Historic Birmingham Mineral Railroad Signs Project — The BMRR Past and Present!
Photographs: Then and Now
The following photographs show what a location looks like today where a photograph had been taken in the past during the era of the Birmingham Mineral Railroad. NOTE: The current photograph may have been taken at a slightly different angle or direction due to re-sculpturing of the landscape or different placement of a roadbed.
NOTE: Generally, clicking on an image will enlarge it for better viewing.
NOW (Can you find the roof of the turret and the awning hidden behind the trees?):
L&N Passenger Station (Union Station) in downtown Birmingham was used by the BMRR for its passenger service.
THEN — Several views:
NOW — Present-day Amtrak still uses the same platform and roof structure.
Birmingham Mineral Railroad crossing over “Old Montgomery Highway” below Vulcan:
THEN — Two Views Looking South:
Top photograph below is view of BMRR crossing over Old Montgomery Highway looking south toward Homewood in 1915. Note streetcar tracks on right side of dirt street.
NOW — Looking South:
THEN — NOTE: Concrete bridge support on left (barely visible):
NOW — Looking Northeast:
THEN — Two Views:
THEN — Vulcan Statue in pieces beside BMRR tracks in February 1905 before the statue was erected at its present location:
NOW — Ironically, the Vulcan Statue was erected next to, and just above, the BMRR tracks in another location.
Oporto Road near Crestwood Boulevard:
Red Gap in Irondale:
THEN — View looking West:
THEN — MORE RECENTLY (1989) — View looking East:
NOTE in bottom center of photograph the BMRR Red Gap Branch former bridge/trestle abutment made of cut stones and dating from 1888.
THEN — View looking East:
NOW — View looking East:
Elevated views of Red Gap in Irondale:
THEN — Two views:
NOW — Two views:
Sadler Gap — Highway 11 / Gadsden Highway near where Interstate 59 crosses it:
ACIPCO (American-USA, formerly American Cast Iron Pipe Company)
THEN — 1946 — Prior to construction of large building with red ACIPCO logo as shown in the “Now” photograph:
Trussville Blast Furnace and Coke Ovens
Bessemer Passenger Depot and Freight Depot:
THEN — Photograph and Map/Diagram:
NOW — Two Views:
THEN — Two Views:
After it was re-purposed and housed a Paint, Roofing, & Supply Company:
As it appeared in 1996:
NOW — Houses the Boone Library at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Calera, Alabama:
Helena Depots — There were two different depots in Helena. The depot shown here as “Then” was built in 1908 and no longer exists. In the “Then” photograph shown here of that 1908 depot, the L&N BMRR tracks are the ones on the left (closest to the building) with the parked caboose. The freight house and depot depicted here as “Now” was built in 1872 at a location different from its current location. That 1872 freight house and depot is still in use today but has been re-purposed as The Depot Deli and Grill which is located beside the active railroad tracks in Old Town Helena.
THEN — 1908 Depot
NOW — 1872 Freight House and Depot now re-purposed as a restaurant.
Altoona, Alabama, Depots — There were two different depots in Altoona. The first depot shown below as “Then” was the first depot and no longer exists. The second depot shown below as “Then” was the second depot as it appeared in the 1960s, and it also no longer exists. The site shown as “Now” is where the second depot was located and possibly the first depot also.
THEN — First Altoona, Alabama, Depot — May 1902
THEN — Second Altoona, Alabama, Depot as it appeared in the 1960s.
NOW — Site where second Altoona, Alabama, depot was located (and possibly the first depot also)