Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

Snake River Farms Wagyu Brisket
Piedmont and Northern logo

Piedmont & Northern Route Map.

Piedmont and Northern ALCO RS-3 No. 1607, ca. 1962.

A Piedmont and Northern Slideshow.

Click here to shop for Railroadiana on eBay.

Piedmont & Northern Alco C-420 at Spartanburg, South Carolina in February of 1968.  A Roger Puta Photograph.

Piedmont & Northern Alco C-420 at Spartanburg, South Carolina in February of 1968. A Roger Puta Photograph.
P and N map

Piedmont and Northern Railway
The Piedmont & Northern Railway (reporting mark PN) was a heavy electric interurban company operating over two unconnected divisions in North and South Carolina. Tracks spanned 128 miles (206 km) total between the two segments, with the northern division running 24 miles (39 km) from Charlotte, to Gastonia, North Carolina, including a three-mile (5 km) spur to Belmont. The southern division main line ran 89 miles (143 km) from Greenwood to Spartanburg, South Carolina, with a 12 mi (19 km) spur to Anderson. Initially the railroad was electrified at 1500 volts DC, however, much of the electrification was abandoned when dieselization was completed in 1954.

Unlike similar interurban systems the Piedmont & Northern survived the Great Depression and was later absorbed into the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in 1969. Although part of the railroad was abandoned between Greenwood and Honea Path and Belton to Anderson, much of the original system exists today as short lines. Once part of CSX, it is now owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which awarded a contract in May 2010 to Patriot Rail Corporation to restore the track and operate trains along the 12 miles (19 km) line.

History
Although interurban railroads were not nearly as common in the sparsely populated and largely agrarian Deep South, there were a number of small electric networks constructed in the region throughout the early 20th century. Among them was the Anderson Traction Company, created on June 22, 1904 to build and operate within the city of Anderson. Eventually the railroad expanded to complete construction of an extension to Belton by 1910. The railroad was acquired by James B. Duke of Duke Power around the same time.

On March 20, 1909, the Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson Railway was chartered and presided over by Duke. The company used the Anderson Traction Company rails terminating at Belton as a starting point for northward construction to Greenville and construction toward Greenwood to the south, with both cities connected on November 1912. An extension from Greenville to Spartanburg was completed in April 1914. The North Carolina division started with the Piedmont Traction Company, also owned by Duke, and completed its route between Charlotte and Gastonia, North Carolina on July 3, 1912.

Both sections were electrified to 1,500 volts DC with power supplied from mainly hydroelectric sources. Additionally both segments were built to steam road standards with minimal street running.

Consolidation
The Piedmont & Northern was created in 1914 to consolidate both the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson in South Carolina and the Piedmont Traction Company in North Carolina. In 1916 the railroad completed a 3-mile (4.8 km) spur to Belmont, North Carolina. On numerous occasions the company sought to link the two disconnected segments and expand to Durham, North Carolina, however, the plans never materialized due to stiff resistance from the Southern Railway, which the P&N paralleled in both states.

Although many railroads were hostile to the Piedmont & Northern, a friend was found with the Seaboard Air Line, which connected with the P&N at Charlotte and Greenwood. Throughout its existence the P&N stressed interchange traffic over its efficient electric lines, and with good reason: the railroad shared numerous interchanges with several major railroads.

Network
The P&N's network in 1964 was connected to the Clinchfield Railroad (CRR), Carolina and North Western Railroad (C&NW), Georgia and Florida Railroad (G&F), Norfolk Southern (NS), Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL), Southern Railway (SOU), Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL), Greenville and Northern Railroad (G&N), Charleston and Western Carolina (C&WC) and Ware Shoals Railroad.

Though owned by Duke Power, the P&N operated coal trains over a branch from Mount Holly, NC, to Terrell, NC, supplying Duke Power's Lake Norman power plants.

North Carolina Division

Mile:  Station:

0.0     Charlotte - Interchange: Southern, NS Piggyback ramps
3.8     Chemway
4.1     Pinoca - Note: SAL Shops (still in use by CSX)
5.4     Toddville
6.9     Thrift
10.6   Sodyeco
11.1   Mount Holly

0.0     Mount Holly
           Riverbend
           Cowans Ford
           Denrock
           Denver
           Terrell
13.5   North Belmont

0.0     North Belmont
3.1     Belmont - Interchange: Southern
16.5   McAdenville Junction
17.6   McAdenville
17.9   Lowell
19.7   Ranlo
21.7   Groves
23.4   Gastonia - Interchange: Southern, C&NW Piggyback ramp

