The Gregarious Railfan
Irondale, AL  35210 (population, 12,359 (2016))                 

GPS: N 33.53884, W 86.70770        Google map   

Scanner: NS: 160.950 [56] (Road), 160.245 [9] (Disp.), 160.830 [48], 161.430 [88], 161.490 [92], 161.085
[65], 161.505 [93]

Railroad:  Norfolk Southern Crescent - Alabama Division, AGS Sub, MP 136

Description: Irondale, AL is a suburb of Birmingham.  The town was the site of Southern Railway's Norris Yard and
shops.  The shop building later became home of the Norfolk Southern steam program (1980's) on Norfolk Southern.   
After the steam program ended, so did use of the shops.  The yard is still a major hump yard of the NS system.  The
yard is off limit to visitors, however the City of Irondale realized the yard draws enough visitors and built two
train-watching platforms on the west end of the yard.  A Southern Railway caboose is also displayed on the south side
of the tracks.  In Birmingham proper, railfanning by the Birmingham Amtrak station might be problematic, the
platform is only open for arrival of the Amtrak Crescent twice a day. Most cross streets are underpasses or
overpasses. I am told that the overpass on Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard (formerly called 21st St.) has metered
parking and sidewalks and overlooks the Amtrak station (confirmed by Google maps) so that could be a good place to
railfan. Although some websites claim lots of railfanning opportunities in Birmingham, there is a lack of details.

Approximate # trains per 24 hours: 30+

Nearby RR Stuff:
Birmingham Amtrak Station    N 33.51268, W 86.80669  
parking on Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard N 33.51385, W 86.80349  

Norris Yard,  1400 Norfolk Southern Dr. Irondale, Alabama, N 33.54497, W 86.70196

Caboose display, Irondale.  N 33.53830, W 86.70710

Viewing Platform, Irondale,  N 33.53872, W 86.70762  

Railroad Park, 1600 1st Ave S, Birmingham   N 33.51083, W 86.80862  (Urban park with a view of the trains)

Heart of Dixie RR Museum, Calera, AL   map   website   

TRAINS Trackside Article May 2012