ACL relationship w/ Southern on Cayce, SC - Hardeeville, SC line : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I'm interested in the history of an abandoned Southern line in southwest SC, the former Cayce-Hardeeville line. Southern acquired / built this in 1900, apparently to create a route from Columbia south to Savannah, GA and points beyond (i.e. Jacksonville, etc) in direct competition with the SAL Cayce-Savannah line (former Fla. Central & Peninsular). I'm aware Southern had a trackage agreement of some kind with ACL to reach Savannah from Hardeeville via the ACL Charleston-Savannah line.

Furthermore, the Southern line in question seems to have crossed and interconnected w/ 2 other ACL or affiliated lines along the way: the ACL line (former Manchester & Augusta) at Barnwell, and the Charleston & Western Carolina at Allendale. In Barnwell at least, an old topo map clearly showed a turnout interconnecting the Southern and ACL lines (they actually crossed at different levels, the ACL being in a cut with the Southern line crossing over it. In 2001 the plate girder bridge was still there, tho both lines have been abandoned now.)

On the other hand, Southern went to apparent great trouble to build long inclines in flat coastal plain country, and a plate girder overpass just north of Estill, in order to jump over the SAL tracks rather than cross at grade level.

Also, I have learned that in 1963 Southern intervened in the ACL/SAL merger case before the ICC, requesting that the ACL lines from Hardeeville to Jacksonville be turned over to Southern outright. While my source didn't state so explicitly, this almost certainly was with the intent of continuing independent Southern service btween Columbia and Florida using the Cayce-Hardeeville section as one leg. The ICC refused and instead ordered the parties to negotiate mutual trackage agreements. (Evidently this didn't satisfy Southern, because a few miles of the Cayce-Hardeeville line was abandoned from Hardeeville to Furman by about 1966.)

The picture I am getting is of Southern and ACL entering into some sort of partnership to compete with SAL on that particular route, which apparently involved interconnections in 3 different places. Such a partnership would of course be expected to be voided by the ACL/SAL merger, potentially making it unprofitable for Southern to continue attempting to compete there, which appears indeed to have been the case.

I basically wanted to know more about this evident relationship between Southern and ACL. Particularly I was interested in finding out what ACL got from it, other than cash. One of the original ACL lines (the old 'A' line itself, if I'm not mistaken) ended in Columbia and had connections with Southern; I was wondering if the trackage agreement was mutual, and if ACL trains ever used the Southern lines between Columbia and Hardeeville to travel between Savannah and Columbia. I will also try the Southern society, but wanted to find out what is known or recalled from the ACL / SAL point of view.

-- Mitch Bailey (, February 12, 2004

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