Red Springs & Northern purchased by Foundationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread
The Red Springs & Northern Railroad, former ACL trackage from Parkton, NC ("A" Line MP 227.6)12.5 miles SSW to its present terminus at Red Springs, was purchased this week by the Red Springs & Northern Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation had been negotiating with the former owner, Advancement, Inc., of Lumberton, NC, for several months to finalize the deal. Closing took place Monday afternoon, December 20, 2004 in Fayetteville.
The group plans to begin restoration of the line to FRA Class 1 specifications, and hopefully to begin limited tourist operations within the next year. Parkton is fortunate to still have its original depot adjacent to CSX in the middle of the village. CSX transferred ownership of the historic building to a local historical group about a year ago. A "tea 21" grant has been received to permit extensive restoration of the building to proceed.
This line is the remaining 12.5 mile portion of the original Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway line from Fayetteville, NC to Bennettsville, SC which was acquired by ACL, probably in 1894. The line last saw regular freight traffic more than 10 years ago, but has been watched over and kept open by Railcar Operators of the Carolinas, a NARCOA sanctioned group of motorcar operators. They've kept the brush cut back and the line sprayed, and generally kept things in order.
The idea of trying to save the line and develop it as a museum/tourist railroad emerged in the early months of 2000, and led to the formation of the Foundation, which is comprised of a number of interested local folks, including civic leaders and railroad buffs, as well as members of the motorcar community.
There is the possibility of limited freight service on the line, probably involving extruded aluminum and/or propane gas. Wood chips and grain are also a possibility.
The Foundation recently obtained a 128 ton FM switcher from the NC Ports Railway. The locomotive is located at Wilmington, but is on roller bearing trucks, and can thus be transported by rail. In addition, they have ownership of a GE 80 ton switcher located on the old B&MRR in Beaufort, NC. In addition, a private individual has agreed to permit use of his 25 ton GE on the line. Various other equipment, including motorcars, trailers, rail lifters, a tie extractor/inserter, and lots of hand tools have been acquired.
Insurance has been obtained to cover volunteers working on the restoration of the line, and a $10,000 private grant has been obtained for an initial purchase of ties.
Volunteers are going to be needed. The Red Springs & Northern Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) organization.
-- Pete Wenk (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 21, 2004