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Nostalgia & History > Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company


Date: 03/31/12 17:55
Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: tomd

Was back visiting family and went searching for the roadbed of the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company.

The company operated for only two years. A huge rain in 1928 wiped out their operation. I have been able to identify that they had six locomotives – two and three truck shays (there were very few shays that operated in SC at all, and they had the majority of them). The rail operation when from the mill in Pickens,S.C. (in the NW part of the state) and covered almost 35 mile of track. They also had a small mill at Estatoe, about half way up the line. At the time the mill in Pickens was the largest lumber mill in the world. The cut timber was used in making the cases for Singer Sewing Machine Company. Later, after the depression, logging resumed, but the logs were trucked mill.

There is no information known about the locomotives after the railroad shut down. They appear to have been scrapped, but where and when are unknown. A lot of the rail was pulled out and sold for scrap.

The hike is on a trail about a mile off the road. The trail goes up about as much as it goes down, to ease this, there are many stairs. I pity the poor souls who had to lug the pressure treated wood back there that were used to make those stairs to improve the trail. A little more than half way back the trail turns and you are walking on the roadbed. It is easy to tell when you are on the roadbed by the cuts and fill.

The Pickens Railroad took the cases to the Southern Railway interchange at Easley.

If you know anything about the Appalachian Lumber Company, please let me know.

If you want to know more about railroads of South Carolina, past and present, visit my website http://carolinarails.org/

1) The first stop was Pickens. As you come into town, you see Pick2 a Baldwin VO-660 on friction bearings. I believe that this loco still runs, it has been moved since I was there last. This loco was originally Singer Manufacturing #2. I went to college about 20 miles from here and did not even know that Pickens Railroad existed at that time. They used both Alco and Baldwin switchers then.
2) Chattahoochee Locomotive Company still does rebuilding at their shop in Pickens. There was a GP 10 in the shops that looked close to being finished. This may be an ex South Carolina Central (SCRF) loco. Not the best angle, but came out clearer than the other shots.
3) There was a ex SCRF loco in bad shape sitting outside the shop, waiting its turn.

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/12 18:26 by tomd.








Date: 03/31/12 18:00
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: tomd

4) View of where the roadbed joins the trail.
5) First sign that there was a railroad once located here
6) View of the roadbed, heading up to the top of the trail head.

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/12 18:22 by tomd.








Date: 03/31/12 18:06
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: tomd

As you get closer to the top of the trail head, you start to hear the Twin Falls waterfalls.

As the storm washed the railroad down the mountain, a bunch of rail was caught at the top of the falls an it has been there since 1928.

6) The rail is bent to hell, it show the power of the water.
7) My guess is that there is close to a mile of track still up there.
8) The rail is bent every which way

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains








Date: 03/31/12 18:13
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: tomd

10) The rail is bent sideways and top to bottom.
11) The rail was rolled in Dec 1889. I could not make out the name of the company but it was located in Scranton, but it began with an "L". So the rail was not new to the lumber company. I looked at many a stick, but only one was it close to being visible. i did not have a wire brush. It is rare to see rail that is over 120 years old! From the looks of it could still be used today to run a train, except a little bit of straighten would be needed. I do not know the size of the rail, but it appears to be about "4 inches tall.
12) The rail that I could read was in this bunch.

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains








Date: 03/31/12 18:20
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: tomd

For a hiker in better shape there is more of the road bed to follow, but the trail end here. I sat down, and wished that I had a recording of a shay on my iphone. That was all that I was missing to make it a really great day. There are places where you can see where the road bed, went from one side of a valley to another.

12) toward the end of the trail
13) for those that want to venture out onto the rocks you can look down from the top of Twin Falls. The falls are about 75 feet tall.
14) Here is a view from the platform at the base of the falls, looking back up. The platform is in the upper right of the above photo. The view to here is about 1/4 mile very walk

Tom Daspit
Morgan Hill, CA
Tom's Trains








Date: 03/31/12 18:48
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: BNSFer

Thank you for the pictures and the story of your hiking adventure. I am always fascinated by the "ghost railroads" out there!
Eric



Date: 03/31/12 20:06
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: RyanWilkerson

BNSFer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you for the pictures and the story of your
> hiking adventure. I am always fascinated by the
> "ghost railroads" out there!
> Eric

Ditto that! Excellent post.

Ryan Wilkerson
Fair Oaks, CA
ShastaRails



Date: 04/01/12 11:27
Re: Walikng the abandoned Appalachian Lumber Company
Author: glendale

Great photos! Thanks for the post and history lesson!



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