Beersville Coal and Railway Company

Author: Art Clowes

Back at the turn of the century, Adamsville was the junction with the Beersville Coal and Railway Company. The Beersville Railway as it was locally known, like many of the small industry-owned rail lines of its day, had a roller coaster life that parallelled that of their owners’ resource-based companies. In keeping with corporate policies of the day, the ((Intercolonial Railway)) District Superintendent, and General Trackmaster, made an inspection in 1899 of the then proposed Beersville railway, and reported that they: “were pleased with the prospects of the mine and said that if a tramway were well operated, the mine would supply a large amount of freight to the Intercolonial.”
By 1904, a 6.481 mile rail line, mostly of second-hand 57 lb. rail acquired from the Intercolonial extended eastward to Beersville, on the Coal Branch Railway. A second mining company moved into the area, and from a point near the eastern end of the main line at Beersville, a branch line 2.149 miles long extended southward to the second mine. After sort of operating for about three years, the Company went into receivership and was sold by the courts. While the railway was owned by one coal company, it seems that they could make both companies upset with their spasmodic service.
The prime activity on this railway between 1908 and about 1918 appeared to have been more in the courts than on the rails. The Beersville Railway had survived threats during World War I of having its rails removed and sold, when metal prices were high.
Like many of these shoe-string operations, the Beersville Coal and Railway Company appears to have struggled with various periods of operations, interspersed with shutdowns and bankruptcies until 1923. In that year, the rail line was sold again and possibly operated until the spring of 1929, when it was sold for the last time, and the rails removed to help pay some of its creditors.