Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  

National Fire Works Tracks

Abandoned NC&STL Railway
Route Between Memphis, Jackson & Bruceton

National Fire Works Tracks - Milepost ONI 211.3

The original "Shell Plant" was National Fireworks Co. which shut down after WWII. They had numerous buildings scattered around their 260 acres. (Even today, all munitions plants have their facilities in as many separate buildings so that an explosion would not be a huge calamity, destroying the whole facility with the loss of many lives.) During the war, this plant likely employed hundreds of workers and provided significant business to the NC&StL Railway.

After the war, these buildings were bought by other companies and put to other uses, forming the nucleolus of Cordova's industrial park/area. The Dutcher family bought a small portion of the National Fireworks property and facilities in 1948 forming Security Signals Co. that still produces numerous munitions under contract for various government and private entities. Their plant consists now of new buildings (post 1948) at 9509 Macon Rd. is still in operation employing approximately 90 people. They have now built a satellite plant in Oakland. --Bill Strong

Macon Road (east of Lenow Road) looking northeast. A L&N GP35 #1127 rolling on the track siding southward to the cement factory in
the early 1980's. Probably, the site may be former National Fire Works. Photo and contributed by Richard Parker.

Click for enlargement

Macon Road at Lenow Road looking northeast. Note everything looks worse than the
same view as above. Cypress trees in the right are overgrown covering the track siding.

Click for enlargement

Macon Road at Lenow Road looking southwest. One time 4 of 5 local train cars were
derailed at this point. No one was injuried.

Last Switch Stand - Milepost ONI 211.2

Northeast of Macon Road beside Lenow Road looking southwest. This switch stand is the
last one before the dead end of the former main line. It is about a thousand feet to the
collapsed trestle (see below). The track to the left goes to a brick/block industry and
further to a concrete/cement factory (see tall cream tower). Former National Fire Works?
That will be nice I can put the mailbox on this switch stand at my home.

Washed Out Trestle - Milepost ONI 211.0

This is the collapsed trestle, the worst bridge on the Cordova Branch of the CSXT.
See one more photo by others.


Click for enlargement

1913 NC&STL track diagram (updated circa 1930's). See legend for the abbreviations and symbols.

Click for enlargement

Topo map of dead end Cordova Branch on July 1, 1983 by TerraServer-USA.


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