Myrtle Beach area operations : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

While on a trip to Myrtle Beach this past weekend, I noticed a rather weedy single track that led from Conway SC to the Myrtle Beach area. (roughly paralleling US Hy 501) My SPV Atlas identified the trackage as ex ACL, with latter day ownership from Conway to MB being "Waccamaw RR". From Conway north to a connection at Chadbourn NC with the old Wilmington-Florence mainline (now gone eastward to Wilmington)is labled Carolina Southern RR. Although the tracks extend east of the intercoastal waterway (bridge is still in place) as they near MB proper, the Atlas shows everything east of the canal as abandoned, and it sure looked to be. Can anyone shed any light on the history of this trackage and it's modern day incarnation ? Pre-ACL history?, Traffic levels today? Ever any passenger operations to the shore?

-- Greg Hodges (, March 12, 2001


Having not been to Myrtle Beach for a nunber of years, I'm not sure if the old lift span over the Intercoastal Waterway still exists, but it was hit by a freight train one night while in the raised position. As it turns out, the line from there west was absolutely flat with no road crossings--so flat and deserted in fact that the all-night local's crew used to set an alarm clock in the locomotive cab as they rambled east at 10 MPH, just in case they dozed en route (not a practice endorsed by the railroad or railroaders, by the way.) You guessed it, the alarm clock didn't go off one night and their ACL GP7 rammed the structure. As I was told by the old railroaders with whom I worked (and I won't mention any names, understandably), the engineer confessed that he had fallen asleep, while the rest of the crew, ill-advisedly claimed to have been wide awake, but were distracted from their duties. The engineer was put in the street for 30 days, returned to work, and retired from the railroad some years later. The rest of the crew was fired--for lying.

-- Doug Riddell (, March 16, 2001.

This is a posting for Leon Butler:

The line to MB was ACL. Line Conway-Myrtle Beach was sold by Seaboard System to Horry County and was operated as the Horry County Railroad. Then this was sold and became the Waccamaw Coast Line Railroad. Line from CSX at Mullins to Conway became the Mid-Atlantic Railroad, then later was sold and was renamed Carolina Southern. Carolina Southern now operates the entire line Mullins-Myrtle Beach.

A tourist train had been planned for the WCL but was never implemented. The Carolina Southern hauls coal and rocks primarily with occasional lumber flats.

Plans are now underway to restore the old brick MB depot with trains soon running over the intracoastal waterway bridge. There is no passenger service, however the CS does on occasion run 2 or 3 passenger cars to give free train rides to school kids and other interested groups.

Leon Butler ACL and SAL Hist Soc. 1011 Third Ave. Conway SC 29526

-- Larry Goolsby (, March 12, 2001.

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