South Carolina Division

Mile:   Station: 
0.0      Spartanburg - Interchange: ACL, Southern, Clinchfield, C&WC Piggyback ramp
3.9      Saxon (Camp Wadsworth?)
6.6      Clevedale
10.2    Startex - Interchange: Southern
12.0    Lyman - Interchange: Southern
13.4    Duncan
18.3    Greer - Interchange: Southern
            Chick Springs
23.1    Taylors - Interchange: Southern
27.1    Paris (Hampton Heights?)
33.5    Greenville (River Junction) - Interchange: ACL, G&N, Southern, C&WC Piggyback ramp
36.5    White Horse
            Golden Grove
43.7    Piedmont - Interchange: Southern
48.4    Pelzer - Interchange: Southern
50.5    Williamston - Interchange: Southern
           Thomason/Cheddar
58.0    Belton - Interchange: Southern, C&NW

0.0      Belton - Interchange: Southern, C&NW
           Campbell
           Toxaway
11.6    Anderson - Interchange: C&NW, ACL, C&WC
65.8    Honea Path - Interchange: Southern
71.4    Donalds
74.3    Shoals Junction - Interchange: Southern, Ware Shoals RR
80.2    Hodges
83.9    Downs - Interchange: Southern
            Harris
88.9    Greenwood - Interchange: ACL, G&F, SAL, Southern, C&WC Piggyback ramp

Extension
Plans to connect the North and South Carolina divisions between Spartanburg, SC and Gastonia, NC, and to expand northwards towards Winston-Salem, NC, were successfully blocked by appeals by the Southern Railway and other entities in court cases in the 1930s, specifically PIEDMONT & N. RY. CO. v. UNITED STATES, 280 U.S. 469 (1930) and PIEDMONT & N R. CO. v. INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, 286 U.S. 299 (1932).

Traffic
The P&N, though involved heavily in passenger operations, was primarily a heavy freight carrier. The most important commodity transported was coal and coke, but also of significance were cotton (including cotton waste) and paper.

Statement of Car Loads of Freight Handled (in Carloads) - Years 1955 and 1954

Commodity: Grain and Grain Products

Carloads 1954: 3221
Carloads 1955: 3258
Change: +37

Commodity: Packing House Products

Carloads 1954: 2200
Carloads 1955: 2381
Change: +181

Commodity: Fruits and Vegetables

Carloads 1954: 1874
Carloads 1955: 1838
Change: -36

Commodity: Coal and Coke

Carloads 1954: 30203
Carloads 1955: 37995
Change: +7792

Commodity: Building Materials

Carloads 1954: 4465
Carloads 1955: 4966
Change: +501

Commodity: Cotton and Wastes

Carloads 1954: 8093
Carloads 1955: 8907
Change: +814

Commodity: Textile Products

Carloads 1954: 2746
Carloads 1955: 2842
Change: +96

Commodity: Sand and Stone

Carloads 1954: 2196
Carloads 1955: 2521
Change: +325

Commodity: Automobiles

Carloads 1954: 1889
Carloads 1955: 2061
Change: +172

Commodity: Oil and Gasoline

Carloads 1954: 2920
Carloads 1955: 2738
Change: -182

Commodity: Fertilizer and Fertilizer Products

Carloads 1954: 4056
Carloads 1955: 3176
Change: -880

Commodity: Machinery

Carloads 1954: 613
Carloads 1955: 732
Change: +119

Commodity: Paper and Paper Products

Carloads 1954: 6480
Carloads 1955: 6786
Change: +306

Commodity: Clay and Fullers Earth

Carloads 1954: 1897
Carloads 1955: 1805
Change: -92

Commodity: Iron and Steel Articles

Carloads 1954: 2746
Carloads 1955: 3297
Change: +37

Commodity: Forest Products

Carloads 1954: 2257
Carloads 1955: 2054
Change: -203

Commodity: Merchandise

Carloads 1954: 4767
Carloads 1955: 4350
Change: -417

Commodity: Miscellaneous

Carloads 1954: 17128
Carloads 1955: 17986
Change: +858

(Data from P&N 1955 Annual Report)

Motive power
Piedmont and Northern Electric Locomotives

No. 5000

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 10-1911
Engine Number: 37124
Tractive Effort: 13,700
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5001

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 10-1911
Engine Number: 37150
Tractive Effort: 13,700
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5002

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 10-1911
Engine Number: 37151
Tractive Effort: 13,700
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5003

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 10-1911
Engine Number: 37152
Tractive Effort: 13,700
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5004

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 11-1911
Engine Number: 37272
Tractive Effort: 13,700
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5005

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 11-1911
Engine Number: 37273
Tractive Effort: 10,000
Notes: Built with two trolley poles; pantograph installed 1935.

