On May 1, 1984, as part of a restructuring program, United States Steel Corporation eliminated the Rail Transportation Department and turned its former in-plant transportation functions over to a newly formed Birmingham Southern Railroad operating subsidiary called the Fairfield Southern Company.
Its duties include handling the Fairfield Works' inbound raw materials and outbound empties, making in-plant steel and scrap movements, moving "hot metal" between the blast furnace and "Q-BOP" (Basic Oxygen Process) and moving furnace waste to a dump site at Exum.
The Fairfield Southern is not an actual railroad. Trackage within limits of the Fairfield Works is owned by U.S. Steel and maintained by an outside contractor. Fairfield Southern employees are covered by United Steelworkers of America agreements.