South Carolina Railroads - Spartanburg & Asheville Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Spartanburg, SC

Asheville, NC
* 1881 - Reorganized as the Asheville & Spartanburg Railroad.
+ 1872 - Chartered in South Carolina. 1873 - Chartered in North Carolina.
First conceived as the Greenville & French Broad Railroad in 1855, but it was never built.

Heavily promoted by NC Governor Zebulon B. Vance, a native of Western North Carolina, and his SC counterpart, Governor Wade Hampton, III, the new Spartanburg & Asheville Railroad quickly encountered financial problems and was placed into receivership in 1881.

Construction started in 1876 and the going out of Spartanburg to the NC/SC State Line was fairly uneventful. In early 1878, the line reached Tryon, NC and by 1879, the line reached Hendersonville, NC. But, the Piedmont quickly ran out and the the North Carolina mountains loomed in the path. The builders faced an almost sheer wall of rock in the form of Saluda Mountain, with no alternative route anywhere close. The two choices at the time were to go over the mountain or to bore multiple tunnels through it, and with finances becoming more and more tight, the builders chose to go over it to save money.

One year later, the line finally reached Hendersonville - a distance of twenty-one (21) miles, and the money ran out. A bill was introduced to the NC State Legislature to forfeit the charter if construction did not speed up. This spurred new and increased support for the railroad on both ends, and resulted in the reorganization of the company into the Asheville & Spartanburg Railroad in 1881, managed by the Richmond & Danville Railroad, which completed the line in 1886.

Towns on Route in SC:

SC/NC State Line

Earlesville > Landrum (1880)


Inman (1877)

Campton (1875)

Spartanburg C.H.

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