This will be news to me -- I have never seen anything that indicated combat troops (or any troops) were used to build the RR. When the RR was washed out in the winter of 64-65, CS Engineer troops were used to repair the line as quickly as possible, but again, nothing I have seen on combat troops working the line.
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I lucked into something. According to this it is north of Greensboro, N.C.
North of Greensboro, N. C., at "Tennessee Curve." Here's a major project of track realignment and reconstruction under way and a fine example of how the Southern is smoothing out its roadbed, eliminating dips and hollows in track and reducing the sharpness of curves in the interest of better railroading, a smoother ride for freight in transit on our high class freight trains.
Big ones and little ones, these projects are carried on as the Southern earns the money to pay for them. The engineering department reports a total in the last three years of almost 245 deg. of curvature taken out of the track over which No.153 is running. That's equal to about three-quarters of a complete circle if it could all have been brought together. More important, it means consistent high speeds with safety to employees, equipment and to ladings is made possible. It means better railroading.
[paste:font size="3"] A yard engine "takes hold of the rear" of No.153 at Meridian Yard. Meridian cars will be removed in a few minutes and cars bound for New Orleans and beyond will be added to the train. Tie renewals are important in maintaining track in top condition. This stretch along the AGS is being worked as part of a constant endeavor to keep our roadway in excellent shape.
This project brought up the question, "What investment is represented in the route of Southern freight train N 0. 153?" According to verifiable records this is the answer. The approximate investment figure for the value of roadbed, yards; shops, signaling and communications involved in the handling of train No.153 from Potomac Yard to New Orleans is $192,000,000. The figure represents main line and terminal properties of Southern, A.G.S., "N.O.& N.E. and New Orleans Terminal Company over the route of this train but it excludes the value of such properties as stations and office buildings, wharves and docks, roadway machines, etc.
Pic from the article
Track realignment and grade change work at .'Tennessee Curve." Formerly, the track was back near the line of trees. Faster train operation will result from change.