South Carolina Railroads - Alcolu Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Alcolu, SC

Bethlehem, SC

The Alcolu Railroad was incorporated on March 18, 1902 by Robert J. Alderman, David W. Alderman, and David C. Shaw to build from Alcolu on the Central Railroad of South Carolina from Sumter to Lanes, northwest of Manning, SC, to the northeast to Sardinia, and to the Lynches River.

The Aldermans were lumber magnates and the line was built essentially to bring lumber to the Alderman mill in Alcolu. Alcolu was named as an amalgamation of three names - ALderman, COldwell (brother-in-law of David W. Alderman), and LUlu (daughter of David W.).

The line reached Olanta in 1906 and was extended to Kirby in 1907. From the Alderman mill in Alcolu, the line served McLead (2 miles), Henby (5 miles), Durant (7 miles), Gable (11 miles), Sardinia (12 miles), New Zion (14 miles), Seloc (17 miles), Paroda Junction (20 miles), Hudson (21 miles), Olanta (25 miles), and Kirby (29 miles). A branch was built north to Turbeville, but the closest station to Turbeville was at Seloc.

The branch to Turbeville extended into the forests and the Carolina Bays beyond town, and the main line was extended north across the Lynches River to Sardis in Florence County. The farthest point reached was Peniel in 1910, but the line was cut back to Sardis in 1912 and Kirby in 1915. In 1910, the line was thirty-two (32) miles of standard gauge track. In 1916, the Alcolu ran one passenger train each way each day from Alcolu to Olanta.

The Alcolu Railroad was abandoned on June 4, 1936.

A small spur still exists from the CSX line to the Georgia Pacific Plant in Alcolu.

According to the 25th Annual Report of the South Carolina Railroad Commissioners, dated June 30, 1903, the Alcolu Railroad had seventeen (17) miles of track operational by June 30, 1903.

Towns on Route:





Gable (1916)


New Zion



Paroda Junction



Bethlehem > Olanta (1908)

Peniel (faded 1903)


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