Old 08-02-2017, 10:29 PM   #326
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Is the draw bridge working now? We didn't go around much when we were down there this year.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:32 PM   #327
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I saw photo evidence GP18 951 (in the Pullman green scheme) has been returned to service, with Carolina Southern markings painted out. It will reportedly be repainted in RJ Corman colors soon.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:31 PM   #328
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Is the draw bridge working now? We didn't go around much when we were down there this year.
Copper thieves gutted the bridge a few years ago and it's inoperable. This after the state spent millions refurbishing it... bunch of lowlife meth addicted rednecks down there

There's no customers on that side of the bridge anyway
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:21 PM   #329
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My recollection is that there is an old CALA customer on the beach side of the bridge
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:22 PM   #330
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951 has been painted into the Corman scheme. Not sure about 100
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:41 PM   #331
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My recollection is that there is an old CALA customer on the beach side of the bridge
Indeed, it was 84 Lumber near the depot:

https://goo.gl/maps/e6TwT9BMwsq

Probably something RJCS could recapture were the bridge in service, but the repair costs would likely justify trucking their product to/from Red Hill if a reload spot could be simply built.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:45 PM   #332
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Thanks for the post, Mike. Yes, there was some discussion of what you mentioned.

Obviously RJC is not going to pay to undo an atrocity that was not their responsibility.

In their lease of the line from Conway to Myrtle Beach, it was stated that the County had to put the Waccamaw River Drawbridge into operating condition.

RJC signed two leases on the C-MB track: one to the waterway, and one on the beach side of the waterway, which was contingent on the signing of the first lease, and it was stated in the lease agreement that the bascule bridge was not included in their lease of the track.

I'm sure that RJC would have served 84 Lumber if not for the horrible thing that happened to the drawbridge.

The county can put the drawbridge back into working order, but the estimates to do so are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And, obviously, if the bridge is repaired, it would need good security both during and after the repairs, and would RJC find the revenues from 84 Lumber and any possible new customers, worth the cost to them of the security?
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:52 PM   #333
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And there you have...reality. Great response, Sir. And it also shows smart business on RJC's part to ensure they weren't hung with a certain losing proposition. It is a shame that drawbridge has been such an obstacle to rail service in Myrtle Beach, but it has been since as long as I can remember after getting into shortline railroading, which was right around 1999.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:54 PM   #334
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Quote:
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951 has been painted into the Corman scheme. Not sure about 100
From what I have heard, 100 would be a parts source for 951. I can't say that's the gospel, though...
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:47 AM   #335
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Mike, thanks for the post & map. We've been down in that area several times, never realized the station is that close. But then again, we're in MB 2 weeks out of the year.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #336
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Glad to be helpful, RAF. FWIW, I received an update that GP18 100 is also in the process of being painted into RJ Corman colors at present. So it looks like two GP18s will grace the line. That's a tough find in 2017, considering these old gals have had nothing but a nose job over the years.

I would surmise this will free up one of the GP38s to be transferred out. It'll also make a good excuse for a return trip up there next time I'm in Charleston!
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:21 PM   #337
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We used to go through Chadbourne on the way down & back, remember seeing all the locos over on the dead line. The only part of the line we see now is along 701 starting at Loris, depends on traffic how far we go down 701. Be nice to spot something on the rails there, but going down on a Saturday & coming back on a Friday, probably slim to none to catch something.
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:25 AM   #338
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Default Georgia Pacific Plant

Did anybody here know that RJCorman had bought the Georgia Pacific plant (is it between Chadbourn and Whiteville?) from Columbus County for something like 2 & 1/2 million dollars?

There was some news about a company that does something with railroad ties at or near that location, with a load of ties arriving there.
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:41 PM   #339
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First I've heard of it, and still not 100% known who all is involved. But, from the best I can tell, it sounds like the former GP mill will be turned into a crosstie repurposing facility. I would see that as bringing in old ties with some reconditioned as "relay" ties for lesser used lines that don't need brand new crossties. The "Project Black" side looks like it may be an alternative energy concern fueled by scrap crossties.

It seems the project was on the brink of failure when RJ Corman stepped in to invest, as well. This article puts it all together as well as any of them I read:

https://nrcolumbus.com/news/rail-tie-firm-hiring/
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:16 AM   #340
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Thanks for the link to the story, Mike, which I read. It helped me to better understand what is going on in Columbus County. It's good that JRC is getting more industry to locate on the railroad.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:21 PM   #341
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I uploaded one of my CALA photos from 2002 yesterday. Here's a look back in time:

Image © Michael Derrick
PhotoID: 637844
Photograph © Michael Derrick
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:54 PM   #342
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Finally some good news for the Conway to Myrtle Beach line. High volume traffic will be returning when Vulcan Materials, which switched to trucking in 2000 after Carolina Southern raised their rates per ton, wants to reopen their plant outside of Conway.

Latest news that an ordanance annexing the site to the City of Conway, and zoning it as heavy industrial, passed first reading and will require one more reading to go into effect.

Reports are that a SRO crowd including residents of Wild Wing, which is adjacent to the plant site, came out to voice their concerns about noise and other pollution from the plant.

During the 15 years Vulcan operated their plant at that location, 1985-2000, I never heard of any complaints from Wild Wing residents.

But, I'm glad they came out and expressed their opinions, and hope to find a video of the City Council Meeting.

I'm hoping thieir fears will be unfounded.

Although Vulcan switched to trucking at that location in 2000, they were also dis-satisfied with weight restrictions on the Waccamaw River Drawbridge which prevented them from loading their cars as heavily as they wanted to.

I'm hoping that with RJCorman having its own bridge engineers that this problem can be solved, so Vulcan can better ship their products.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:23 AM   #343
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That is certainly the most encouraging news to come from the line in quite a while! Let's see. Hundreds of trucks coming and going all week, or a train 2-3 times a week? I know what I'd choose. But I'm a little biased, too...
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:44 PM   #344
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Ahhh, and now I see the NIMBYism is against the aggregate plant, not the railroad. But if that rock yard comes back on, that is a game changer for RJ Corman.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:19 PM   #345
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Default More About Vulcan Plant

There had been some committee meetings and also some delays before the vote of Monday of this week.

I'm going to check out those earlier meetings, since minutes of this week's meeting are not yet posted to the net.

On the print part of WMBF News (I have not been able to find a video of the report), titled, "Ordinance to rezone land for rock yard with concrete crushing approved by Conway Council," by Ian Cross, Digital Content Manager, it is stated in paragraphs 6 & 7, near the end of the report:

" . . . The Heavy Industry district has specific design standards that address odor, air and water pollution, electrical disturbance or interference, and noise . . .

Vulcan has said they will go beyond the required 25-foot landscape buffer to a landscape buffer of at least 50 feet to adjacent residentially-zoned properties."
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:36 PM   #346
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Thank you for the follow up, and this continues to sound encouraging.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:51 AM   #347
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MyHorry News had a story about Conway and Tabor City officials becoming interested in a possible passenger train between those two cities as a tourist attraction, altho the story says it would be two years before the track would be in suitable condition for such a train.

Maybe something to hope for, but not to count on.

I tried pasting a link to that read for free story, but wasn't successful.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:36 PM   #348
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Here's the link to the story. Hopefully the city officials are not getting the cart ahead of the horse with springing this idea on RJ Corman, but there is hope, as the company does operate a dinner train on its Bardstown, KY line.

https://www.myhorrynews.com/news/rai...9b32b4c08.html
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:28 PM   #349
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Default Report on reopening of Vulcan Plant

While I would prefer to watch a video (which I cannot find), of the Conway City Council meeting concerning reopening the Vulcan plant, I did find a good newspaper report which gave a lot of pertinent details.

From the Horry Independent, May 24, 2018, Page A5

Stone crushing passes first test with Conway council

BY KATHY ROPP
KATHY.ROPP@MYHORRYNEWS.COM

The residents of Wild Wing had some heavy competition Monday night when
they tried to convince the Conway City Council not to give Vulcan Materials a
heavy industrial zoning classification that would allow for stone crusing on
Yeager Avenue.

In favor of the rezoning were Castle Engineering, Vulcan Materials, the RJ
Corman Railroad and the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development
Corporation, whose officials all argued that the stone crushing plant will
diversify Conway's economy, bring good jobs and take trucks off of U.S.
501 bypass.

The residents, who crowded into council chambers, even forced to stand
around the walls, all worry that the plant will cause noise pollution.

