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cassfan3 06-15-2011 02:12 PM

Carolina Southern (?)
 
Any word on what's going on down there in Chadbourne? I've been hearing some rumors go around. I'll be working in Charleston later this summer and the drive to and from there will take my right by the CALA.

Also, any other good shortline action near Charleston?

Thanks!

nikos1 06-15-2011 03:20 PM

From what I've heard all their interesting power is either OOS or has been scrapped.

Joe the Photog 06-15-2011 08:14 PM

I believe Nick is meaning the rumors that they are shutting down or either running very infrequently. I saw someone vaquebooking about it a few weeks ago. from an outsiders point of view, it seems they have run that railroad into the ground. Literally. But I haven't heard anything concrete.

ShortlinesUSA 06-16-2011 02:18 PM

I have heard from someone I trust well that the FRA put several of the CALA's bridges out of service a few weeks ago, and they are for all practical purposes shut down. If they don't fix the bridges, all that would leave them is car storage around Mullins. I was through there a couple of weeks ago because they received a 90 car cut of BP covered hoppers for storage, and I was hoping I might catch them working. No luck, the hoppers were put away on the stub that used to be the line to Marion west of the CSX S line. Ex Yadkin Valley GP38 3617 was the only locomotive in town.

Not too much accessible shortline action around Charleston, as the SC Public Railways spends most of their time inside the fence on the downtown operation, and those at North Charleston and the former Navy Base tend to be very late day or night operations.

The East Cooper & Berkley (also an SCPR operation) runs afternoons from Charity Church to the CSX at State Junction, but the vast majority of the trip is against the light and the line pretty much has pine forest as scenery.

cassfan3 06-16-2011 05:19 PM

That unfortunately doesn't come as much of a surprise. Was the CALA still delivering coal trains to the power plant in Conway? How are they being supplied now?

Thanks for the info as always!

...I wonder how long it will be before the CLNA buys them out...if there's any business worth saving left down there...

nikos1 06-16-2011 07:31 PM

No one in their right mind would buy that line without the promise of some serious state or federal grants for trackwork, you cant run 80 car coal trains when your engines pilot is regularly scraping the rail, it just doesnt work.....

ShortlinesUSA 06-17-2011 01:12 PM

The power plant at Conway operates sporadically. It is a reserve plant, essentially, only added to the grid during times of peak demand. However, with as hot and dry as June has been so far, I suspect demand is on the rise.

The more steady traffic has been rock to the Vulcan facility at Red Oak, but that seems to have decreased substantially over the past 6 months. The economics of this line is difficult, because it is essentially about a 60 mile branchline to Conway via a very circuitous route. A direct line from Mullins to Conway would be much more sustainable with the level of traffic present.

BR549 06-18-2011 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA (Post 138663)
The more steady traffic has been rock to the Vulcan facility at Red Oak, but that seems to have decreased substantially over the past 6 months. The economics of this line is difficult, because it is essentially about a 60 mile branchline to Conway via a very circuitous route. A direct line from Mullins to Conway would be much more sustainable with the level of traffic present.

Mike, Carolina Southern hasn't handled any rock for Vulcan in years. As a matter of fact, the old Vulcan yard at Red Hill has had the rail pulled up since Vulcan set up shop on CSX's Andrews Sub at Rains, SC (just south of Mullins). The rock they've been handling was originating at Martin Marietta's quarry in Lemon Springs, NC (just south of Sanford), and taken to a sales yard at Myrtle Beach. It's sad to mention that at the time the bridges were taken out of service, Martin Marietta rock volume from Lemon Springs to Myrtle Beach via Carolina Southern was the best it had been in five years at three trains per week. Martin Marietta is not going to wait forever for Carolina Southern to get their problems fixed. If they can't get their bridges back in service, Martin Marietta is gonna walk. And that'll put the nail in the coffin.

ShortlinesUSA 06-19-2011 04:42 AM

Appreciate the correction. While looking at the S line on the Delorme before heading up to Mullins, I asked myself "What is signficant about Rains?" knowing I'd heard it. That answers that!

