SAL Mainline north of Raleigh, N.C : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

My question is this: Why is the ex-SAL main north out of Raleigh, N.C. still intact to Norlina, NC? Is there significant business in the area? When was the SAL mainline north of Norlina abandoned and ripped up? Why was the ex-ACL mainline chosen to remain intact to the east while the old SAL was abandoned? Was it the condition of track or the terrain, perhaps? Thanks....

-- Frank Anders (, May 26, 1999


As Mr. Goolsby says, the tracks are pretty weed grown within the last three miles into Norlina, but right in downtown,strangely enough the last 75 yards or so of the line had been repaired for some reason; there was fresh ballast, new ties and the track looked as if it had some alignment work. I took a photo of it in August, 1999. Also, I saw several CSX vehicles parked just off the road near the tracks downtown as well. It left me to wonder why they would nurture this small segment of track leading to n

-- Andrew Callo (, February 12, 2000.

The story around Norlina at the time was that the SAL bridge over Lake Gaston needed to be replaced, and the anticipated cost significantly exceeded the profits being made on the line.

-- Jim Hecht (, February 10, 2000.

The 3 rail road bridge`s One Taylor Creek North Of La Crosse, Second Great Creek south of Alberta, the last Nottoway River North Alberta.

-- R. L. Ezell Son of La Crosse SCL Rail Road Forman (labigbuck@Yahoo.Com), December 15, 1999.


-- V.L.LEWIS (, May 27, 1999.

When Hays Watkins created CXST, he wanted as much of the S-Line pulled up as possible. That portion between the NC/VA state line and Petersburg had no business at all and was removed except for a few miles South of Collier Yard that was kept for storing ribbonrail trains in the mid 1980's. The right of way was owned by CSXT rather than being easements and was kept because the main Sprint fiber-optics cable runs along it. The bridge over Lake Gaston at the State line is still intact, but has a definite sag in the middle pier. One of the biggest revenue generators has started up in the last few years. This is a wood chip mill which sends several wood chip cars a day to the former Federal Paper Board paper mill near Wilmington.

-- richard t. lasater (, May 27, 1999.

I drove along most of the Raleigh-Norlina route May 26. It is in use up to the Georgia-Pacific plant about 3 miles south of Norlina. Tracks are still in place to Norlina but were pretty weed-grown. This segment of the old SAL Raleigh-Petersburg line was kept in place primarily to serve the large rock quarry at Greystone, where the RR gets many carloads of ballast and trap rock. There are also a good many other industries along the way. Through service ended on the line in 1986 and I believe track removal from Norlina to Petersburg was completed in 1987. At the time CSX felt that all through business could be handled adequately on the ex-ACL "A line," which is much straighter and flatter. As posted elsewhere here, CSX and the states of Va. and NC are talking about possibly reopening the line as part of an Amtrak high speed rail route between Washington and Charlotte, but it will likely be a good many years before this happens.

-- Larry Goolsby (, May 27, 1999.

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