc of the southeastern United States, extending from West (By Damn) Virginia to East (By God) Texas. It was in this territory that small steam powered lines lasted so long and so well. Many of these lines served a single industry, mine, quarry, cotton mill, town or sawmill. When this local industry failed, or the lumber and coal played out, these carriers simply up and quit! The few survivors opted for small diesel power, others were absorbed as a branch of a larger railroad, but most were abandoned in favor of highway transportation - or no transportation at all.
Contents: acknowledgments; Dedication; Foreword: Smoke Over the Bible Belt Beebe & Clegg: Mixed Train Daily; Introduction: What Was A Short Line'; Ch. 1: A Southerner Returns Home; Ch. 2: Almost Heaven..Mountain Mother; Ch. 3: Just South of Dixie (Maryland); Ch. 4: Virginia Creepers..The Old Dominion; Ch. 5: Tarheel Travelers (North Carolina); Ch. 6: Nothing Could Be Finer (South Carolina); Ch. 7: My Old Kentucky Home; Ch. 8: Tennessee Waltz; Ch. 9: Less Than Carload; Index.
Hundman Publishing, hardcover with jacket, 288 pages, 11 x 8.5 x .75 in., B&W photographs plus a few color ones.