South Carolina Railroads - Blue Ridge Railroad

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

BRRR

1852

1859

1894*

Walhalla, SC

Anderson, SC
* 1894 - Acquired by Southern Railway and renamed to the Blue Ridge Railway.

The Blue Ridge Railroad was the noble name of what was planned to be a noble railroad scheme, one that would stretch from Charleston, SC over the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, and then up to Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice, men, and railroad barons are often derailed, as it was in the case of the Blue Ridge Railroad. Antebellum politics, competing lines, the U.S. Civil War, and corrupt Reconstruction legislators all led to the Blue Ridge Railroad being the prototype way of NOT how to build and run a railroad.

The Blue Ridge Railroad Company planned to complete a railway across the Blue Ridge Mountains from Anderson, SC to Knoxville, TN and later to Cincinnati, OH. To cross the Blue Ridge Mountains would require thirteen (13) tunnels. Three (3) of the tunnels would be in South Carolina.

The Saddle Tunnel was never completed. The Middle Tunnel was completed but was closed by land slides. The Stumphouse Tunnel was meant to be 5,863 feet long, but in 1859 with only 4,363 ft. completed, the state refused to provide more money. So, the railroad ended at Walhalla, SC.

Not long after completion, this line was leased to the Greenville & Columbia Railroad.

In 1880, the Greenville & Columbia Railroad became the Columbia & Greenville Railroad, and this leased line was reduced to little more than a 44 mile sidetrack that ran from Belton to Anderson, Seneca, and Walhalla, all in South Carolina.

In 1894, after a major reorganization of most railroads of the south, most notably, the Richmond & Danville Railroad, this railroad was reorganized as the Blue Ridge Railway Company (owned by Southern Railway), though still controlled and operated by the Columbia & Greenville Railroad.

From the Fourth Annual Report of the South Carolina Railroad Commissioners issued in 1882, the following stations were named for the Blue Ridge Railroad:

Station................................... Distance between Stations

Anderson.............................................. 0 miles
Pendleton ............................................ 13.0 miles
Perryville............................................... 9.5 miles
Seneca ................................................. 1.7 miles
Walhalla ............................................... 8.3 miles

Towns on Route:

Walhalla

West Union (1888)

Bounty Land

Seneca (1873)

Cherry (1892)

Pendleton

Steeles

Pendleton Factory (1871) > Autun (1881) > La France (1930)

Sandy Springs (1907)

Denver (1883)

Mills Station (1900s)

Anderson C.H. > Anderson (1895)



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