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Charleston and Western Carolina Railway

Charleston & Western Carolina Railway
Locale South Carolina
Dates of operation 1896–1959
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 341 miles (549 km)

The Charleston and Western Carolina Railway (C&WC) was formed in 1896 to operate the lines of the former South Carolina Legislature had forced the railroad to give up the subsidiary lines. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) took over the C&WC in 1897 but operated it as a subsidiary until 1959 when the ACL fully absorbed it. Much of the original system is still in use by ACL successor CSX Transportation.


When the Charleston & Western Carolina Railway was created in 1896, it combined two existing railroads, the

  1. ^ a b c Prince, Richard E. (2000) [1966]. Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Indiana University Press. pp. 85–97.  
  2. ^ Wade, Jr., James H. (1993). Greenwood County and its Railroads: 1852-1992. The Museum. pp. 47–81.  


Finally, in 1896, the Charleston & Western Carolina Railway was organized to consolidate both railroads into a single entity. The result was a 341 miles (549 km) railroad network covering most of western South Carolina. In 1897, the Atlantic Coast Line took control of the C&WC and operated the railroad as an independent company until formal absorption in 1959.[1] From there, the trackage of the former C&WC moved through the merger tree, first to the Seaboard Coast Line in 1967, followed by the Seaboard System in 1983, and finally CSX Transportation in 1986. Most of the original C&WC system survives under CSX Transportation, while the remains of the former Laurens to Greenville branch survives as the Carolina Piedmont Railroad.

[1] The Central of Georgia sought to expand into the western portion of South Carolina in order to funnel traffic through their lines out of Augusta. In order to accomplish this goal, the Central leased the


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