ACL/SCL Passenger Stations : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Did ACL/SAL/SCL have any standard design when it came to its passenger stations? Something unique about them that if you saw a picture of one you would immediately know it was an ACL/SAL/SCL station.


-- John Buckley (, February 06, 2002


Here are a few ACL and SAL standard designs and their associated characteristics. Subject to revision as more data turns up.


Std. No.2 Design – Design seems to have evolved from the depots constructed between Richmond and Petersburg VA (ex. Carson VA). The No.2’s were most commonly found between VA and SC although one FL example (Trenton) is known. Most prominent identifying features: board and batten siding although there are a few with novelty siding; belt rail running the circumference of the building – usually just below the window sills; rectangular bay, gabled dormer common; dimensions – 24 feet wide with lengths varying from 100+, 88, 60, 50, to 40. Early years depots had simplified trim on the gabled ends. Numerous examples exist (Fair Bluff NC, Ravenel SC, Lucama NC)

Std. No.2 modifications/variations – The design was tweaked whereby the width was increased to 30 feet and a rounded bay (3 walls of bay do not intersect at a right angle) with an open gable, the belt rail trim seems to have been dropped. (Known examples included Ridgeland SC, Walterboro SC (old)). Lake Waccamaw is an excellent example of a smaller version of this variation.

Many No. 2s were enlarged by the addition of either elongated passenger facilities or L-shaped passenger facilities. Characteristics include novelty siding, dormers, straight eve support brackets. Examples of the elongated version include Elloree SC and Kelford NC. Examples of the L-shaped version include Mount Olive NC, Smithfield NC, and Wallace NC.

ACL/ICC Class W-2 Passenger Station – Elongated wooden passenger station. Novelty siding, rectangular bay common. Bargeboards located under gabled ends. Metal “dragon teeth” located on roof ridge, separate waiting rooms for women and men. Rounded bay on passenger end of depot (ladies waiting room). Jim Crow facilities and baggage room located on opposite side of bay. Known examples include Scotland Neck NC, Chadbourn NC, Hartsville SC, and Mullins SC (old).

“1920’s Design” – Have not yet been able to confirm a number/descriptive designation for this style. Overall these depots seem more compact than the Std. No.2s. There are more variations with this design. Both novelty siding and some board and batten were commonly used; more windows than No.2 style depots; louvered vents on the gabled ends (half circle, rectangular or five sided); either symmetrical or asymmetrical roofs (overhangs on front and rear of building either the same or shorter on rear); rectangular or rounded bays. Gabled dormer over the bay is common. Seem to recall eve supports were straight and not elaborate. Examples include Cross City FL, Palmdale FL, Eutawville SC. Several of the depots on the Perry Cut-off seem to fall under this design.

Brick depots – Several styles are known. Note that the ACL often used a Flemish bond when laying bricks. That means bricks were laid in alternating fashion with the long axis of one brick being parallel to the wall (as normally seen) and the next brick laid perpendicular so that only the end of the brick is visible. That brick was often a darker contrasting color that gave the wall a salt n pepper look– very attractive. Due to the number of styles used the best way is to provide locations and describe each style.

Kingstree SC/Whiteville NC/Dunn NC – stuccoed brick depots with eave supports very similar to the Std. No. 2s, rounded bays, and arched openings on the freight warehouse.

Four Oaks/Walterboro (new)/Holly Hill – brick depots with rectangular bays, simplified eave supports, and a concrete “wainscoting” below the window that was wider than the overlying brick wall.

Wilson NC/Beaufort SC (C&WC Rwy)/N. Charleston SC (old) – these depots had an elaborately shaped brick facade on each end of the building – design was also used in FL but stuccoed. Hard to describe but easily recognizable once you see it.

Marion SC/Dillion SC/Mayesville SC/Bennettsville SC – brick depots with rectangular bay and large gabled dormer. Smaller gabled dormers located over the passenger waiting rooms and passenger end of the depot. Metal “dragon teeth” trim located along roof ridge.

ACL Mission Style Depots – I haven’t seen these so I’m uncomfortable offering any comments. Hopefully someone can fill in the missing details on these depots. Common in Florida.


Plant System Depots – Several styles were used on the Plant System. Usually characterized by either asymmetric roofs with longer overhang trackside or normal symmetrical roof with equal overhangs. On the majority of Plant System depots the roof and freight platform were extended to create a covered platform. The most common feature of this design is the rounded bay window and board and batten siding. SF&W Rwy. depots at Climax GA/Iron City GA/Green Pond SC/Folkston GA have “scalloped” siding between the support posts on the covered platform (if present) and on the end eave supports. The Plant System depots at Sylvester GA and Willacoochee GA had massive symmetrical roofs that almost dwarfed the main structure. Ludiwici GA and Argyle GA are good examples of Plant System depots with asymmetrical roofs.