ShortlinesUSA 06-23-2011 08:29 PM

Carolina Southern has put out an embargo notice for the line. There are 14 bridges out of service, starting just east of Mullins near the NC state line all the way to Conway. They will still accept cars for storage around Mullins, but that is the extent of operations for this railroad for the forseeable future. G&O black GP38 3617 is at Mullins. Most other power should be in Chadbourn and possibly some in Conway. Any unit not at Mullins is essentially stranded.

AntD. 06-23-2011 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortlinesUSA (Post 138861)
Carolina Southern has put out an embargo notice for the line. There are 14 bridges out of service, starting just east of Mullins near the NC state line all the way to Conway. They will still accept cars for storage around Mullins, but that is the extent of operations for this railroad for the forseeable future. G&O black GP38 3617 is at Mullins. Most other power should be in Chadbourn and possibly some in Conway. Any unit not at Mullins is essentially stranded.

If only I could win the lotto....

Joe the Photog 06-24-2011 05:32 AM

Is that G&O power leased or bought?

ShortlinesUSA 06-24-2011 02:54 PM

They bought the GP38s from G&O, they are CALA owned. As additional info, I heard from a friend yesterday that was through Chadbourn on Tuesday. He said the only serviceable unit there was one of the GP18s. Everything else was the standard deadline power. By process of elimination, that would mean there has to be more power in Conway or along the line somewhere.

BR549 06-28-2011 01:55 AM

At least a month before the bridge in the worst condition is repaired.

ShortlinesUSA 06-28-2011 03:30 PM

Appreciate the update! It's encouraging they are working on repairs. I figured the CALA was done as soon as the embargo came out, or would sit around and wait for someone to give them money to fix the bridges.

ShortlinesUSA 08-10-2011 02:23 PM

Hearing from industry rumblings the Carolina Southern is soon to resume ops. Latest round of embargoes released does not include the CALA, so it looks like they may be back in action soon, if not already.

Joe the Photog 08-20-2011 03:21 AM

Unconfirmed, but according to a post on the Carolina Rails Facebook page, there has been at least one train to Conway here in the last few days. The post was made by a railfan who got word from a friend. If I were writing a news story, this would never stand up as confirmation, but it'll do on a railroad message board, I guess.

ShortlinesUSA 08-21-2011 01:22 AM

Did you not feel the bit from the guy who said CSX was taking it over was even worthy of railfan board rumor??? LOL

Joe the Photog 08-21-2011 04:21 PM

Mike, I couldn't figure out if he was serious or not. It's one of those things that you almost hope is him trying to be funny.

BR549 08-30-2011 08:29 PM

I don't know about the status of the entire railroad, but I do have confirmation that they have been coming out on the CSX mainline in Mullins several times per week for the last few weeks. I'm not sure as to the amount of tonnage their hauling now.

ShortlinesUSA 10-26-2011 09:09 PM

Looks like the restart of operations we discussed above was very brief. The Carolina Southern is again out of operation, and things don't sound too good per this article. This line needs MAJOR work, something (in my opinion) way beyond that which could be assisted by a single county.

http://www.myrtlebeachherald.com/v2/...&MemberID=1807

Joe the Photog 10-26-2011 10:22 PM

Under that article, there is a good comment from a user about the Pippins and the way they run a railroad.

BR549 10-27-2011 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog (Post 143640)
Under that article, there is a good comment from a user about the Pippins and the way they run a railroad.

And the user who made the comment hit the nail on the head.

ShortlinesUSA 12-23-2011 02:14 PM

Latest update: No grant money from the feds. Very much an uncertain future for this shortline. The owners have made it clear they can't survive without outside assistance. Doubtful the counties have the level of funding to support what it would take to get this line running again.

TheOldMan 09-28-2012 08:17 PM

I was in Nichols and Mullins, South Carolina two weeks or so ago for the first time in close to 3 years.

One black Carolina Southern locomotive on their track, before the stop sign gate before the right angle crossing of CSX.

