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View Full Version : What's happening with the Saluda Grade?


jnohallman
05-19-2012, 04:14 AM
So it seems that rumors are picking up about something happening with the NS Saluda Grade line. Some boards are carrying rumors that NS is planning to reopen it to create a more direct line for coal trains to the port of Charleston, SC. Others are talking about the possibility of a tourist operation. There's a comment out there that someone saw a work train in an area where trains haven't been seen in a while. Anybody seen or heard anything to give credence to the notion that Saluda might see traffic again sooner rather than later?

Jon

crazytiger
05-19-2012, 02:32 PM
Welcome to the everyday life of the railfan that lives an hour from Saluda. There have been rumors about Saluda re-opening since the day it closed and so it's a see-it-to-believe-it for any veteran rail or railfan of this area.

Joe the Photog
05-26-2012, 01:08 AM
I heard a NS research train left Columbia and went up the W line toward Spartanburg this week. So we all know what that means!

:roll:

Bunn19
06-20-2012, 12:13 AM
The rumors have been flying as of lately. Who knows in reality. We do know for a fact that NS just finished major T&S work from Hayne Yard in Spartanburg all the way to the cut rails in Landrum. On the recently published NS exhibit car schedule they have the car to be on display in Landrum this December. The active tracks currently don't go to Landrum so who knows.

Everything that I've heard has been that NS would like to reopen the line but the washout below Melrose is going to be expensive to repair.

I'm not going to believe anything until I see it. But I do think it is odd that NS did all of that T&S work from Hayne to Landrum (including reworking all of the grade crossings) for one small lumber company, that is currently shipping their chips by truck!

crazytiger
06-23-2012, 03:54 AM
Well, maybe it will go like this...

2011: NS Steam returns.
2012: NS Heritage Units.
2013: Saluda reopens.
2014: NW 611 reenters excursion service.

10 years ago, anyone would have said I was completely off my rocker for all of these. The first two have happened. The third may, but I see no cold, hard evidence for it. The fourth seems likely to me. The time frame may be off on the last two. Who knows?

But, at this point, Saluda is still closed and the J doesn't run. Oh well.

stlgevo51
06-23-2012, 04:28 AM
Well, maybe it will go like this...

2011: NS Steam returns.
2012: NS Heritage Units.
2013: Saluda reopens.
2014: NW 611 reenters excursion service.

10 years ago, anyone would have said I was completely off my rocker for all of these. The first two have happened. The third may, but I see no cold, hard evidence for it. The fourth seems likely to me. The time frame may be off on the last two. Who knows?

But, at this point, Saluda is still closed and the J doesn't run. Oh well.
Why does the 4th seem likely? I've heard no talk beyond the typical railfan "since NS is running the 630 (and 4501 soon) they are going to restore the 611 and run it too!" talk. I'm not saying it will never happen (I certainly hope it does!) but to say it's likely is a little too optimistic. Unless VMT comes up with the money-and the interest-, I don't see the 611 running.

Regardless, I really like your timeline Peter!

crazytiger
06-23-2012, 04:33 AM
Why does the 4th seem likely? I've heard no talk beyond the typical railfan "since NS is running the 630 (and 4501 soon) they are going to restore the 611 and run it too!" talk. I'm not saying it will never happen (I certainly hope it does!) but to say it's likely is a little too optimistic. Unless VMT comes up with the money-and the interest-, I don't see the 611 running.

Regardless, I really like your timeline Peter!

It's my hunch, Jake.

Joe the Photog
06-23-2012, 10:25 PM
I have the same hunch about the 611. About Saluda, I'm not saying it'll never happen either. But I have no inside knowledge about either.

jnohallman
06-25-2012, 07:36 PM
Well, maybe it will go like this...

2014: NW 611 reenters excursion service.



Or maybe NS arranges to borrow the 475 from Strasburg if they want an N&W representative in the 21st Century Steam program. If anyone ever wants to see the 611 run again, they probably need to find some money separate from NS and definitely separate from the VMT, who have way too much equipment rusting away (kind of like the B&O RR Museum, but that's another topic), and then pray they can pull off a miracle to get the engine out from under the shed at the museum. Based on what I heard on Sunday while riding behind the 630, expect 4501 to be the star of the future for 21st Century Steam.

