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The Crescent Route

New Orleans, Louisiana, to Washington, DC -- A self-guiding railfan tour


For decades, the Southern Railway sent fleets of passenger and freight trains from Washington, DC, to Atlanta, Birmingham, and New Orleans. One could say that it was the Southern which stitched together both the "old South," and the "new South." Today, the line lives on and thrives, blessed with a superior physical plant, burgeoning traffic resulting from years of good marketing efforts, and the new traffic generated as a result of the Conrail break-up.

We are well along in an effort to put together a self-guiding railfan tour that will allow you to travel the entire Crescent Route, from New Orleans north to Washington, DC. The tour is complete from Meridian, Mississippi, to Washington. This represents a total tour of about 961 miles. So, while we're not quite finished, the progress made has been most impressive.

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WHAT YOU WILL FIND HERE: From a particular starting point, each segment of this coverage will allow you to follow the instructions given, drive to a railfan site, then to the next, etc. etc. Traffic levels and patterns will be given, and the photographic/ lighting considerations for each site will usually be mentioned. You'll be told about area attractions, such as tourist and historic sites, as well as hotels and restaurants which are trackside or otherwise worthy of note. In short, you'll be able to plan an entire family or railfan-only outing, or even a vacation from this guide, as it is completed in the months to come.

WHAT YOU WILL NOT FIND HERE: This is a railfan guide, not a photo collection. There are already many excellent and enjoyable railroad photo sites available, and one more really wouldn't add much value to the general railfan. Besides, photos take up a lot of memory, and your humble Webmaster has to pay for memory.

You will not find fancy graphics, as this is a tour guide, not an exhibition of HTML or graphics expertise. You'll be able to load these pages quickly and print them without waiting a week for each page to print. Also, you'll conserve toner in the process.


Major contributors to this effort include:

Fred Burton -- Spartanburg north, Charlotte Terminal and surrounding area

Henry Mikus -- Charlottesville - Washington

John Moore -- Meridian - Birmingham, Birmingham - Atlanta, and Atlanta - Seneca

Tony Sissons -- Gastonia area

Tony Hill -- Webmaster. The guy who makes it go. All text for areas not mentioned above.

If you'd like to contribute to this effort, please contact me here, and let me know what you'd like to do. We'll work together: You supply the data/info, and I'll do the HTML stuff and upload it. You'll get a chance to review the fruits of your efforts before the general public sees the finished product, so you can let me have your corrections, additions and changes.


Mapwork: Much of the tour is not easy if you have no detailed map for back country roads. I definitely recommend you get a DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer, study it before your trip, and copy pertinent pages for your field work. You can find information here about Railfan Maps that are available.