South Carolina Railroads - Clinchfield Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





TN/NC Line Marion, NC

Marion, NC Spartanburg, SC
* 1980s - Acquired by CSX Transportation, Inc.
Was the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad.

On October 16, 1924, the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad entered into a lease with the Atlantic Coast Line and the Louisville & Nashville railroads. The joint lease was for a period of 999 years. Prior to the lease signing, a new corporation was formed as an operating company to control the assets of the three railroads that actually comprised the CC&O - the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad, the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio of South Carolina, and the Clinchfield & Northern Railway of Kentucky. This new operating company was named the Clinchfield Railroad Corporation on December 1, 1924.

The new corporation assumed control of the operations from Spartanburg, SC to Elkhorn City, KY, on January 1, 1925, as the Clinchfield Railroad. At this point in time, the Clinchfield Railroad owned ninety-six (96) steam locomotives and 7,754 freight cars.

In 1942, the Clinchfield Railroad initiated one of the most famous and well-received corporate philanthropy programs in the country. In response to World War II raging overseas, the railroad extended a symbolic gesture to the impoverished population along the Appalachians by sending a Santa Claus train througout the region. The first Santa Claus train was organized to bring toys and gifts to the children that year. Candy and gifts are distributed to between 25,000 and 35,000 children each year, and each get to see Santa Claus along the way.

Soon after CSX Transporation, Inc. was created in 1986, this new mega-railroad finally purchased the Clinchfield Railroad and merged it into their large operation.

Towns on Route (in SC):

SC/NC State Line




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