The MarionCounty railroad was entirely clear of cars, but grown up in weeds, except at the turnout into a farm supply company.

In the 1990s up until my last times in the area, there were 3 pieces of rolling stock on that siding: an Old Dominion passenger car, a blue caboose, and a blue machine that looked like a locomotive wit no cab. This odd machne was similar to another one that was kept at the New South Forrest yard in Red Hill until B&A, d.b.a. CSRR, bought out Waccamaw Coastline.

In the years before my last times in the area, the Old Dominion passenger car vanished, and part of the siding was taken up.

For a number of years, the turnout at the farm supply company had the only noticeable switch stand on the Marion County railroad. The siding at the closed lumber company was also visible, but no switch stand.

On my trip to the area 2 weeks ago, the blue caboose was the only rolling stock at the farm supply company, and on the entire Marion County railroad.

The track around that area had been cleared of weeds, and there were some wheels with axles on the track.

There were no cars on the 2 runaround tracks in Nichols.

TheOldMan 09-28-2012 08:19 PM

B&A d.b.a. CSRR, Latest News
 
Here is a link to the latest news on B&A d.b.a. CSRR, from the Whiteville, NC newspaper.

http://www.whiteville.com/news/commi...a4bcf887a.html

Joe the Photog 09-28-2012 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOldMan (Post 159929)
This odd machne was similar to another one that was kept at the New South Forrest yard in Red Hill until B&A, d.b.a. CSRR, bought out Waccamaw Coastline.

It's amazing what you can find on Railpictures taken by me.

[photoid=34825]
I don't know the full story behind this one. You mentioned a similiar one on the WCL. They did have a NW2 locomotive that is now not too far from where you were over in Rains, SC, though it's been repainted. There are several shots of it on line in WCL-purple as well as the new paint job, though I myself have never actually seen it.

The Marion County Railway is abandoned, though as you saw, some parts remain somewhat intact.

Joe the Photog 09-28-2012 10:00 PM

Oh, and another former Wacamaw Coast Line motor got a little time on national TV earlier this week. If you catch NBC's "Evolution" (or is it "Revoolution? I can't remember.) on a rerun or online, there is a sword fight early in the show that takes place in a derelict railyard. That railyard is the Carolina Southern yard in Chadbourn, NC and at one point they show the WCL GP18 #943, with her bad nose job, fading paint and stewn with weeds, as well as another unit or two behind her and some rail cars.

Look for another scene on that show soon with Hampton & Branchville 2-8-0 on loan from just up the road from me, the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro.

TheOldMan 09-29-2012 05:31 PM

Joe, thanks for the photos. I did take some video footage a number of years back at the CSX grade crossing of highway 76 when I was in Mullins: 2 CSR locomotives returning from leaving a train on the CSX runaround track, and a CSX thru train.

I had some footage at that same location of a CSX thru train of high bulkhead hopper cars, but haven't been able to find it lately. Maybe I accidently recorded over it.

I do plan to visit the Tobacco Museum in the Mullins depot buildinig when I have the opportunity.

Joe the Photog 10-01-2012 06:59 PM

Here is a link to an article in the Myrtle Beach paper about the railroad's future. They held a public hearing and asked that the owners of the railroad not be there. Mr. Pippins says he'd consider selling. The counties want service back!

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/201...ds-future.html

TheOldMan 10-01-2012 07:15 PM

Joe, thanks for the link. I bought the hard copy of the Sun-News yesterday, but had not found the story online today, so you've provided me with what I was looking for.

I was glad to see the comments, but the "additional photos" promised in yesterday's front page story were just the photos in the "continued on Page" page.

In that front page photo, I wonder why the boxcars and caboose have been backed up onto the West Kingston Lake bridge?

When I was last in the area, Saturday of going on two weeks ago, The tracks at the depot building were empty of rolling stock, although a passenger car was visible past the station building, toward the West Kingston Lake trestle.

