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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC

Date: 11/16/01 14:42
Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC
Author: RockIsland4310

What is the railfanning like in or around columbia,SC. Any good spots and does the NS & CSX cross in town. how many trains can one see in a day.

Date: 11/16/01 19:50
RE: Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC
Author: cs

Dont know the amount of trains but I think it is quite a lot. The best place in town if you want to let them come to you is Divine Junction. Right in the middle of town. CSX and NS cross here. NS out of Andrews Yard to the southeast, CSX out of Cayce Yard to the west heading to points North, South, East and West. Andrews Yard is pretty much inaccesible, CSX Cayce Yard is easy to fan as the main road goes right over the mouth of the yard on both ends. Neighborhoods are not the best but I have never felt too uncomfortable. Attached is a map I got from a defunct website a long time ago. Hope it helps.

Date: 11/16/01 19:54
RE: Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC
Author: cs

Here is a sattelite map of the same area. I circled Divine Junction. Basically, if you are anywhere in downtown Columbia you'll run into RR tracks at some point and more than likely you'll hear or see a train.

Date: 11/16/01 20:39
RE: Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC
Author: nightrain

While not really in Columbia, I've always thought it would be neat to get a picture of a southbound train pulling the sand hill going up to Gaston, SC.

From Gaston, you have a pretty good view of Columbia in the background. This is the old CSX "S" line and goes from Cayce(Columbia) to Savannah.

Trains aren't that frequent. Usually only one or two southbound coal trains a day on this line. There is also a local F756/F757 that travels this route.

Coal trains are usually pulling this hill around 8 mph or less down to a stall(sometimes you can pull the hill at 10 mph depending on tonnage and how good of power you've got).

What would be really neat, would be to get a picture of a snowy day with Columbia in the background and the AC's chugging along pulling the hill. One problem with that would be the lack of snow!<G>

It does snow every once in a long while, but it would also require a daylight southbound train and relatively clear skies!<G>

The old CN&L line of CSX gets the most CSX trains into and out of Columbia. Trains come from Abbeville and Spartanburg from this side, and there is also a NS woodchip train that runs on the CN&L and comes from somewhere although I just don't know where!<g>

Oh, if you happen to go to a University of South Carolina football game(for instance say tomorrow against Clemson); you may see a CSX train right across the street from the Stadium on Huger street. The NS Andrews yard is pretty close by, although I don't know if it's possible to view without trespassing.

I've been told by PTI(crew taxi) that NS does not like to let them cross any crossing of their's at Andrews yard and wants them to go a few extra miles out of the way when they are transporting CSX crews to and from CSX's Andrews siding. So, if NS doesn't want the taxi service taking a shortcut across their yard, I wouldn't think they'd want railfans around either.

If you like watching yard jobs switch(how much more boring can you get??<g>), you could watch them switch at CSX's Cayce yard on State Street in Cayce.


Date: 11/16/01 20:52
RE: Q: Railfanning in Columbia,SC
Author: jch9596

nighttrain wrote:

"The old CN&L line of CSX gets the most CSX trains into and out of Columbia. Trains come from Abbeville and Spartanburg from this side, and there is also a NS woodchip train that runs on the CN&L and comes from somewhere although I just don't know where!"

I've been wanting to catch a train crosing the river near Riverbanks Zoo. (The Broad River, I think.) Columbia will be in the background for trains leaving Columbia, but I'm not sure if you can get under there if the zoo is not open and I'm not sure when the zoo is or is not open.

It is possible to catch some glimpes into Andrews Yard. Down ehere they kep the locomotives, you can see in from a public road. But there is no place to stop and it is clearly marked. Just ride by slowly and don't run off the road.

A couple of other places offer "windows" into the yard, but most of what you will see are cars. It's not a great place to railfan, but you may catch a CSX train coming up beside the yard.

Columbia is a nice place to railfan. It offers some interesting locales. But my luck has been that NS will have only black oil units and CSX will have only yellow noses. As I said, it may be just my luck, but I do not see much foreing power or lease units here at all.

For more information, you may want to consider Carolina Rails at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carolinarails 240 strong currently.

Joe H.
Chester, SC

Date: 11/17/01 14:50
the cockabooses.....
Author: jch9596

....should be rocking right about now! South Carolina 20, Clemson 15!

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