USRJ S3 Ep 16 From east of Leeds to Meridian

From east of Leeds to Meridian on The Crescent – US Rail Journeys Series 3 Episode 16

From east of Leeds to Meridian on The Crescent continues my journey as we  travel, with many unscheduled stops, towards New Orleans on  The Crescent.

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This is not the Leeds of my University days! Instead this is a relatively small city of just over 12,000 in the Alabama.

Leeds is a city of mixed industry and although it is a suburb of Birmingham there are lots of trees and it is quite rural. We are soon out into the countryside again.


We pass through Irondale. The downtown area seems to have many grey buildings but someone seems to like the place as there is a very colourful ‘I love Irondale’ message painted on a wall.

Irondale’s (after Irondale Furnace) incorporation dates from October 19, 1887. The Golden Rule Bar-B-Q opens in 1891, it is the oldest restaurant in Alabama.

In 1916 the Irondale earthquake, magnitude 5.1, causes damage in the area. In 1981, Mother Angelica founds the Eternal Word Television Network.

The Irondale Chamber of Commerce uses the old Great Southern Railway’s X500 refurbished caboose as their office.

Sloss Ironworks:

We pass the historic Sloss Ironworks on our approach to the station in Birmingham. The ironworks is a historic monument with the only US blast furnaces making up part of a museum.

Birmingham station:

How depressing. The platform area really is in need of a great deal of TLC! When we leave the station we soon pass through one of the best scrapyards I’ve seen in the US.

Please listen to the podcast to hear the full story.

Next up:

If you enjoy these podcasts please join me in a couple of weeks as I continue my journey south on The Crescent towards New Orleans.


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Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.