ACL/SAL ATLANTIC COAST LINE/SEABOARD AIR LINE IN AND AROUND CHARLESTON, SC

SCRS Jan 3, 2009

  1. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    They were jointed...The spike plates had two spikes on the inside, and one on the outside...At the joints, the were four spikes per plates if that makes sense...
     
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  2. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The roll year was embossed onto every rail at least once in its 39' length. Look carefully along the web, perhaps with a flashlight. Might have to rub with a wire brush to clear some rust. Other information will be the name of the rolling mill.
     
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  4. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    Will do! Thanks!
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Charleston, SC's Union Station, built 1907 to serve the SOU and ACL and burned in 1947. The station was built downtown and so required time-consuming backup moves to access. Upon the fire, both roads chose to build substitute facilities on their mainlines. The SAL was a brief tenant, building its depot elsewhere. (see following post).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    This was the SAL's Charleston, SC depot located on Grove Street, long gone.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    HardCoaler,

    Yesterday I went to the "New" Amtrak station in North Charleston. I emphasize "North Charleston" because the previous ACL/SCL/Amtrak station had "Charleston" on the signs...There was "North Charleston" signage everywhere, which is fine because thats where the station is located. The previous station was built/opened in 1957. It was unremrarkable architectually speaking, but functional. All the latest articles in the paper could focus on was the two segregation era waiting rooms. FWIW, the former Norfolk Southern/Southern passenger depot has been spruced up (new metal roof)...I've never been there, but will go soon...
     
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  8. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    I went and checked the little spur off the A-Line in Moncks Corner, used mostly to park Mx equipment/crews. Some of these rails were rolled in 1914! Thats incredible to me...I'm guessing the line was laid in early 20th Century...Will try to find some old pics/maps of Moncks Corner and try to narrow down...
     
  9. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    As heavier rail was deployed on main lines, railroads often lifted older mainline rail and used it elsewhere in lesser service in yards, spurs and even passing sidings, so these rails could have been originally used anywhere on the ACL. Back in the days before continuous welded rail, mainline rails were also sometimes lifted, spun 180 Deg. and re-laid to as to get maximum life from the rail, evenly wearing the ball on both sides.
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    When the 1921 90# rail in the photo was replaced, it went to the yard and replaced 75# rail laid down sometime 1912-1920. Rail on branch lines can last over a hundred years if it's maintained.
     
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  11. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    I bet thats exactly what happened in this case...
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Another jointed rail fun fact is illustrated in this photo I took some years ago. Note how the jointbar nuts and bolts alternate their orientation with three bolts showing on each side of the rail. This is done for reason of improved safety, assuring that if a derailment occurs and a flange drops off the rail, no matter which side it falls on, it won't shear off all of the bolts and the joint will remain intact.

    In my career I was once responsible for 14 Miles of plant railroad and our track maintenance contractor schooled me on this neat bit of trivia.

    2015-05-01 Rail Joints - for upload.jpg
     
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  13. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    When they are in the middle of a replacement project and a train is scheduled, they have to join two different rail sizes, in this case 115# to 90#.

    Also as Hardcoaler said, they alternate bolt patterns.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. NCHS83

    NCHS83 TrainBoard Member

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    Check this Out...Recently I have noticed in the middle of the consist (A-Line), there will be a single locomotive with another string of freight cars behind same. Is anyone else seeing this?
     
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  15. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    We have been seeing this on the K&A and W&A lines into Atlanta lately as well.
     
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  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Is this usually seen on long, heavy road trains? If so, it's likely that CSX is rolling out greater use of Distributed Power. NS admits that they're new to the DP game and will expand their use too as they gain experience with it. DP has found greater use as railroads embrace PSR (Precision Scheduled Railroading) which prescribes fewer, but much longer trains.
     
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  17. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    In some cases two trains will be joined into a single train at the originating yard. The second train will have its power placed in the the middle of the long double train as DPU without a crew. Then the two trains will be split at an intermediate yard and continue to two separate destinations. This saves the labor cost of needing two crews for the first part of the run.

    Amtrak does this with the westbound Empire Builder out of Chicago. The Empire starts as a single train, which is then split in Spokane, WA with the front half going to Seattle. Power is added to the second half which then goes on to Portland, OR. The eastbound Empire starts as two trains, one from Seattle and the other from Portland. The two trains are joined in Spokane and continue to Chicago as a single train, leaving the Portland train's power in Spokane.
     
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  18. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Good point Hytec. In a different twist, NS is combining trains as segments within longer trains in my region, sans locomotives inserted within the train. As an example, NS runs a daily train for BMW to and from Greer, SC and the Port of Charleston, SC and it's sometimes a component within a much larger train. (Fun Facts: BMW has invested $10 billion in its upstate South Carolina plant since it opened in 1994. The site employs 11,000 and produces 1,400 cars a day, about 45% of which are exported. That amounts to a lot of auto racks! (y))
     
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  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It is kind of a pain in the neck operation. For trains 7 and 27, a lot faster getting split. But if either 8 or 28 is somehow delayed arriving at Spokane, bleh. The wait and then the switching to get them combined. *Sigh* Likely the same problem with CSX.
     
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  20. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I wasn't aware that Amtrak worked this kind of think in the Pacific Northwest. Interesting! I think Amtrak continues a similar process in Florida today, a legacy of when the SAL and ACL operated their Florida services, with southbound trains being separated in Jacksonville and sections moving beyond to Miami on the east coast and Tampa/St. Petersburg on the Gulf side.
     
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