View Full Version : Lancaster and Chester Sold to Gulf & Ohio

Joe the Photog
08-31-2010, 06:35 PM
The word is coming down that the L&C is being sold to the G&O. Looking for more information, but about to have to pick the kids up from school.

Joe the Photog
08-31-2010, 07:39 PM
Here's more


09-01-2010, 01:55 AM
Joe, I think a lot of us knew this was coming at some point. I hate to see you lose "your" shortline, much as some of us up here felt when the Maryland Midland went to Genesee & Wyoming. One thing I will say is that I think the G&O will be a good parent to the L&C, unlike if one of the larger conglomerates had picked them up.

I see a lot of the discussion on Carolina Rails, and theories of things quickly being repainted. Let me add a point on that-- we are in uncharted territory with this acquisition by G&O. Most of the properties they've bought over the years have been small in size. I just don't see them being in a huge rush to paint everything, especially since they aren't necessarily flush with power or big leasers of power, for that matter.

Also, their fleet consists of all EMDs, end cabs are still around and even being purchased from other sources, as well as GP38s and GP40s. L&C's fleet fits nicely with this theory, so I don't foresee any big changes at all. The future could hold some interesting locomotives for the L&C, as well. G&O's Knoxville Locomotive Works is turning out some interesting projects, including slugs and possibly even some extensive rebuilds in the not so distant future.

So, while we indeed are losing one of the classic shortlines of the south, I do hold out much more hope for it under G&O's stewardship than I would under a lot of other companies out there. If some others were grabbing the reins, I'd be right there with the masses lamenting that the L&C was "gone" but I think we're entering an interesting new chapter in the life of an old shortline with this development. Time will tell.

Joe the Photog
09-01-2010, 11:58 AM
Joe, I think a lot of us knew this was coming at some point.
That is certainly true. The Springs family has literally sold everythig they've owned from the textile mills (which moved out of country) to the insurance company they had. In some ways, I'm surprised they held on this long. I had been hearing rumors for 12 to 18 months. One of them had the NS looking into it, which I would have found surprising since 30 miles of the L&C is ex-NS sold to them within the last ten years. RailAmerica was said to be sniffing around the door too.

I see a lot of the discussion on Carolina Rails, and theories of things quickly being repainted.

Lots of worst case scenarios being presented on Carolina Rails, one being that they may cut back the line east of Circle S when (not if, according to this theory) ADM closes in Kershaw. I wasn't so worried about them repainting the current L&C fleet since the paint is less than two years old on all of them. I'm less worried now that John Jones e-mailed and apparently spoke with Clauseen. The G&O will apparently own the Springmaid logo and Jones says the fleet will stay blue. As I expected, the GMTX leasors will eventually be returned and replaced by GP38-3s. I saw your last post that there is an ex-Southern GP38 in Knoxville now being rebuilt that may be the first G&O power on the L&C.

Could be an interesting time, and I do see your point that this could be a best case scenario for the L&C. I wish it could have stayed local though.

09-03-2010, 11:26 PM
Joe, it is never fun to see one of your favorite shortlines go.. Several of my favorites were assimilated by the orange and black Borg, G&W. Fortunately G&O is usually pretty good about keeping their railroads running well. They have never abandoned any of their lines, although a few of them have been sold (for better or worse).

I also saw on Carolina Rails about 2886 possibly becoming a GP38-3. 2886 was from the original Norfolk Southern, so it would be neat to see it come that much closer to its old home. G&O actually had 3 others from the old NS, but I lost track of them a long time ago.

Joe the Photog
09-08-2010, 09:15 PM
I'm kinda looking forward to the change over. Hoping the news reports are right and no one loses their job. Claussen has been quoted as saying he's keeping the blue paint. I'd like clarification on that -- whether he means he won't repaint the current fleet (and why should he? The paint is less than two years old.) or if he means any new power will come blue. (I'm doubtful on that.)

In hindsight, perhaps the worse buyer for any railroad would actually be R.J. Corman. Seems that way the L&C would lose it's color and it's name.

Joe the Photog
10-21-2010, 12:37 AM


I don't speak lawyer, but it looks like the L&C Railway is becoming the L&C Railroad, at least on paper.

10-21-2010, 01:32 PM
In lawyer-ese, though I am not one, the more important aspect is that they are becoming a limited liability company (LLC) in the process. Basically means creditors can only take assets of the company in a bankruptcy case, rather than come take the Claussens' house, cars, etc., unless some type of fraud or other willful misconduct led to the bankrupctcy filing.

These little "railway" to "railroad" or vice versa intricacies have taken place many times over the years to signify a change in ownership, and are important in the records of history, so thank you for pointing this out, Joe!

