Spur line west of Maxton, NC on former SAL

greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Located on the former Seaboard Air Line's long tangent in eastern North Carolina is the town of Maxton. I have a question with respect to a spur located nearby. Just west of the town at a point referred to as McNair is a wye. The mile post location of McNair approximately SE-274.5. Beginning there, a spur extends north from the old SAL line. Back in the eighties, a dispatcher friend down at the SCL facility in north Raleigh told me that this is referred to as the Campbell Soup Spur. Recently, while going east on the new highway 74, an overpass took me over that spur. The track appeared to have some limited use but is very grassy. However, it is kept cut of brush. What was the original purpose of this line? It seems to head toward the Laurinburg-Maxton airport. Was it build to serve some World War II air base or other facility? It should be noted that this line is west of the old ACL line from Bennettsville to Parkton which intersected the SAL in Maxton. Did the ACL have a similar branch going west to also serve whatever was at the end of the spur mentioned above? Any details on the history and current status of this spur would be appreciated. Ed Faggart Lincolnton, NC

-- Ed Faggart (Emfag108@aol.com), January 25, 2004



Maxton Airport was originally built in 1942 as an Army glider training base. It's very likely that the spur was built to serve the field. An earlier messsage suggested the spur was in service in 1939, so it's possible it was originally built to serve other purposes or perhaps the field was planned that far in advance.

A quick search of MicroSoft Terraserver shows a spur of the former SAL line approximately one mile west of the center of Maxton going directly to the airport.

John Golden O'Fallon, IL

-- John Golden (Golden1014@yahoo.com), January 27, 2004.

Ed - Regarding the SAL McNair Siding, this is what I've found. The earliest reference I have is a 1939 SAL emp TT which lists a siding at McNair, but doesn't indicate what the siding serves. A 1953 US Topo map shows the "Y" connection and a siding going north, ending south of Skyway Church Rd. It also shows Scotland County Memorial Hospital being on this siding. Could the siding have been put in to serve the hospital heating plant with coal hoppers? The current Mapquest web site shows the siding extending onto the grounds of the Laurenburg-Maxton Airport, north of Skyway Church Rd. It also shows a branch going west from Pell Dr and Airpost Rd, crossing Charles Craft Lane, and ending almost back to US Hwy 74. A 1990's aerial photo of this location on the TerraServer web site shows a major factory on this branch. Perhaps Campbell Soup Co.? Current staus would depend, probably, on the current status of the factory. Hope this answers some of your question.

-- Tom Underwood (tlunder@attglobal.net), January 26, 2004.

Ed: This is speculation, but in my day of working the ACL short cut in engine service circa 1942 between Rocky Mount and Florence, S.C. there was a shortline railroad we interchanged with at Rowland, N.C. just north of the South Carolina state line named the Maxton Alma & Southbound Railroad. Could it be that they had some industrial trackage in the Maxton area that was retained by CSX when the little railroad was abandoned several years ago? If I have it right, the MA&SB depot in Rowland is still intact.

-- Bill Sellers (was2nd@charter.net), January 26, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