South Carolina railroad in swamp

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  • Member since
    January, 2010
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South Carolina railroad in swamp
Posted by fightingwolf18 on Sunday, January 24, 2010 12:52 AM
My family and I went to Edisto Island a couple years ago. On the way to our beachhouse, I noticed a small railroad bridge, intact with tracks, in the middle of the swamp. The only vegetation appeared to be swamp grass of some kind. I looked around on the internet, and it seems that this track may belong to the Southern Railroad. I've wanted to check this place out for a long time. Is it still in use? Where does it go?
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Posted by Beach Bill on Monday, January 25, 2010 8:57 AM

I took a look at Steam Powered Video's book Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America: Southeast by Mike Walker.   The rail lines shown there that are closest to Edisto Island are all former Seaboard Coast Line. 

A line running parallel to the coast was SCL(former SAL) and ran from Dupont (in the north, near Charleston), through Limestone, Stono, Meggett (also shown on some maps as Meggetta), Barrelville, and Fenwick.   Additonally, a SCL (former Atlantic Coast Line) track ran southeast from the main line at Ravenel to Meggett, where three different branches went to Goshen, through Drainage to Yonges Island, and to Gannon.   None of these lines are shown as actually making it as far as Edisto Island proper.

That map does not indicate date of abandonment.  I have a May, 1967 Official Guide which shows Meggetta, SC being served by both ACL and SAL.  That source does not show Yonges Island, SC or Gannon, SC as stations, nor is there a table showing those spurs or branches.

Tom Fetters' book Logging Railroads of South Carolina shows a map (page 41) of this area.  It shows  those ACL branches in the Meggets (as spelled in this source) area.  Additionally, it shows an Atlantic Coast Line branch running toward the ocean from Barrelsville to Legare, Samking, Puck, and Slanns.  Those "towns" do not show on a current South Carolina roadmap, but Barrelsville was located just south of Adams Run on route 174.   This branch appears to be in the general area of today's Route174, and may be the source of the track you saw.   

Hope this helps.   Bill

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. William Lloyd Garrison
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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, January 25, 2010 6:11 PM

Beach Bill
That map does not indicate date of abandonment.  I have a May, 1967 Official Guide which shows Meggetta, SC being served by both ACL and SAL.  That source does not show Yonges Island, SC or Gannon, SC as stations, nor is there a table showing those spurs or branches.

The October, 1944, issue of the Guide lists both Yonges Island and Gannon in the index of stations, with the notation that neither one is shown in the timetable listing of the ACL. So, these two lines were apparently abandoned after the war.

Johnny

Johnny

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Posted by LNER4472 on Monday, January 25, 2010 9:48 PM

 I have at best a passing familiarity with the area, having spent some time in 1986-1990 poking around coastal and lowcountry South Carolina and spending a couple weeks after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 rebuilding as well.  I wish I could offer more than Bill above has offered, but if naught else I second his information, having cross-checked what he said against my own maps, books, and the like.  Without precise photos, aerial/satellite/Google maps, and the like, it's probably the best answer you're likely to get.

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Posted by lawbench191 on Thursday, January 11, 2018 3:05 PM

The line you saw is most likely the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad Charleston Subdivision which ran between Charleston SC and Savannah Ga. It was pulled up right after the merger of Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line to form Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in July 1967. ACL also had an almost identical line between those locations but it had far less bridges. It is still part of CSX today. SAL also was constantly plagued by their Bridge being hit by ships in Savannah. The old SAL line was pulled up pretty fast. The ACL also had a branch line of their on Charleston to Savannah line that turned southeast to Meggats SC. It was eventually abandoned also. The SAL line and ACL crossed just northwest of Meggats. If you like to see the lines of these abandoned SC railroads in the low country of SC download Google Earth Pro and type in Abandoned Railroads South Carolina and it will show you were these lines were located.

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