Joe the Photog
12-31-2010, 09:10 PM
I'm still looking for official word that the L&C is now G&O. Their respective web sites have not been updated. The G&O web site still lists the "press release" while the L&C site still touts the company as being "privately owned." Which I guess would still fit either way.

I did have a stupid railfan dream last night. I dreamt the G&O sent a black engine to the L&C. It was a steam engine!

01-01-2011, 02:31 PM
Just checked with a friend at G&O, and the deal closed mid-December. He was, however, unable to confirm your stupid railfan dream... :-)

Joe the Photog
01-04-2011, 07:59 PM
Just checked with a friend at G&O, and the deal closed mid-December.
I appreciate the update, Mike.
He was, however, unable to confirm your stupid railfan dream... :-)
Well, I once dreamed that the L&C had nine end cabs. This was in roughly 1995 when they had three SW900s. The next year, they started buying more end cabs and by 1998.... they had nine of them.


01-05-2011, 02:55 AM
I did have a stupid railfan dream last night. I dreamt the G&O sent a black engine to the L&C. It was a steam engine!

For what it's worth, the question of whether one might ever see steam making a visit to the other G&O lines was posed at the Railfan Weekend on the Three Rivers Rambler in September. The answer was that it has actually been discussed as a possibility. Considering G&O said they considered bidding on Milwaukee 261 when it was up for sale to run on the Yadkin Valley, I'd say steam on the L&C isn't totally out of the ballpark.

Maybe your dream isn't as weird as it sounds...

Joe the Photog
01-05-2011, 08:33 PM
You should see me. I'm dancing the jig right now.

Joe the Photog
03-09-2011, 05:09 PM
Latest I hear (second hand from a fellow railfan who spoke to some guys in Chester on the crew) is that the G&O will be sending down three GP38-3s from the Yadkin Valley to replace the GMTX leasors. No word on when this would happen. They also said the YVRR units would be painted L&C blue soon upon arriving on the L&C.

John Ryan
03-10-2011, 12:31 AM
That is positive news that they will paint them to match. Hopefully they will also number them into a similar series.

03-10-2011, 04:42 PM
I'd take that report with somewhat of a grain of salt, as the YVRR only has two GP38-3s to give! They are KLWX 2268 and 2273, and wear TM/KCS gray with yellow chevrons. That, however, would seem to make sense that they would send the only units on the G&O roster not in corporate colors to the L&C if the intent is to get a coat of paint on them.

KLW is rebuilding some GP38-3s from older GP38 cores in Knoxville, so a third may come from there. I heard early on from G&O that the leasers would be going back, so this is more of a matter of when, not if. Personally, I'd love to see one of those ex CN GP40-2Ls in L&C blue, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks for the continued updates, Joe.

04-05-2011, 01:48 AM
KLWX 2268 is in the shop at Knoxville now, and after some minor mechanical work, will head for the L&C shop and blue paint. A new era is close by!

Joe the Photog
04-05-2011, 04:40 PM
Thanks, Mike. Keep us updated and I'll keep an eye out when I'm in Lancaster or Chester in a few weeks.

04-12-2011, 12:46 AM
This could be a shortlived ownership change, according to the recent news on G&O's sale of 3 shortlines: "In its filings with the STB, RailAmerica said G&O owner Pete Claussen
“has decided to sell these lines to RailAmerica’s affiliates in order to
transition out of the railroad business.”

Joe the Photog
05-13-2011, 02:42 PM
Per a post on carolina Rails, KLWX #2273 was spotted trialing two GMTX units through Fort Lawn, SC this morning with a train for ADM. If it's just arriving, they may leave it in Lancaster. Here's a shot of it I found on RRPA --


Joe the Photog
05-19-2011, 03:41 AM

Today in Fort Lawn, SC

05-19-2011, 12:45 PM
One can only hope G&O follows through on their intent to paint new arrivals in Springmaid blue. New power should be on the way soon. Between the lines in Alabama and the Nash County, there should be about 6-8 units freed up, and most are GP38s. I was really hoping they would send over one of the GP40-2Ls from the YVRR, as I think a safety cab unit would look great in the L&C blue.

Thanks for posting the shot, Joe.

Joe the Photog
05-19-2011, 02:46 PM
I'm with you on the GP40-2Ls. They may need more power. This train was crawling through Lancaster yesterday with the four GP38s.

05-20-2011, 04:16 PM
One can only hope G&O follows through on their intent to paint new arrivals in Springmaid blue. New power should be on the way soon. Between the lines in Alabama and the Nash County, there should be about 6-8 units freed up, and most are GP38s. I was really hoping they would send over one of the GP40-2Ls from the YVRR, as I think a safety cab unit would look great in the L&C blue.