Also, I discovered this story, which seems to be combined with an opinion piece, in SC Hotline.

http://schotline.us/solving-the-caro...lroad-problem/

BR549 10-28-2012 07:26 PM

First Committee Meeting
 
http://media.iadsnetwork.com/edition...a16a68a910.pdf

http://media.iadsnetwork.com/edition...dfa817e813.pdf

Here are links for the 2 pages of the October 10 issue of the Tabor-Loris Tribune which headline the first committee meeting with the Carolina Southern Railroad.

TheOldMan 10-29-2012 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BR549 (Post 160598)
http://media.iadsnetwork.com/edition...a16a68a910.pdf

http://media.iadsnetwork.com/edition...dfa817e813.pdf

Here are links for the 2 pages of the October 10 issue of the Tabor-Loris Tribune which headline the first committee meeting with the Carolina Southern Railroad.

Thanks for the links, BR549. It seems to me that the editors of the Columbus County newspaper are much more interested in the railroad than the Myrtle Beach Sun News editors are, although the Sun-News dos eventually catch up with the quicker to report the story Columbus County newspaper.

I long for the Good Old Days of the mid 1980s, when the late Jerry Ausband, was the Editor of the Sun News, and every conceivable detail of the local railroad was reported in the moswt minute detail.

Driving along U.S. 501, one day I noted some ties along the railroad in Myrtle Beach.

The following day, the Sun News had a report on the tie replacement, with quotes from a SCL official, who said the ties were used yard ties, rather than new ties, since SCL was planning to file for abandonment of the Conway-Myrtle Beach track.

Also, there was an editorial in the Sun-News, saying that by installing used ties rather than new ones, SCL was strengthening their case for abandonment.

All of these reports and editorials on the railroad were a good motivation to get me out of bed in the morning, and get the day's Sun News to read of the latest railroad developments.

Sad to say, those days are Gone Forever.

R.I.P. Jerry Ausband. Your great newspaper coverage of the local railroad will Live Forever in the Garden of my Dreams and my Memories.

TheOldMan 10-29-2012 04:35 PM

So far, I had not seen any Loris Tribune reports on the railroad. The one in the links above is very good.

Joe the Photog 10-29-2012 09:51 PM

I don't understand what kind of partnership with SC Public Railways he's expecting.

TheOldMan 10-30-2012 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog (Post 160673)
I don't understand what kind of partnership with SC Public Railways he's expecting.

Neither do I, Joe but maybe we will find out something after the next committee meeting.

At one time, Horry County had a proposed operation of the Conway to Myrtle Beach track by the SC Public Railways Commission, withe the provision that the county would have to make up for any losses if that line ran in the red, but that proposal was never carried out.

TheOldMan 11-08-2012 05:24 PM

Yesterday, I went to the third meeting of the Interstate Railroad Committee, the first meeting I have attended, in Loris, South Carolina.

The meeting lasted from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM.

I did get a 9 page copy of the minutes of the last meeting, and found the Committee members all friendly to me, one of a few non-Committee members attending.

In the attendance log from the last meeting, there was one person listed as "Interested Citizen," along with other non-members.

Yesterday, there were a lot of newspaper reporters, probably as many as four.

Most of the meeting was held in executive session.

Joe the Photog 11-08-2012 08:39 PM

Any talk about the SC Publi Railway possibility?

TheOldMan 11-09-2012 04:18 PM

Joe, I don't remember much if any talk about the Public Railways in the public discussion, although there was a fair amount in the munutes of the last meeting, where the South Carolina public RR commission was described as a "holding company," and it during that meeting an official of that agency was asked if it could operate in North Carolina, and the answer was affirmitive.

Don't have the minutes with me to give exact quotes now, but can do so later.

ShortlinesUSA 11-12-2012 05:04 AM

Interesting they descibed SCPR as a "holding company." I really wouldn't consider them as such. I guess if you consider a state agency that comes in and buys a line as a "holding company," SCPR would qualify.

If SCPR does step in, I would see them as buying the line outright and then either operating it themselves or contracting an operator. Is anyone aware they own some of the trackage the Pickens RR operates? This would be more along the lines of how I could see them being involved as a "holding company."


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