Jon

oltmannd
06-26-2012, 12:50 PM
Based on what I heard on Sunday while riding behind the 630, expect 4501 to be the star of the future for 21st Century Steam.

Jon

That's a pretty safe bet! I'd also suspect that once the 30th birthday bash is over, the number of steam trips in the next few years will be quite a bit lower.

As for Saluda, never say never, but there aren't any capacity issues on the network right now that would suggest the line would be reopened. It is an expensive piece of railroad to operate.

crazytiger
02-21-2013, 03:59 PM
Is now a good time to dredge this up?

Joe the Photog
02-21-2013, 05:18 PM
I don't have Facebook here at work. Is there anything concrete to report there, Peter?

PLEzero
02-21-2013, 07:06 PM
Big news tomorrow. :)

Joe the Photog
02-21-2013, 07:14 PM
Big news tomorrow. :)
I was wondering if there had been any leaks today or educated speculation while I have been at work. It's amazing how Facebook has pretty much totally wiped out Yahoogroups as a means of sharing information.

Whatever is announced tomorrow better be big or else a lot of folks are going to be mighty disappointed.

bigbassloyd
02-21-2013, 08:02 PM
Saluda is still closed. :D

I hope the information I was provided is proven right tomorrow.

Loyd L.

jnohallman
02-22-2013, 03:22 AM
Doesn't sound like anything is happening with Saluda - maybe Peter's timeline was backwards.

http://www.dailypilot.com/videogallery/74518368/News/The-Virginia-Museum-of-Transportation-has-scheduled-a-news-conference-on-Friday

Jon

troy12n
05-01-2013, 02:24 AM
Nothing happening.

jnohallman
06-05-2013, 09:12 PM
Time to dredge this up again. From a post on another forum:

"There's been some strange activity on a line that is supposedly just a branch line now. West of Hayne Yard, is a smaller yard that ends at the Sigsbee signal. This has always been a classic Southern railway frog switch.
NS has contracted out a job laying welded rail at this yard. Keep in mind that there are three our four customers on this line at this end, and none of them produce enough traffic to justify doing this.
Also NS has done T&S work all the way up to Landrum, raising the speed limits from 25 and 10mph up to 50mph. Landrum is where the line is cut off. I have heard no reports of them doing any signal work yet, but I did hear that a camp train has been reported several times in the area over the past couple of months."

I wish I knew who to credit the report to by name, but all I know is he goes by "electro_soundwave" and is the moderator of the Southern Railway board on railfan.net.

Jon

Joe the Photog
06-06-2013, 10:54 AM
Until they is specific work happening on the actual grade between the humps of dirt on the rail (specifically the wash outs) I am skeptical, yet hopeful. Just like I am hopeful that the original Guns N Roses will get back together and that someone will decide to wrap up "Quantum Leap." I don't see either of the three happening.

Joe the Photog
06-28-2013, 02:19 PM
Well, maybe it will go like this...

2011: NS Steam returns.
2012: NS Heritage Units.
2013: Saluda reopens.
2014: NW 611 reenters excursion service.

10 years ago, anyone would have said I was completely off my rocker for all of these. The first two have happened. The third may, but I see no cold, hard evidence for it. The fourth seems likely to me. The time frame may be off on the last two. Who knows?

But, at this point, Saluda is still closed and the J doesn't run. Oh well.
Seemed like a good time to resurrect an old thread! The timing may be off for the N&W 611 to get out in 2014, but I won't see it can't happen. Peter, you may want to hop on 85 a few times here in the next year or so en route to Spencer!

troy12n
06-28-2013, 09:45 PM
Seemed like a good time to resurrect an old thread! The timing may be off for the N&W 611 to get out in 2014, but I won't see it can't happen. Peter, you may want to hop on 85 a few times here in the next year or so en route to Spencer!

We will see, I have my doubts of NCTM being able to handle it, especially in 9 months. Regardless, Saluda isnt coming back to life.