No. 5006

Builder: Baldwin-Westinghouse
Build Date: 4-1917
Engine Number: 44508
Tractive Effort: 12,000
Notes: Ex Salt Lake & Utah No. 102, bought by P&N in 1947.

No. 5100

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4651
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab.

No. 5101

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4652
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab.

No. 5102

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4653
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab.

No. 5103

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4654
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab. Preserved at Southeastern Railway Museum, Spencer, NC.

No. 5104

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4655
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab.

No. 5105

Builder: GE
Build Date: 12-1913
Engine Number: 4656
Tractive Effort: 13,000
Notes: GE class 404-E-120-4-GE-212F 63 ton boxcab.

No. 5106

Builder: GE
Build Date: 1912
Engine Number: 3806
Tractive Effort: 14,800
Notes: Ex-Oregon Electric No. 25; Sold to Utah-Idaho Central as No. 25, 1945; bought by P&N in 1948.

No. 5500

Builder: P&N Pinoca Shops
Build Date: 1917
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 14,800
Notes: Built from bodies of 4000-series express motors.

No. 5501

Builder: P&N Pinoca Shops
Build Date: 1918
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 17,072
Notes: Built from bodies of 4000-series express motors.

No. 5502

Builder: P&N Pinoca Shops
Build Date: 1918
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 17,072
Notes: Built from bodies of 4000-series express motors.

No. 5600

Builder: P&N Pinoca Shops
Build Date: 1918
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 27,072
Notes: Built from body of 4000-series express motors; rebuilt with steel cab in 1937; rebuilt as No. 5612 in 1949.

No. 5601

Builder: P&N Greenville Shops
Build Date: 1924
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 22,400
Notes: Baldwin trucks.

No. 5602

Builder: P&N Greenville Shops
Build Date: 1928
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 25,600
Notes: Baldwin trucks.

No. 5610

Builder: P&N Greenville Shops
Build Date: 1938
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 69,000
Notes: GE trucks.

No. 5611

Builder: GE
Build Date: 1941
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 34,500
Notes: Built by GE to P&N design.

No. 5612

Builder: P&N Greenville Shops
Build Date: 1949
Engine Number: -
Tractive Effort: 75,000
Notes: Rebuilt from No. 5600.

Piedmont and Northern Diesel Locomotives

Nos. 1000–1005
Quantity: 6
Builder: Alco
Build date: 1954
Model: S-4
Livery: gloss black, yellow striping

Nos. 1600–1609

Quantity: 10
Builder: Alco
Build date: 1950-1951
Model: RS-3
Livery: gloss black, yellow striping
Notes: Formerly numbers 100-109

Nos. 2000–2001

Quantity: 2
Builder: Alco
Build date: 1965
Model: C420
Livery: gloss black, yellow striping

Piedmont and Northern City & Interurban Cars

No. 1

Type: Birney
Builder: Brill
Dates Built: 1916
Construction: Steel
Seats: 32
Notes: Use and fate unknown.

No. 2

Type: City
Builder: Stephenson
Dates Built: 1917
Construction: Wood

No. 4

Type: City
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1917
Construction: Wood

No. 350

Type: Combine
Builder: AC&F
Dates Built: 1913
Construction: Steel
Seats: 26
Notes: Purchased from Pennsylvania Railroad - wrecked on February 21, 1941.

No. 351

Type: Express
Builder: P&N
Dates Built: 1942
Construction: Steel
Notes: Rebuilt from wreck of No. 350.

Nos. 400-403

Type: Trailer
Builder: PRR
Dates Built: 1913
Construction: Steel
Seats: 72
Notes: Bought from the Pennsylvania Railroad; ran for a while with old Nos. 325, 400, 408, 428.

No. 404

Type: Trailer
Builder: Jewett
Dates Built: 1911
Construction: Wood
Seats: 60
Notes: Original trailer coach No. 2404.

Nos. 405-407

Type: Trailer
Builder: PRR
Dates Built: 1913
Construction: Steel
Seats: 60
Notes: Bought from Long Island Rail Road, ex-numbers 401, 402, 405.

Nos. 2000–2022

Type: Combine
Builder: Jewett
Dates Built: 1911–1912
Construction: Wood
Seats: 60

Nos. 2050–2051

Type: Combine
Builder: P&N
Dates Built: 1928
Construction: Wood
Seats: 36
Notes: Rebuilt by P&N from number 2014 and 2008.

No. 2060

Type: Express
Builder: P&N
Dates Built: 1942
Construction: Wood
Notes: Rebuilt from No. 2005.

Nos. 2100–2101

Type: Combine
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Seats: 54
Notes: Former 2500 class trailer, powered in 1919.

No. 2102

Type: Combine
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Seats: 68
Notes: Former 2500 class trailer powered in 1919, 10' express section added in 1924.

