ACL branch Elrod to Chadbourn, NCgreenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread
At one time, there was an Atlantic Coast Line branch in North Carolina which connected Elrod (South Pembroke) with Chadbourn. Towns along this line included Raynham, Fairmont, Proctorville, Orrum, Boardman, and Evergreen. At Proctorville, there was a junction with the old Raleigh and Charleston Railroad. The segment from Elrod to Fairmont was once operated as the shortline Fairmont and Western. What is the history of this branch? When was it built and by what company, if not by the ACL? What interchange was there at Proctorville? When was the line abandoned? If abandoned in stages, any details would be appreciated. What traffic was involved, including through traffic as well as that originating or terminating on the line? What evidence still exists of it? In short, what is the detailed scoop on this line? Ed Faggart Lincolnton, NC
-- Ed Faggart (Emfag108@aol.com), December 17, 2003
Wooden depots at McDonald, Orrum, Proctorville, Evergreen, and Fairmont still exist.
-- Richard T. Lasater (Richard.Lasater@ncmail.net), December 19, 2003.
Found this bit of trivia regarding produce traffic on the Chadbourn NC Strawberry Festival page:
"Strawberry culture began in Chadbourn in 1895. The first planting of strawberries failed, but the next year six and three quarter areas (acres?-BH) of berries were planted and the grower sold berries for a value of $5,562. In 1897, six hundred thirty-two quart crates of berries were shipped from Chadbourn and in the following year, 1898, six thousand crates were shipped. This was a phenomenal increase of 1000 percent.
In 1907, the largest one day shipment of strawberries was made. One hundred eighty-railroad box carloads-36,000 crates or 1,152,000 quarts of strawberries-all of which had been harvested between sunrise and sunset was moved by rail from Chadbourn to points all over the country."
Chadbourn also served as the gateway for freight generated on the Chadbourn-Conway/Conway-Aynor/Conway-Myrtle Beach lines. Freight shipments would have included a variety of truck farm produce, some livestock, timber products, etc.
Unsure how traffic was typically routed out of Chadbourn. Could have gone "southward" to the mainline at Pee Dee, SC, or northward to the mainline via the Elrod-Chadbourn, or "northward" via the Wilmington-Contentnea line (seems out of the way for time sensitive traffic such as produce). Hopefully, someone like Mr. Sellers who worked the Richmond-Florence mainline and the branchlines in between can provide some detailed information.
-- Buddy Hill (palmettoLTD@hotmail.com), December 18, 2003.
Ed - Here are the dates I've found for the Elrod-Chadburn branch of the ACL. The initial segment to open, Boardman-Chadburn, 11 miles, was opened in 1886 as part of the WILMINGTON CHADBURN & CONWAY RR. The WC&C was acquired by the ACL in 1892. Elrod-Boardman, 21 miles, was opened by the SOUTHEASTERN RR in 1888 and was acquired by the ACL in 1898. The first abandonment was Fairmont-Chadburn, going sometime between Dec.1949 and Sept.1950. Elrod-Fairmont was sold to FAIRMONT & WESTERN RR in 1984, track abandoned in 1988 and rail taken up in July 1989. The last service on the line by ACL was a mixed train.
-- Tom Underwood (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 18, 2003.