James Lowery, a locally renowned environmentalist who also serves on the Board of an historical railroad organization, will make our opening presentation on September 20th. The Historic Birmingham Mineral Railroad is the topic for the first general meeting of the Hoover Historical Society’s 2016-2017 club year.
Birmingham’s iron industry history is an important part of its overall history, and the BMRR was a significant part of that history.
“People drive, walk, and bicycle every day in areas where the historic Birmingham Mineral Railroad (BMRR) ran throughout the Birmingham and surrounding areas without ever being aware that the BMRR was located in those places,” said Lowery.
Lowery’s PowerPoint presentation describes the Birmingham Mineral Railroad and its various branches that were part of the iron industry in the Birmingham area and beyond. The network transported raw materials from the mines and quarries to the furnaces, coke from the coke ovens to the furnaces, and products from various facilities to major rail lines. Although the BMRR’s primary purpose was serving as a Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company industrial railroad, it also provided passenger service on several of the major BMRR branches.
This presentation features maps and photographs from the steam engine era; will describe its route in the Birmingham area; and where former roadbeds can still be seen. Lowery will also describe the BMRR Signs Project that is installing historic signs showing where the BMRR was located.