Railfanning The Greater Birmingham Area

There is no doubt that Birmingham is the railroad capitol of Alabama! Birmingham boasts a population of over 200,000 people and over 1,000,000 in the metro area! There is lots to see in Birmingham in terms of railroading. Three Class I railroads, CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, operate large yards in the Birmingham area.

The Birmingham Southern Railroad operates over 80 miles of trackage which reaches to Birmingport along the Warrior River. There are literally dozens of industrial operations utilizing their own railroad facilities in the heavily industrial Birmingham area.

Birmingham also sports passenger service with daily stops by Amtrak's Crescent. Northbound train 20 operates from New Orleans to New York with southbound train 19 operating in reverse. Luckily, stops in Birmingham are in the daylight for both trains making them easier to photograph

There are dozens of areas in metro Birmingham area for railfanning and it will likely take me some time to highlight even a portion of them. Stay tuned to this page as I plan to add lots more information in the future!

  Useful Scanner Frequencies for The Greater Birmingham Area

The list below is fairly long and I am still sorting out the details of each frequency and it's use. I have, however, logged railroad traffic on every channel listed here. I then went to the FCC database to try and verify which railroad I was listening to on each channel A few, as noted, show multiple licenses in the Birmingham metro area so I have not conclusively determined which railroad was using the channel when the traffic was logged. I hope to narrow this list down some or at least highlight the best channels to monitor. The road channels of each road listed below, is always a good bet. If you have any info on any of these frequencies and their uses by the railroads, please contact me!

AAR Channel 08 - 160.230 CSX (Note 1)
AAR Channel 09 - 160.245 NS Dispatcher to Train (Channel 2)
AAR Channel 11 - 160.275 NS PBX
AAR Channel 12 - 160.290 BSRR
AAR Channel 18 - 160.380 CSX Yard - Boyles Yard Repeater Output *
AAR Channel 20 - 160.410 CSX Dispatcher, S&NA North *
AAR Channel 22 - 160.440 CSX
AAR Channel 26 - 160.500 NS
AAR Channel 28 - 160.530 BNSF Yard - Carmen
AAR Channel 30 - 160.560 BSRR
AAR Channel 34 - 160.620 CSX
AAR Channel 39 - 160.695 BNSF Road *
AAR Channel 42 - 160.740 NS
AAR Channel 48 - 160.830 NS Train to Dispatcher (Channel 2)
AAR Channel 50 - 160.860 CSX Yard - Boyles Yard Repeater Input *
AAR Channel 51 - 160.875 BNSF
AAR Channel 56 - 160.950 NS Road (Channel 1)
AAR Channel 57 - 160.965 BNSF (Note 4)
AAR Channel 58 - 160.980 CSX
AAR Channel 59 - 160.995 BNSF
AAR Channel 60 - 161.010 CSX
AAR Channel 61 - 161.025 BSRR
AAR Channel 65 - 161.085 NS
AAR Channel 66 - 161.100 CSX Yard (Channel 2)
AAR Channel 70 - 161.160 BNSF: CSX (Y360) to BNSF Transfer
AAR Channel 74 - 161.220 CSX Dispatcher, Boyles Term/S&NA South *
AAR Channel 75 - 161.235 BNSF
AAR Channel 77 - 161.265 CSX PBX
AAR Channel 80 - 161.310 CSX
AAR Channel 83 - 161.355 KCS (Note 2) / NS (Note 3)
AAR Channel 84 - 161.370 CSX Road
AAR Channel 87 - 161.415 BNSF (CSX @ Fultondale)
AAR Channel 92 - 161.490 NS Yard (Channel 3)
AAR Channel 93 - 161.505 NS
AAR Channel 94 - 161.520 CSX Dispatcher

Notes:
(Railroad @ Location) Indicates multiple licenses listed by FCC
1. FCC shows: CSX Mobile, AL / CSX Georgiana, AL
2. FCC shows: KCS RWY CO - Unable to find a specific location in Alabama
3. FCC shows: NS Sheffield, AL
4. BNSF ARES/Radio Code Line
* Updated/Verified 2011-01-25

  Latest Additions to The Greater Birmingham Area Photo Gallery

Click here to view a gallery of all photos from The Greater Birmingham Area!

jpeterson_1383619379.jpg

Not in a good spot for a photo given the sun location, I still opt for a shot of CSX grain train G331-01 at Oxmoor (formerly Graces) heading north on the #2 track.

File Size: 387 KBytes · Downloads: 1081 · Uploaded: November 04,2013

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The Birmingham to Calera local M721-02 passes the MP398.2 defect detector on Main track 1 headed south with a light engine consist.