Thanks for posting the shot, Joe.

The Wiregrass Central had 3 GP40-2Ls, maybe they will go to the L&C?

Joe the Photog
05-20-2011, 04:22 PM
I saw a picture on RRPA of GMTX GP38-2 #2624 which had been on the L&C up in Hamlet from last month. That leaves three leasors to be replaced.

Joe the Photog
05-21-2011, 08:56 PM
Did the Wiregrass Central still have the two high hood former Southern units? And what happened to them?

Joe the Photog
06-22-2011, 11:25 PM
Went up this past Monday with Doyle Massey and shot a side profile of the 2273 for posterity.


Joe the Photog
02-14-2012, 05:39 PM
A quick update.... Not much has changed on the L&C. They sent one of the GMTX units back, but as of yesterday, they still have three -- 2662, 2664 and 2666. KLWX 2268 has come on line, but I've never seen it move on the L&C. It's painted like the 2273, but had G&O wings on the nose when delievered to the L&C, according to a shot I saw of it in transit.

I did get word from an NS employee that there is a G&O "slug" in Charlotte waiting to go down on the Rock Hill local for the L&C. He says it's numbered 103. Mike, have you heard about this one? I can't find a KLWX 103 via Google, but he could have the number wrong.

02-15-2012, 04:46 PM
Haven't heard anything specific, Joe, but there is indeed a G&O slug numbered 103. It is/was initialed for KXHR, but I can't find a photo of it. I've gotten a glance at it before, appears to be an old UP yard slug, likely built from an old SW7. So the report certainly is plausible. Every slug needs its mother, so something else will have to be on the way, as well. To the best of my knowledge, G&O only has a few end cab switchers set up as slug mothers, so you may wind up with a classic switcher/slug lashup on the L&C.

03-08-2012, 05:59 PM
KLWX 103 is indeed bound for the L&C and should be there soon. No word on what the mother will be yet. Also heard mention they may be readying another GP38 at Knoxville to head to the L&C, as well. Between this and the switcher/slug combo, it's possible they would be able to return the remaining leased units.

Even though G&O said the blue paint would be forthcoming, still yet to hear of anything at Knoxville in blue or plans for it.

Joe the Photog
03-08-2012, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the information, Mike. The KLWX is making an interesting journey to the L&C. We were told on The New Carolina Rails (Facebook page) that it was in Charlotte on the NS ready to go down to Rock Hill and then Chester for the L&C. The last we heard on the YahooGroup that it was east bound through Waxhaw on CSX meaning it had passed the L&C interchange in East Chester.

I don't know much about the mechanical operations of locootives, but can they pair this slug with something already on line or will it have to come from Knoxville?

03-09-2012, 02:16 PM
The slug will have to be powered by a locomotive specifically outfitted as a mother. I am not aware of anything on the present L&C roster capable of powering a slug, so there should be an endcab switcher coming from Knoxville soon.

03-13-2012, 11:29 AM
I videoed Q492 coming through Scranton, SC on the Charleston Sub this past Sunday, March 11, and it had the KLWX 103 in the consist. The video should be up in the next couple of days.

03-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Missed the setoff at Chester, eh? Quality in Motion! At least it's headed back in the right direction. Without a mother, L&C isn't missing it all that much, I'm guessing. Look forward to seeing the video, so please give us a heads up when you post it.

03-16-2012, 09:05 PM
Look forward to seeing the video, so please give us a heads up when you post it.


The unit left Hamlet, again, this morning on Q67516 and should get set off on Greenwood. A local should take it to Chester from there.

03-17-2012, 04:48 PM
Nice old school consist there! Like that the leader still has its original K5H horn, too. Seeing 492 brings back a lot of memories. Having grown up in Charleston, SC that was our standard train of the day for railfanning. Back in the day, I'd put in a call to the operator at SY Tower upon waking up Saturday morning and say "When's 492 coming, Frank?" You don't have that kind of luxury any more...

Joe the Photog
03-31-2012, 12:52 AM
Jeff Trull on the Carolina Rails Facebook page just posted that NS 337 dropped of former NS GP38AC 2866 in Rock Hill for the local to take it to the L&C. He didn't mention paint, but did refer to it as a "former high hood." I'm guessing it's still in G&O black with the number on the long hood. No recent update on the slug.

03-31-2012, 02:13 PM
G&O black, still high hood. It's the one behind KLWX 2250 in the photo Chris posted in the KLW thread. Link:


The mother for the slug is supposed to be SW1500 2241 and should be leaving Knoxville soon, if it hasn't already.

