Questions about lines in Durham, NC : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I'm moving to Durham this summer and, while scouting out apartment locations, I visited the Amtrak station. Located on the opposit side of the station and the NS tracks is a bridge that has "SEABORD AIR LINE" written on it. The trac is gone but it looks like it used to carry a siding into some tobacco warehouses. Is this part of the old Durham & Southern or the S-line? What portions of the former SAL trackage in Durham remain in service and can anyone give a description of CSX ops in the area? I have a road map that shows the various lines in town but I'm just a little confused as to which is D&S and which is S-line and what remains in

-- Michael Stafford (, March 27, 2000


After reading this post, (specifically the answer about the ROW that is now covered up by Falls Lake), I decided to see if I could find any info or pics about the line that ran up thru Creedmoor (which also happens to be looking to buy a house!).

Not a whole lot, but I came across the following:

After contacting the website administrator, I found out that this is (was) indeed part of that line. He couldn't give me a date as to when it was taken, but it was cleared for the Falls Lake project, and would today be under water. was somewhat useful, too. I pulled up Creedmoor, and you can make out part of the old ROW. BTW, when was Falls Lake "built"? When was the last train up thru Creedmoor? When were the tracks pulled?

Brian Crase Raleigh, NC

-- Brian Crase (, June 11, 2000.

The bridge near the current AMTRAK station was on the SAL switch lead into the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. plant. According to author Boyd in his 1923 book "The Story of Durham", this track was once known as the "Moonlight Line" because it was laid under the cover of darkness from East Durham to give the locally owned Durham & Northern RR access to the Duke tobacco factories, which were served only by the Richmond & Danville RR (predecessor of the Southern Rwy). The R&D was very jealous of its monopoly and and brought in a work train to tear out the D&N track which was actually built on the R&D's right of way. The D&N responded by pulling up its own train filled with armed employees and locals who stopped the R&D crew from removing the track. Shots were traded between the two groups and a stalemate developed. A local judge finally issued a restraining order to prevent the R&D from destroying the D&N track. The D&N was ultimately allowed to pay the R&D rent and kept the line.

-- Richard Lasater (, April 06, 2000.

CSX operates a Monday-Friday daylight switcher from Apex that does work in the East Durham area. It uses a very short remnant of the former Durham Branch toward Creedmore to work some industries there. When I used to work Amtrak's Carolinian, it was almost a daily thing to be delayed at the diamond at East Durham by the switcher's arrival around 11:00 AM. Of additional interest (if you're a NS fan) is that their East Durham Yard is adjacent (and actually forms a wye) to the Durham Branch stub, so there is usually something to see.

-- Doug Riddell (, March 30, 2000.

Michael...You're correct...the tracks served the warehouses. The SAL access to Durham was a branch off the S-Line in Henderson that went through Oxford and Creedmoor and entered East Durham (near Hwy 98 and Miami Blvd). Its partially covered now by Falls Lake, but north of the lake the ROW is easy to find. The D&S ran south from around Angier Ave and paralled Hwy 55 (it crosses under I-40 near Lowes Grove) and continued south to Apex, where it met the S-line, Holly Springs, Fuquay and to Dunn, where it met the ACL. CSX access to Durham is from Apex. Although I grew up there, its been a long time since I've lived in Durham, so I don't know about CSX operations there, although I suspect they're minimal. I hope you enjoy NC!

-- Rick White (, March 27, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