Railroads of Meridian

Railroads of Meridian

J Parker Lamb, edited by J Parker Lamb
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/05/2012
ISBN: 978-0-253-00596-0
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This generously illustrated narrative follows the evolution of dozens of separate railroads in the Meridian, Mississippi, area from the destruction of the town’s rail facilities in the 1850s through the current era of large-scale consolidation. Presently, there are only seven mega-size rail systems in the United States, three of which serve Meridian, making it an important junction on one of the nation's four major transcontinental routes. The recent creation of a nationally prominent high-speed freight line between Meridian and Shreveport, the "Meridian Speedway," has allowed the Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, and Norfolk Southern railroads to offer the shortest rail route across the continent for Asia-US-Europe transportation.

Author Bio

J. Parker Lamb, Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas, is author of six books, including Perfecting the American Steam Locomotive (IUP, 2003) and Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive (IUP, 2007).

David H. Bridges is a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi, situated 38 miles northwest of Meridian. His predominant railroad interests have focused on the line that served his hometown, the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, leading him to write extensively on its early development for the GM&O Historical Society magazine.

David S. Price, a native of Long Beach, Mississippi, is a longtime resident of Hattiesburg. He collects photographs and historical data on sawmills and short lines as well as southern trunk lines and numerous images from prominent early southern photographers.


“This generously illustrated narrative follows the evolution of dozens of railroads in the Meridian, Mississippi, area from the destruction of the town’s rail facilities in the 1850s, through the current era of large-scale consolidation, making the "Meridian Speedway" an important transcontinental junction.”

“An excellent contribution to the history of railroads in the South. Southern railroading in general has been a chronically neglected subject.”
 — Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., author of The Railroad That Never Was: Vanderbilt, Morgan, and the South Pennsylvania Railroad

“Lively, well-written and informative, Railroads of Meridian is cleanly laid out, and well-printed. It will be of great interest to fans of railroads in the deep South and their motive power and operations as it shines a bright light on many lesser-known railroads of an earlier era while documenting the region's overall history.”
 — Railfan & Railroad

“This volume [is] an excellent presentation, in addition to being a railroad history story that ends on a positive, upbeat note.”
 — Michigan Railfan

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Table of Contents


1. Antebellum Beginnings
2. A New Start
3. A New Century
4. Entrepreneur Extraordinaire
5. Roller-Coaster Ride
6. A Tumultuous Decade
7. Coming of Age
8. Postwar Metamorphosis
9. More Changes
10. Another Renaissance