File Size: 517 KBytes · Downloads: 994 · Uploaded: November 04,2013

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Southbound CSX train Q685-02 just crossed over from Main 1 to Main 2 at Parkwood Jct to head down the S&NA South Subdivision. Two standard cab Dash8-40Cs in the lead makes this a treat!

File Size: 500 KBytes · Downloads: 1038 · Uploaded: November 04,2013

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An NS local waits in the yard at 32nd Street for permission to come out and head back towards Norris Yard in Irondale, AL.

File Size: 296 KBytes · Downloads: 1103 · Uploaded: January 11,2013

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NS intermodal train 21R rolls up to the 32nd Street interlocking from the East End district. An NS local is also seen waiting in the yard at 32nd Street.

File Size: 306 KBytes · Downloads: 1124 · Uploaded: January 11,2013

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NS intermodal train 21R rolls up to the 32nd Street interlocking from the East End district. He will be crossing over to the NA/West End district at 27th Street interlocking to head towards Sheffield, AL.

File Size: 324 KBytes · Downloads: 1093 · Uploaded: January 11,2013

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Northbound Amtrak Crescent #20 heads past the Leeds, AL depot during a meeting of the The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Mid-South Chapter.

File Size: 306 KBytes · Downloads: 1194 · Uploaded: January 07,2013

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A BNSF intermodal train bound for Atlanta via the CSX, rolls on NS rails between Block Two and 24th Street to get access to CSX trackage. Here the train passes NS control point 2nd Ave.

File Size: 340 KBytes · Downloads: 1583 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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An ex-Jefferson Warrior Railroad, now Watco, SW1500 works the plant near Tarrant City on the north east side of Birmingham, AL.

File Size: 355 KBytes · Downloads: 1777 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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An east bound NS intermodal train passes the historic Leeds depot on the East End District as they head towards Atlanta. The depot is home to the Mid-South Chapter of the RLHS.

File Size: 315 KBytes · Downloads: 1161 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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A BNSF intermodal train with a couple of "War Bonnets" destined for Atlanta, GA gets ready to leave the BNSF Thomas Yard in Birmingham, AL. It will travel on the CSX to get to Atlanta.

File Size: 341 KBytes · Downloads: 1592 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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A southbound BNSF/CSX intermodal train from Atlanta gets ready to leave the NS trackage at Block Two that it used to get from CSX back to its home rails on the BNSF Birmingham Sub.

File Size: 322 KBytes · Downloads: 1196 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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An unmanned NS coal train sits idle near 2nd Ave under the highway overpasses close to downtown Birmingham, AL.

File Size: 366 KBytes · Downloads: 1110 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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An ABC Coke SW1001 works a cut of hoppers at Tarrant City on the north east side of Birmingham, AL.

File Size: 295 KBytes · Downloads: 1452 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

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A southbound NS train heads towards downtown Birmingham at Block Two.

File Size: 455 KBytes · Downloads: 1120 · Uploaded: April 29,2012

Click here to view a gallery of all photos from The Greater Birmingham Area!

  Latest Additions to The Greater Birmingham Area Video Clip Gallery

Click here to view an gallery of all video clips from The Greater Birmingham Area!

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The Birmingham to Calera local M721-02 passes the MP398.2 defect detector on Main track 1 headed south with a light engine consist. This spot is just north of Oxmoor.

HD Video Clip - Views: 1439 · Uploaded: November 08,2013

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Southbound CSX train Q685-02 just crossed over from Main 1 to Main 2 at Parkwood Jct to head down the S&NA South Subdivision. Two standard cab Dash8-40Cs in the lead makes this a treat!

HD Video Clip - Views: 1033 · Uploaded: November 08,2013

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During a meeting of the Mid-South Chapter of Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in the Leeds depot, we took a break to catch the northbound Amtrak Crescent, train #20, as it passes headed towards Atlanta, Washington DC and points north! 11/03/2012

HD Video Clip - Views: 1303 · Uploaded: January 13,2013

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NS intermodal train 22G heads north towards 27th Street interlocking on the AGS South district. He will stop at 27th Street to allow west bound 21R to cross in front of him to head west on the NA/West End district. Thanks to JgordonAmtrak1 for the info on this train!

HD Video Clip - Views: 1183 · Uploaded: January 11,2013

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NS intermodal train 21R rolls up to the 32nd Street interlocking from the East End district. He will be crossing over to the NA/West End district at 27th Street interlocking to head towards Sheffield, AL.

HD Video Clip - Views: 1170 · Uploaded: January 11,2013

                            


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