Nos. 2103–2107

Type: Coach
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Seats: 68
Notes: Former 2500 class trailer, powered in 1919.

No. 2108

Type: Coach
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Seats: 68
Notes: Electric coach rebuilt from parlor-observation car "Catawba" in 1928.

No. 2200

Type: Parlor-Observation
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Notes: Open observation parlor-observation car "Catawba". Rebuilt in 1935 with glassed-in solarium section.

No. 2201

Type: Parlor-Observation
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Notes: Open observation parlor-observation car "Saluda". Rebuilt as business car "Carolina".

No. 2300

Type: Express
Dates Built: 1912
Construction: Wood
Notes: Former freight car; doors built onto ends for train access.

Nos. 2400–2405

Type: Coach trailer
Builder: Jewett
Dates Built: 1911
Construction: Wood
Seats: 60
Notes: De-motorized 2000-class rebuilt into 2100-class.

Nos. 2500–2507

Type: Coach trailer
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1914
Construction: Steel
Seats: 54
Notes: Motorized 1923-1925.

Nos. 3000-3004

Type: Coach trailer
Builder: Niles
Dates Built: 1910
Construction: Wood
Seats: 54
Notes: Five coaches obtained for military transport by USRA from Louisville & Northern Railway.

Nos. 4000-4007

Type: Express
Builder: Southern Car
Dates Built: 1911
Construction: Wood
Notes: Later used to build 5500 and 5600 class electric locomotives.

Disposition of rolling stock
Some of the electric locomotives were shipped to South America, the rest were scrapped. The diesels were taken over by the Seaboard Coast Line in 1969 after that railroad took over the P&N; of them, all have been scrapped except for one S-4 surviving in the US on the Laurinburg and Southern, and four that were sent to Venezuela.

The interurban No. 2102, Office Car "Carolina" (formerly Saluda) and Caboose x-23 are preserved and on display to the public at the Railroad Historical Center in Greenwood, SC.

Remnants
Only four of the stations built for the P&N, designed by Charles Christian Hook are still in existence today in North Carolina.

The Thrift depot in the Paw Creek community in Charlotte, NC is the only remaining P&N station in Mecklenburg County, NC; it is presently for sale.

In Gaston County, several structures are still standing. The depot in Mount Holly, North Carolina is still standing and is used as a hair salon. The former P&N depot in Belmont, NC has been restored and was a P&N museum until 2004, when the lease ran out and was not given extension by the owner. The former P&N station in Gastonia, NC, burned down in 1995. Lastly, the small depot of McAdenville, NC is still standing, though it has been relocated from its previous location.

In South Carolina, at least five stations are still standing: Donalds, Hodges, Greer, Piedmont and Anderson. The abandoned depot at Pelzer burned on the night on January 26, 2011.

In Piedmont, SC, the building is still standing, and appears to be in use as a storage shed in reasonable condition.

Nothing remains of the P&N in Honea Path, SC, apart from power poles still standing, delineating the former right-of-way.

The station at Taylors, SC was still standing in 1987. Though it is now gone, a former substation - including some overhead poles of the P&N line - can still be found near the CSX's Enoree River viaduct.

Some of the P&N's former lines are still in existence, with limited amounts still in operation. The track from Pelzer, SC to Spartanburg, SC is the CSX's Belton Subdivision. The segment from Pelzer to Belton was taken over by the Greenville and Western Railway in 2006. The track from Mt. Holly, NC to Gastonia, NC and from Mount Holly to Belmont, NC is still in place. Initially the track belonged to CSX; it is now owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which awarded a contract in May 2010 to Patriot Rail Corporation to restore the track and operate trains along the 12 miles (19 km) line.

The former P&N RR Charlotte terminal freight depot was in the Mint/Graham/Second (MLK) St /Third St block, while the Charlotte terminal passenger depot was in the Mint/Graham/Third St/Fourth St block in Charlotte. BB&T Ballpark now sits on the former depot site.

Piedmont and Northern Railway Overview
Reporting mark: PN
Locale: Upstate South Carolina, Western North Carolina
Dates of operation: 1911–1969
Predecessor: Piedmont Traction Company, Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson Railway
Successor: Seaboard Coast Line
Track gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification: 1500 volts DC (until 1954)
Length: 128 miles (206 km)
Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina

See also:

ACL

SOU

Railroads of the U.S.A.

Piedmont and Northern ALCO RS-3 No. 1607, ca. 1962.

NFLShop.com - NFL Jerseys and Gear
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore.
Shop for Railroad and Train Collectibles on eBay
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore.
NFLShop.com - NFL Jerseys and Gear
Shop for Trains and Railroad Collectibles on eBay