Vulcan previously operated at the site, but stopped in 2001 because
reliable rail service was no longer available.

After hearing debate on the issue, council voted to give first reading to
the rezoning. Councilman William Goldfinch was not at the meeting.

Wild Wing resident Karin Krauss pointed out that five years ago, the area
near the plant had fewer than 400 resients, but today it has 3,500 within
one-square mile of the proposed plant.

She said the plant will be adjacent to a new student housing complex
going up on U.S. 501, a residential development planned for 600 residents
and the new Ekklesia Church, under construction with plans to open in
October with 300 congregants, hoping to grow to 600.

She said residents want a vibrant Conway, but Vulcan and its stone
crushing will present safety and health problems.

Erin Pate, a regional director for the Coastal Conservation League,
backed up Krauss' concerns.

She said crushing concrete might be a worthy practice because of
the potential reuse of the concrete, but it carries a variety of problems
for people who live nearby.

She says products stored on the site will eventually seep into the
stormwater system. She classified the harmful substances as salt,
heavy metal, lead and asbestos.

She says crushing also creates dust that can release crystallized silica
that the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires companies to
protect their employees from.

Workers wear masks to avoid breathing it, but nearby residents aren't
protected, she said.

She said council needs to protect the well being of its constituents.

"This should be a real easy decision for you to make," she said.

Elliott Botzis, vice president and general manager of Vulcan's South
Carolina operations, told council that his company has 15 sites in
South Carolina, so it has the resources, experience and knowledge to
back up what it does.

He estimates that using the train to transport its product will take
between 22,000 and 34,000 trucks off of U.S. 501 bypass and that
will improve the area's air quality.

He said crushed stone is used in building roads, bridges, hospitals,
libraries and places of worship.

His company recycles concrete, so it is not deposited in the landfill.
He said the company will use a portable crusher, and crushing will
not go on continuously at the plant.

The company's top priority, he said, is the health and safety of its
employees, and it goes above and beyond to protect residents.
He vowed that the company will fully comply with all local, state and
federal guidlines.

He also questioned if silica really causes health problems saying
doctors say they've never seen a credible case of anyone sickened
by it.

He says his company is a good corporate citizen helping with Adopt
A School programs and giving financial suppport to athletic and
school causes.

He said that South Carolina operation of Vulcan has complied zero
accidents and zero citations, and he's not aware of any problem with
stormwater runoff.

Ed Quinn, president and CEO of RJ Corman Railroad Group, said
from the time the company came to Horry County until the year 2022,
Corman will have spent $45 million on infrastructure for this community.

He said the rail takes tens of thousands of trucks off the roads and the
ratio of greenhouse gas is 75 percent lower for rail over truck transportation.

Fred Richardson, past chairman of the MBREDC did not attend Monday's
meeting, but he sent along a letter of support for the company, saying it will
diversify the economy and create higher paying jobs for the area.

He also pointed out that the property is already in a highly-industrialized
area, and wrote that Vulcan was there before any houses were bult in
Wild Wing.

"Let's work together to keep Horry County strong," he wrote.

Councilwoman Jean Timbes said her tenure on council has created very
few situations that are as comlex as this one.

She told the residents that council wants to keep them happy, but it must
consider keeping Conway viable so it won't end up like some small South
Carolina towns that are boarded up.

She said Conway won't continue to exist if it doesn't have industry, and good
roads are important.

She's also glad to support the railroad saying, "I'm so pleased that Corman is
here. We have to keep the railroad running as well."

She gave strong support to Vulcan saying that it is a reputable company and
she believes it will keep any issues as small as possible.

The company is required to have a 25-foot landscape buffer, but its officials
have agreed to a minimum 50-foot landscape buffer adjacent to properties
zoned for residential uses.

Before Monday's meeting, the Conway Planning Commission voted 4-3 against
recommending the zoning change to city council, so it came without a
recommendation, according to city planner Mary Catherine Hyman.

She said the commission was concerned about air quality due to dust and
contamininants, noise and the nearness to residential properties. The
property is zoned for limited industrial uses now.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:30 AM   #350
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Thank you for posting this, Sir! An interesting dialogue to demonstrate the fallacy of building neighborhoods around dormant industries which may come back. Nice to see someone mention "Vulcan was there before those houses were built in Wild Wing." Take it up with your realtor, NIMBY.
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