Joe the Photog
03-31-2012, 11:39 PM
Thanks, Mike. I even commented on his photo and didn't put two and two together. May have to see when I can head up again to see a high hood on the L&C.

Joe the Photog
04-05-2012, 06:44 PM
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7103/6900555720_833c892a2e.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6900555720/)
G&O on the L&C (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6900555720/) by Joseph C. Hinson (http://www.flickr.com/people/joethephotog/), on Flickr

Wed. 04/03/2012. I like the dueling logos in this photo. Unit was not pulling. The crew had gone down and run around steel coil cars to work an industry. Lead engine is actually fifth unit back.

Other side of the train --

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/6900555722_1c52ccc071.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6900555722/)
L&C in Richburg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6900555722/) by Joseph C. Hinson (http://www.flickr.com/people/joethephotog/), on Flickr

04-05-2012, 06:56 PM
Well, that didn't take you long to get out there, Joe! Nice catch, and thanks for photo proof of 2866's arrival. Did you by chance see KLWX 103 anywhere? I'm figuring that one should be at the shop at Lancaster by now, but you never know...

Joe the Photog
04-05-2012, 10:48 PM
I still have not laid eyes on the 103. It could be inside the shop; it wasn't outside from what I could tell. We actually over slept or I could have caught it in better light if it had been in downtown Chester that morning.

Joe the Photog
06-06-2012, 02:47 PM
I saw the 103 over the weekend in Lancaster pushed up on a siding. No sign of it's mother.

06-11-2012, 07:53 PM
Thanks for the report, Joe. Mother SW1500 KLWX 2241 should be very near delivery, and is being shipped on NS.

Joe the Photog
06-12-2012, 12:09 AM
Thanks, Mike. I heard it was on NS 337 last night heading for Rock Hill where P83 woujld then take it to Chester. Never heard confirmation that it was actually set off at Rock Hill though.

06-12-2012, 01:28 AM
Last scanner hit was on P36 at Chester, today 6/11/12.

Joe the Photog
06-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks, Mike!

Joe the Photog
06-15-2012, 10:21 PM
It was bound to happen eventually... an L&C train with no blue engines --


Also spotted the SW1500 2241 in Lancaster with the slug near by but still not coupled.

06-18-2012, 04:28 PM
Thanks for sharing, Joe. So far, that talk of blue paint from G&O certainly hasn't materialized. Maybe at some point in the future, but for now, it looks like they need the power too much to worry about paint.

Joe the Photog
10-03-2012, 04:38 PM
Here's an interesting link from the Lancaster Economic Development Corporation about teir hopes for upgrades to the former SB line in Lancaster. Oh, and the photographs are mine. I should send them more current shots as I delivered these to them in 2008, before the repaint of the GPs. One of the shots they chose is of seven end cabs lashed together.


They hope to upgrade all the bridges on the line including the one just below Bowater over the Catawba and replace all the rail. It would cost a pretty penny, so my hunch is they have a list of Hopes in order of what they deem most important.

11-12-2012, 04:07 AM
I'm seeing a report GMTX 2661 and 2664 have left the property. Does that leave any leased power still on the roster, or is it all now G&O family locomotives making up the roster, even if not in Spring Maid blue?

Joe the Photog
11-12-2012, 04:47 AM
That should be all the leased units by my count. 2624 and 2666 left earlier this year. Unless they snuck some more G&O power in, that only leaves them with six GP38-2s, the three L&C motors and three G&O motors. As far as I can tell, the G&O SW1500 has not been used and I didn't see the slug last time I was up.

Joe the Photog
02-22-2013, 11:07 AM
David Scott Dodson saw a new motor for the L&C at the NS yard in Linwood last night, number 2829, now with a low hood and either wearing grey primer or grey paint. If that is primer, then maybe there is hope for L&C blue. Should be the former high hood unit at the Wiregrass Central, I am guessing. I wonder if this means the 2866 may be sent back to Knoxville for work.

02-22-2013, 07:07 PM
Chopped and removed the dynamics if it is the same unit, ugh....

Joe the Photog
02-24-2013, 01:15 AM
This one got there fast. Dropped off today by NS in Chester.

02-24-2013, 11:45 PM
Numberboards strongly suggest WRGC 2829 and LC 2829 are one in the same:


Joe the Photog
02-25-2013, 02:23 AM
I'm operating under the assumption it's the same unit. Which would be ironic in that the 2829 and 2866 were both on the Wiregrass Central at the same time and now they're both on the same road again. Although one looks a lot different. NS left it in a good spot. I guess running it around a wye somewhere would have been too much to ask!


