The MA&S was the latest in a series of railroads, the most notable predecessor being the Maxton, Alma & Rowland, that served the timberlands near these North Carolina towns. The MA&R had enjoyed good success until the Panic of 1893, when it was cut back run only between Alma and Rowland. Chartered in May 1911, the MA&S had bigger ambitions and bought the Alma-Midway section from the Alma Lumber Company and built 3 miles of line between Bracey and Rowland. Total distance was 15.2 miles.
The Carolina Rails website says that at this time: "Business was good and there were two scheduled trains in each direction between Alma and Rowland each day except Sunday." Passenger service was handled by two coaches and original freight rode in one of the ten freight cars. Given the Baldwin specification remarks that speed was limited to 20 mph, it was clear that this was a local service.
The depression that followed World War I bit into the MA&S's fortunes. "From late 1922 until mid 1923 train service was reduced to one train per day in each direction. In 1925 passenger service dropped and the schedule went to one train per day."
One bright note was the promotion of watermelon carriage that filled "as many as forty cars per day. " As with so many other shortlines, however, the 1930s combination of the Great Depression and the growth of auto and truck traffic doomed the railroad. Even a gas-motor car couldn't stem the tide.
The road was abandoned in 1937, says CR, and the "entire remaining track was taken up and sold for scrap along with the locomotives and other remaining items."
|Specifications by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media|
|Railroad||Maxton, Alma & Southbound|
|Number in Class||1|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.52|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||45.92'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||82850 lbs|
|Engine Weight||102650 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||60000 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||162650 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||3000 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated)||46 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||160 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||16" x 24"|
|Tractive Effort||18991 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.36|
|Firebox Area||120 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||19.70 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||1380 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||1380 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||247.09|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||3152|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||3152|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||19200|