Macon & Western Shops
   The below Macon, Ga. Weekly Telegraph, of May 18, 1858, gives a good description of one of the better railroad shops in the South. Though two years before the War, it is unlikely the shops had changed any by the start of the War. (Thanks to Ron Goldfeder for the article.)
The Macon & Western R. R. Shops, &c.
   Upon the invitation of Thomas Dougherty, Esq., the Master Machinist and Factotum of the Macon & Western Railroad, as genial and pleasant a gentleman as he is a scientific mechanic, we passed an hour or two last week in examining the workshops and arrangements of the Macon & Western Rail Road. The Company is directing it views and movements to the ultimate point of perfect self-supply -- of finally manufacturing all their own motive power and rolling stock, with the exception of car wheels; and that they will be able to attain this result at last, economically to themselves and with great benefit to the public, few will doubt, after an inspection of their shops and machinery and seeing what they have done and are doing.
   Their shops comprise three large brick structures, planned with eminent taste and judgment. The first of these is a car manufactory, pattern shop and upholstery, in which are all the power machines for planing, boring, morticing and turning; the second is a forging shop, where a blast of any power is applied to numerous forges of every shape, by a steam fan driven 2,200 revolutions per minute and the smoke is carried off through subterranean flues until it finds outlet into a monumental chimney outside, standing majestically alone, and rising over 100 feet in height. The third is the machine shop, with all the lathes, planes, presses, screws and ponderous cranes for handling and shaping the massive pieces of iron which make up the locomotive. One of them is, as the children say, "a sure enough press," for forcing the driving wheels upon the axles with seventy thousand pounds pressure. The machinery of these three shops is driven by a noiseless engine of twenty-five horse power in beautiful order.
   Directly in the rear of them is another majestic structure whose imposing interior is particularly interesting. This is the great circular car shop, with twenty-four tracks, radiating to a huge turn table, as a common centre; and here were almost as many iron steeds is stable, as it were, some at rest with tenders supplied, cleaning and shining, waiting for the word and vital spark to start them into furious life; others hissing out their fiery energies, and still others smoking and snapping and warming up for the strife with time and distance. Upon a pillar near the centre was posted the last monthly record of each one's performances -- the distance run and the pro rata consumption of fuel and oil. This is to stimulate a wholesome and economical rivalry among the engineers.
   Just outside of this car house is a large octagonal reservoir, from which a great main, describing the circle of the house, carries to each of the iron horses his draught of 1600 gallons of water. This reservoir, receives its constant supply from a running stream not far distant, the water being thrown up by force pumps driven by the stationary engine.
   Near the reservoir are the gas works where the Company manufacture their entire supply of gas at a cost not exceeding two dollars per one thousand feet. Pine-wood chips, oily cotton waste, which has been used in cleaning machinery -- in fact almost any trash, (for we saw old boots and shoes in the pile,) serves to make this gas. A charge of sixty pounds weight produces between seven and eight hundred feet of gas. In the second story of the Machine shop are the store rooms for all the little supplies and appliances used in the manufacture, repair or running of the cars, and the offices of the master machinist, whose responsible care is not alone the management of the operative details of this large establishment, but the furnishing of all plans and specifications for work, and some active interest in every mechanical concernment of the road. Here we saw a draft of an new locomotive which is shortly to be undertaken, and called the "Emerson Foote," in compliment to the late Superintendent, to whose skill and judgment the Company are in a great part indebted for the convenient arrangements of their shops. Mr. Foote, it will be recollected, was more than a year since prevailed upon to accept the Superintendence of the Central Rail Road, and his late position is now filled by A. L. Tyler, Esq., a very active and energetic officer. Here, also, we examine models for a combination Switch, invented by Mr. Dougherty, which obviates all danger from misplacement, and a car lock, the perfection of simplicity and a car lock, the perfection of simplicity and secure as Hobbe's. We hope he may get a patent and make a fortune on them both. With a good deal of observation among establishments of this character, we do not see how this could be improved upon either in arrangement or in perfect order, neatness and efficiency.
   Lastly we ran out into the country. The Messenger," a car and engine combined -- a beautiful little steam carriage, constructed for the accommodation of the officers of the road {these were later called Inspection Locomotives}, from designs of Mr. Dougherty and under his direction, was kindly fired up to give us a ride. We flew along twenty miles, sometimes at the rate of twice that number per hour, beating the birds, and John Gilpin himself. It was a beautiful, bright afternoon, breezeless, but what a hurricane we raised! The country looks fine. The stand of cotton, though small and backward, is good. So the corn. Warm weather and genial rains will give us fine crops. The peach trees must be denuded of half their fruit or they will be broken down. 
{The Messenger does not appear to have been in the locomotive inventory when the War started. The Experiment, which was in inventory, may have been of the same design.}