AB&C Depots – Novelty siding on passenger/office-rectangular bay window with board and batten siding on freight warehouse section. Most depots had a gabled dormer over the bay window. Most significant identifying features of a standard AB&C depot are the Ludiwici tile roof and the octagonal tower attached to the passenger waiting room. Examples include Woodland GA and Ideal GA.

C&WC Depots – Somewhat similar to the ACL Std. No.2 but may have been derived from a C of GA design. C&WC depots have rounded bays with angled wainscoting inset into the bay walls below the windows. Depots have an open gable over the bay. Absence of eave supports common. Depots usually lack a belt rail below the windows but typically have a trim board located on the wall beneath the gabled ends of the depot. Board and batten siding is most common although examples of C&WC depots with novelty siding. Examples include Owings SC, Brunson SC, Martin SC.

CF&YV Depots – Many of the surviving depots on the Wilmington-Sanford NC line (former CF&YV) have a couple of features that separate them from the other ACL standard depots hence the CF&YV designation. Main identifying feature is the multiple triangular shaped eave supports used to support the roof overhang. A trim board oriented parallel to the intersection of the roof overhang and wall, and located at the base of the eave supports was present on the several of these depots. The eave supports/trim caused the freight warehouse doors to be reduced in height on some CF&YV depots in comparison with the typical ACL depot. Examples included Atkinson NC, Garland NC, Steadman NC, and Sanford NC.


Note: The SAL seems to have razed the majority of its older standard design depots in favor of brick depots or “custom jobs” specifically tailored for a given location and traffic level.

SAL Std. No.2/3 Depots: Novelty siding; open dormer over a rectangular bay; one or two warehouse doors per side – none on the end; some had eave supports – some didn’t; diamond shaped shingles, plans for Sulphur Springs FL depot in RMC. Examples in Estill SC, Kingsland GA, and Clarkton NC.

SAL Std. No.4 Depots: 1930’s design – very spartan looking; novelty siding; smaller than the No.2/3 design; small platform located by freight house door. Plans in RMC.

SAL Brick Depots: Two main styles noted. The passenger version was constructed of red brick with a gabled dormer over a rectangular bay. Three arched windows located in the dormer with the center window being larger than the two flanking windows. Also three arched windows on the end of the passenger section of the depot. Tile roofs. Examples: Elberton GA, Darlington SC.

The second style common to many brick combination depots was also constructed of red brick. Depot also had a bay window with a dormer. The dormer had two rectangular windows with diamond shaped panes set within the rectangular frames. There was also a brick addition (same size as bay) on the rear side of the depot – restrooms as indicated by the high mounted rectangular windows. Tile roofs. Examples: Florence SC, Aberdeen NC, Apex NC.

SAL Mission Style Depots: As with the ACL mission style depots, I haven’t seen these so I can’t offer any comments.

-- Buddy Hill (, February 13, 2002.


-- V.L.LEWIS (, February 07, 2002.

I know of at least one new station (Bainbridge GA on the ex-ACL) that was opened after the SCL merger, and Valdosta (ex-ACL) may have been another one. There's still the question about the construction date of the modular metal/concrete canopy Lake City FL depot (on ex- SAL).

Most likely, these designs were already in the pipeline of their respective railroads prior to the merger. But with the pro-passenger SCL still buying sleepers so late in the game, it's not much of a stretch to imagine them planning and building new stations on their own.

-- BobVenditti (, February 07, 2002.

Fourth Quarter 1997

-- Larry Goolsby (, February 07, 2002.

Great..does anyone happen to know which back issue it would be?

-- John Buckley (, February 07, 2002.


Actually Buddy wrote the article...and overall excellent dissertation on the ACL standard depot. The back issue is still available....


-- Ted Strickland (, February 07, 2002.

John, SAL and ACL both had standard station designs. Larry Goolsby wrote an excellent article on ACL standard stations for Lines South a few years ago, and back issues may still be available on this site. SAL had several standard designs for wood stations and at least two standard designs for brick stations. Buudy Hill's got the information handy and should be able to help you out. As for SCL--I don't think SCL ever built one station (even the much heralded Seaboard-Coast Line passenger station in Savannah was built in 1962--prior to SCL) and didn't have a need for standard designs. Hope this helps. John Golden

-- John Golden (, February 07, 2002.

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