Red springs & Northern : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Here's an update to let this board know about the present situation at the Red Springs & Northern. This line is the remaining 12.5 mile portion of the original Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway line from Fayetteville, NC to Bennettsville, SC which was acquired by ACL, probably in 1894.

The line, which is owned by Advancement, Inc., last saw regular freight traffic more than 10 years ago, but has been watched over and kept open by Railcar Operators of the Carolinas, a NARCOA sanctioned group of motorcar operators. They've kept the brush cut back and the line sprayed, and generally kept things in order.

The idea of trying to save the line and develop it as a museum/tourist railroad emerged in the early months of 2000, and led to the formation of the Red Springs & Northern Foundation, Inc. The Foundation is comprised of a number of interested local folks, including civic leaders and railroad buffs. The Foundation was successful in negotiating a two year lease on the line in 2002.

It now appears that, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, RS&N Foundation, Inc., will acquire full ownership of the line, with closing taking place by the end of the year. Thus, the line will be saved from the scrapper.

The line has an existing interchange with CSX at Parkton, "A" Line mp 227.6, where the city government has title to the original ACL depot. The hope is to develop an operating railroad museum on the site, using the depot and initially upgrading the trackage to Class 1 or better as far as Lumber Bridge, mp 231.8 (RS&N 4.2) (there's really not much difference between class 1 and class 2, except for a significant increase in allowable operating speed). Ultimately the track to Red Springs, mp 239.7 (RS&N 12.1) will also be improved. The line continues south to a stub end at mp 240.1. The line’s four bridges are thought to be in good shape.

There is the possibility of limited freight service on the line, probably involving extruded aluminum and/or propane gas. Wood chips and grain are also a possibility.

The Foundation recently obtained a 128 ton FM switcher from the NC Ports Railway. The locomotive is located at Wilmington, but is on roller bearing trucks, and can thus be transported by rail. In addition, they have ownership of a GE 80 ton switcher located on the old B&MRR in Beaufort, NC. Various other equipment, including motorcars, trailers, rail lifters, a tie extractor/inserter, and lots of hand tools have been acquired.

Insurance has been obtained to cover volunteers working on the restoration of the line, and a $10,000 private grant has been obtained for an initial purchase of ties.

Volunteers are going to be needed. The Red Springs & Northern Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) organization.

-- Pete Wenk (, October 19, 2004

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