Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 07:26:50 PST
Reply-To: Mike Schwarze <>
Sender: Southeastern Model Railroaders Forum <SMRF@LISTSERV.DARTMOUTH.EDU>
From: Mike Schwarze <>
Subject: Re: Durham & Southern
Comments: To:
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed

>Guys > >Is there a web site for the Durham & Southern? Does the D &S still exist? >Warren's photo's on the photpoint site wet my appetite. > >Thanks in advance. > >Ray >

Ray -

No website that I'm aware of, but that sounds like a good idea - D&S is my "favorite" road. I do have a bunch of info on it, if you're interested:

The D&S ran from Durham, NC to Dunn, NC - a distance of +/- 50 miles. It was a bridge route for SCL (who bought it in the mid-70's), N&W & Sou. [It also boasted some, um, "interesting" trackage, including a diamond built on a bridge..!] SCL purchased the route and kept the 4 GP38-2s the D&S owned (road #2000 - 2003 - also named "Bull Durham 1-4") in the same paint scheme but stenciled "Seaboard Coast Line" on each side, and renumbered them 556-559. The remaining locomotives - Baldwin RS11s and a 44-tonner, had been retired/sold/scrapped years earlier. Later, the 4 geeps were painted in the Family Lines scheme and renumbered 2556-2559, and then after the merger Seaboard System painted them in their grey w/ red & yellow stripes, and at least two that I know of have been painted in CSX colors - CSX #2557 & #2558, both in the "YN" scheme, not the bright future scheme. They're easy to spot - they're the only GP38-2s on the CSX roster without dynamic brakes. They're also showing their age, with huge rust spots and faded, sun-bleached paint all over their bodies. Retirement probably isn't far away, as these engines are now 27 years old and not receiving the same TLC they did as D&S engines, which were washed & waxed regularly.

One of the neatest things about railfanning the D&S (and subsequent lines on the Durham spur) is the industrial "landscape" of downtown Durham, with early 20th century architecture and old painted-on tobacco ads fading away from the sides of brick warehouses. Durham was/is a tobacco town, and cigarettes are still a big industry. I'll post some pictures when I take some...!

Another thing about the D&S geeps - the roofs of the cabs were painted white to help keep the heat down during hot NC summers.

Nowadays, all that's left of the D&S is the track that runs from Durham to Apex, about 15 miles. CSX runs the route daily (Aberdeen Sub, Durham Spur) but the track is in such terrible condition that the speed limit is no more than 10 mph, and 5 mph in some places. As Craig Zeni said, you could railfan the whole line on a bicycle.

Warren Calloway is a great reference for the D&S - check out his article in the July 1990 Diesel Era - most of my info came from him. Bob Graham seems to know a thing or three about the D&S as well. Also, Jim Sapienza has/had a D&S layout featured in MR years ago - Jim, are you still on this list?

As for me, soon I'll have a digital camera and I'll post some photos of my HO scale geeps - D&S 2001 + CSX 2557. D&S is easy to model - two colors of paint, a splash of yellow, and minimal details. For decals. though, you're on your own! Herald King made some years ago, and I think I got the last set in existence from Zeni last summer.

Sorry to go on for so long, but like I said - it's my favorite road! Also, it's home..!

Mike, in Durham NC ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at

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