derailments on line between Sanford and Fayetteville NC : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I live on land that runs up to the old right of way for the ACL branch line that runs between Sanford and Fayetteville in NC. While out exploring the land along the old right of way I have found pieces of metal from rail cars. specifically metal siding, vent window, piece of a coupler, a coupler pin, and other pieces. I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of any accidents or derailments that happened along this line. Also are there any photos of anykind from this branchline.

-- Brian Nalley (, July 08, 2002


I've got a newspaper photo clipping from 1969 or 1970 showing a minor derailment on this line. The photo caption says that the boxcars contained ammunition headed for Ft. Bragg and that the wreck had been caused by the rails being spread by the weight of the train. The part of the branch North of the Manchester interchange with the Cape Fear Railway at Fort Bragg was in poor shape with light rail. [This was a typical one train a day ACL NC branch line with only light local traffic.] When military traffic greatly increased as the Viet Nam War heated up, SCL started using the Sanford-Fayetteville Branch as a "back door" into Ft. Bragg from the ex-SAL main line at Sanford. The track couldn't support the weight. I remember seeing another newspaper article later which talked about the danger of the recurring derailents of ammunition cars and saying that SCL had been told by the ICC to either upgrade the track or quit shipping hazardous materials over it. Rather than rebuild the line, SCL rerouted the ammo trains and shortly thereafter filed to remove most of the line North of Manchester.

-- Richard Lasater (, July 08, 2002.

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