Shelby Iron Works

Shelby, Alabama



Train Depot

Posted: 03/18/2013  By: Daniel Valles

The train was a vital part to the area, not just the Iron Works.  Around 1880, a rail line was built to connect Shelby to Calera and the Coosa River. This improved transportation costs and served as a means for introducing travelers to the Shelby community. Four passenger trains passed through Shelby each day.  People determined the time of day by both the passing trains and the whistles at the iron works.

Before the Alabama Mineral Railroad was constructed through Shelby, citizens of the town could travel the Shelby Iron Co.’s Railroad to Columbiana and there make connections to the rest of the nation.  The had two locomotives, along with 36 freight cars of various descriptions.  The only passenger equipment was a joint “passenger & baggage” combination car. The Shelby Iron Co.’s Railroad employed 17 men.

The Shelby Depot stood about where the museum is today.  Shelby Iron’s train was known as “The Hoodlum”.  Everyone looked forward to meeting the train, especially on Saturdays and Sundays.  People sometimes walked miles to meet the train.  The train brought visitors to town, and the mail.  After meeting the train, people gathered at the Post Office to see if they had mail that day. The area behind the depot, was the Company Park then.  Food vendors gathered here and the area took on a bustling, festive atmosphere.

On Saturdays, when the employees are paid off, the people of the vicinity come in with their carts and wagons, bringing country produce for sale or barter, the grounds present a lively and animated spectacle.

The old Shelby Post Office where mail was dropped off at, as it appears today, on private property adjoining the park.