Cliffside Railroad

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Cliffside Railroad was a Class III railroad operating freight service in southwestern North Carolina from 1905 until service ended in 1987. The line was formally abandoned in 1992.

Cliffside Railroad
Reporting mark CRR
Locale North Carolina
Dates of operation 1905–1992
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 3.7 miles (6.0 km)
Headquarters Cliffside, North Carolina

History[edit]

The Cliffside Railroad Company was incorporated on March 2, 1905, and the 3.7-mile railroad line was opened between Cliffside, North Carolina to Cliffside Junction that same year.[1]

In 1984, the railroad acquired the Seaboard System Railroad branch line between Ellenboro, North Carolina and Cliffside Junction, increasing the railroad's total mileage to 8.14.[1]

By the 1980s, the railroad's traffic mix included textile products, waste, and scrap, and the railroad was owned by the Cone Mills Corporation and others.[1]

Late in 1987, the railroad's service was suspended. The line was formally abandoned in January 1992.[2]

Preserved Equipment[edit]

Former Cliffside Railroad #110, on display at Stone Mountain Railroad's Memorial Depot.
Former Cliffside Railroad #40, currently operating on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad.

Two of the railroad's steam locomotives, both of which representing the last steam engines to operate on the railroad before it dieselized in 1962, have been preserved:

  • Number 110, 2-6-2, built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1927 as McRae Lumber & Manufacturing Gulf number 1. Later went to the Beechwood Band Mill in Cordele, Georgia, and was acquired by the Cliffside in 1933. The engine made its final run on July 23, 1962,[3] after which the railroad switched entirely to diesel powered operations and the 110 was placed in reserve until it was sold to the Swamp Rabbit Railroad in Cleveland, South Carolina, a year later. Swamp Rabbit eventually sold the engine to the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, where it was given the name "Yonah II" and operated around Stone Mountain Park until it encountered running gear issues and was withdrawn in 1982. In 1984, the 110 was placed on display outside the Stone Mountain's Memorial Depot. In late 2012, Stone Mountain has sold the 110 to the New Hope Valley Railway in Bonsal, NC. Current plans are to bring her home to NC and eventually restore the locomotive to operation on their 4.5 mile tourist railroad.
  • Number 40, 2-8-0, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925 for the Lancaster and Chester Railway. The Cliffside Railroad bought the engine in 1947, and the engine operated until 1962 when, despite having been refurbished for continued use, the engine had been retired by the Cliffside and sold to the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, where it continues to operate.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lewis, Edward A. (1986). American Short Line Railway Guide. Kalmbach Books. p. 57. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Edward A. (1996). American Short Line Railway Guide. Kalmbach Books. p. 355. 
  3. ^ (1962, July 23) Cliffside Railroad's Steam Engine Retired After Friday's Run. The Forest City Courier. Retrieved December 3, 2012, from http://remembercliffside.com/galleries/railroad/old_puffer.html