Joe the Photog
04-05-2013, 02:38 PM
If you guys haven't wandered over to the G&O Facebook page, they just shared this --

Joe Hinson asked: Wondering if the 2829 is in service on the L&C yet?

Our answer: Almost! It just finished getting its L&C paint scheme so look for the 2829 to be in service in the next week or two!

They posted a picture from inside the shop and she is painted just like the other L&C GPs -- same blue and same logo!


Joe the Photog
06-24-2013, 03:29 AM
I've seen the #2829 in blue, but no shots yet. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find the KLWX units are now in L&C blue, too --


06-24-2013, 09:42 PM
Nice to see a matched trio (or even duo) on the L&C after the initial drab times as the roster was finalized by G&O. It took awhile, but paint isn't always the first priority when moving freight and settling into a new operation. Worth the wait, IMO! Thanks for the heads up and photo, Joe.

Joe the Photog
06-27-2013, 01:34 PM
The KLWX repaints means there are six GPS painted in L&C colors. The KXHR GP38AC 2866 is still in black with a high hood. I'd expect it to either get sent to Knoxville for a rebuild and nose job assuming it stays on the L&C. I guess hoping for a repaint but to keep the high hood intact is a dream.

I did see the SW1500 #2241 and got a shot of it last week at the shop in Lancaster.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9111669139_0d940f4331_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/9111669139/)
KXHR SW1500 #2241 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/9111669139/) by Joseph C. Hinson Photography (http://www.flickr.com/people/joethephotog/), on Flickr

Joe the Photog
07-18-2013, 01:16 AM
The KXHR GP38AC 2866 is still in black with a high hood. I'd expect it to either get sent to Knoxville for a rebuild and nose job assuming it stays on the L&C. I guess hoping for a repaint but to keep the high hood intact is a dream.
Found it sitting in Richburg today. Not a dream.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3771/9309082555_0d4183ef82.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/9309082555/)
L&C GP38AC #2866 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/9309082555/) by Joseph C. Hinson Photography (http://www.flickr.com/people/joethephotog/), on Flickr

All GPs are now painted L&C blue.

07-19-2013, 03:26 AM
OUTSTANDING!!! How great it is to see one of these high nose ex SOU units continue on in original form. Give it just a few more years and it will be a rarity. I do wonder, however, if this one will tend to be used as sort of a B-unit and run mostly mid-consist. Regardless, it looks great!

Joe the Photog
07-19-2013, 01:57 PM
I've seen shots of it leading prior to repaint, but I don't expect it to happen much, especially in the summer. It appears that it does not have an AC.

Oh, and they painted the "F" back where the Southern had it -- on the long hood end!

Joe the Photog
09-04-2013, 06:36 PM
I found the 2866 over the weekend "leading" a parked train. It would have started off yesterday in the lead position after the Labor Day weekend.


Interesting article in the local paper today about Lancaster County Economic Development Center and the L&C wanting some federal funds to rebuild the line down to Kershaw as well as some hints that an announcement may be coming. I won't bore you with all of the details.


(I'm not a subscriber either; sometimes I can see the whole article and sometimes I can't.)

09-04-2013, 07:08 PM
Thanks for posting this, Joe. I had a read through, and this part seems to be most telling on what any future announcements are based upon:

"Rhodes said he and McCullough have committed to working together with County Council to help draw business to Kershaw.

Among the most important aspects, he said, were railroad upgrades that would widen the L&C line and allow the railroad to carry heavier loads. Rhodes said the upgrades will become even more important after Haile Gold Mine goes into full production.

“Several companies have been interested in the area,” Rhodes said. “Right now, we can’t make it public, because they still don’t have their permits – but there's going to be an explosion (of business) once the gold mine comes in, and we have to be ready.”

I hadn't heard of the gold mine, but here is some info on what that is all about:


Joe the Photog
09-05-2013, 01:33 AM
I haven't been keeping up with the gold mine too much, but folks in Lancaster are up in arms over some aspects of the proposed deal. I haven't wandered too far into it, but it actually made front page of The State last week because it involves some deal to protect land in Richland County while the gold mine would be in Lancaster. That's the part that has folks up in arms.


The Haile Gold Mine did buy and renovate the old Southern depot beside the tracks in Kershaw as their new home office.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5198/6941189834_d17fc5bfba.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6941189834/)
Haile Gold Mine -- Southern Railway Depot (http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethephotog/6941189834/) by Joseph C. Hinson Photography (http://www.flickr.com/people/joethephotog/), on Flickr