Alabama Transportation

Rail Transportation in Alabama in the 1800’s:

The Tuscumbia Railroad was chartered in Alabama in 1830. The length of the road was 71 kms and the rail line made its journey from Tuscumbia to Decatur around Muscle Shoal after four years on 15th December 1834.   

Two decades after the first rail road was chartered, Alabama’s transportation (rail) grew to 266 kms, which was considerably less than most other southern states.

In 1871, Birmingham was established as a railroad intersection, situated in the middle of Alabama’s mining boundaries. It was considered the state’s main rail station and Mobile was its only competition. 

Rail Transport in Alabama in the 2000’s

  • Alabama’s rail transportation registered a total of 3,687 miles of railway tracks and there were five railroad tracks of category 1 operating in the state.
  • Amongst all other commodities, coal was ferried to and fro by the Alabamian rail transport authorities.
  • Passenger services include: Amtrak passenger rails that connected Anniston, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa with other states like Washington and New Orleans. Another route connected passengers from Montgomery and Mobile County to Birmingham and New Orleans.

Road Transportation in Alabama in the 1800’s

  • Alabama’s first road networks were limited to the federal road. A creek horse path and the Natchez Trace. These were roadways that were initially available to Alabamians either sanctioned by the government or other private entities. The 19th century saw numerous private companies vying for building and maintaining road networks.
  • It was not until the 1900’s that Alabama established a State Highway Department and secured federal aid for rural and urban road building.

Road Transportation in Alabama in the 2000’s

  • A wide road network of 94,311 miles was available in Alabama in 2000. An official count of the vehicles on road reflected 1,961,806 registered automobiles and 8,766 buses. I-65 is a major highway that is a connecting point for interstate highways. I-85 connects Montgomery, Alabama with Atlanta while travelling straight on I-10 can connect people to New Orleans and Florida.

With every passing year, Alabama’s transportation network is increasing and spreading wide so as to accommodate the increasing traffic on roads.

Major airports in Alabama

  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
  • Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
  • Dothan Regional Airport (DHN)
  • Mobile Regional Airport (MOB)
  • Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM)
  • Muscle Shoals – Northwest Alabama Regional Airport (MSL)
  • Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL)
  • Pryor Field Regional Airport (DCU)

Water Ports

Port Name Location Connected to
Port of Florence Florence / Muscle Shoals, on Pickwick Lake Tennessee River
Port of Decatur Decatur, on Wheeler Lake Tennessee River
Port of Guntersville Guntersville, on Lake Guntersville Tennessee River
Port of Birmingham Birmingham, on Black Warrior River Tenn-Tom Waterway
Port of Tuscaloosa Tuscaloosa, on Black Warrior River Tenn-Tom Waterway
Port of Montgomery Montgomery, on Woodruff Lake Alabama River
Port of Mobile Mobile, on Mobile Bay Gulf of Mexico