South Carolina Railroads - Rockton & Rion Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Rockton, SC

Rion, SC

The Rockton & Rion Railroad was completed in 1897, a 12-mile short line. It served as the railroad for the Winnsboro Granite Company.

The Rockton & Rion Railroad was owned and operated by the Heyward family until 1967 and was one of the last operating steam railroads in South Carolina. The railroad was sold by the Heyward family to Martin Marietta Aggregate in 1967. Martin Marietta Aggregate operated it until 1978 when it stopped using the Rion Quarry - the last stone was used in building the interstate highway, I-77.

The Rockton & Rion then sat idle until it was donated to the South Carolina Railroad Museum (SCRM), Inc. in 1984 and was named the Rockton, Rion & Western Rail Road (reporting marks are RRWX). SCRM, Inc. allows Norfolk Southern Railroad trackage rights to operate over one mile of the line to the Guardian Fiberglass Plant (formerly the Mack Truck plant).

The South Carolina Railroad Museum, Inc. was established in 1973 by a group of dedicated railroad enthusiasts from the Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina areas.

Currently, the South Carolina Railroad Museum, Inc. operates five miles of the 11-1/2 mile line of the former Rockton & Rion Railroad. The eastern terminal of the line is at the junction with the Norfolk Southern Railroad at the Rockton Station. The line runs generally westward through the Rion community to Anderson Quarry, home of the world famous blue granite called the "silk of the trade."

Please see the Museum’s web site at

Clarifications to this information provided in October 2010 by Mr. Bill White, Vice-President of SCRM, Inc.
Click Here for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History's webpage showing photos of historical items associated with the Rockton & Rion Railroad. 
Click Here for photos of the R&R's engines. 

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© 2010 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved