South Carolina Railroads - Charleston, Cincinnati & Chicago Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Shelby, NC

Camden, SC
* 1896 - Re-organized as the Ohio River & Charleston Railway.
+ 1890 - In receivership.
+ 1887 - Acquired the Georgia & Carolina Midland Railroad in August of 1887.
Was the incomplete Georgetown & North Carolina Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Discussions of an Ohio River route to the East Coast started in the 1830s, when representatives from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky met at Gate City, VA. This meeting originated a plan which would allow for the construction of a railroad that closely resembled what was actually constructed over the next seventy years.

However, prior to the U.S. Civil War, little more than talk and plans were made.

In 1886, a group of financiers organized the Charleston, Cincinnati & Chicago Railroad - also well known as the 3-Cs or Triple Cs line. Their objective was to extend a rail line from Charleston, SC to Ashland, KY - with the intent of tapping the rich veins of coal in southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky, as well as the iron ore recently found near Cranberry, NC.

Construction began at Rutherfordton, NC and quickly proceeded south to Camden, SC by 1888. In 1889, the line was extended northward twenty-five (25) miles to Marion, NC. Simultaneously, construction was proceeding southward from Ashton to Richardson, KY.

In 1890, financial disaster struck the Triple C railroad. A major investor, Baker Brothers & Company, failed in the financial panic of the time, and the courts ordered that the railroad go into receivership. In May of 1893, the railroad was sold to its bondholders and a new corporation was established in 1896 - the Ohio River & Charleston Railroad.

Towns on Route (in SC):

SC/NC State Line


Kings Creek (1889)

Smyrna (1892)

Hickory Grove > Hickory (1895) > Hickory Grove (1907)

Sharon (1889)

Yorkville > York (1915)


Belmont (1886)

Newport (1889)

Old Point (1890) > Oldpoint (1894)

Rock Hill

Lesslie (1889)

Roddeys (1890) > Roddey (1896)


Lindsay (1890) > Riverside (1907)


Pleasant Hill

Heath Spring (1889) > Heath Springs (1916)

Oakhurst (1888)

Kershaw (1890)

West (1888) > Westville (1890)

Kalb (aka DeKalb Station) (1891)


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