AT&N Purchased by Frisco

The purchase of the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railway by the Frisco was approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission on December 17th.  

At a hearing in Washington on November 17th, President Clark Hungerford testified that acquisition of the road would aid the development of Mobile as a port and would not interfere with the Frisco's services to the port of Pensacola, Florida.

J. E. Gilliland, president of the AT&N asserted that the line needed improvements to bring it up to par with other railroads and in his opinion it would be impossible for the AT&N to finance these improvements.  Mr. Hungerford said there are no prospects in the immediate offing for any return on the road in the near future, but with the additional expenditures necessary to put the line in good operating condition, it should break even within two or three years.

A large number of witnesses from Frisco and AT&N states testified that new ownership of the line was needed not only to save the AT&N from bankruptcy, but also to aid many of the businesses served.

According to the plan submitted to the ICC, the Frisco would take control of the AT&N through the purchase of outstanding common stock and bonds approximating $1,161,075.  The Frisco would purchase 12,461 shares of no par value common stock at $25 per share and all of the road's outstanding general mortgage, Series A, four and one half percent income bonds at $650 per $1,000 principal bond.  The total face value of the outstanding bonds in $1,307,100. 

M. G. Roberts, vice president and general counsel of the Frisco, said he expected a "favorable" ICC decision by Christmas.

There is no opposition to the petition and there will be no proposal report before the ICC and no oral argument, he said.  "And I cannot see why the decision will be held up."

The AT&N is a freight line operating between Mobile and Reform, Alabama with about 214 miles of track.  It has a car ferry operation at Mobile, crossing Mobile harbor to a landing on its own property on Blakely Island.  

This article appeared in the December 1948 All Aboard.