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CSX abandoning Pelzer to Belton rail line

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CSX to abandon local railroad line

Williamston Journal (SC)

2006/2/8

CSX is engaging in plans to abandon its rail line from Pelzer to Belton. It claims the section has little profitability to keep running.

This is part of a line that once connected Greenville to Greenwood, Ninety Six and Newberry. CSX's mainline runs through Spartanburg, Woodruff, Laurens and Greenwood.

If this line ever has a future, could one imagine it as a form of light rail trainsit from Belton to Greenville and/or Anderson (via the Pickens line)?

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Absolutely. Some day that could be a needed deature in that area. They should start planning on ways to aquire that land. Of course, they could easily reactiate the line. The line that was closed between Spartanburg and Asheville could potentially reopen.

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If such light speed transit comes to fruition, Honea Path and Greenwood should be considered. The line once passed through those communities. I could see that happening with a statewide passenger rail service.

Norfolk Southern made a big safety error when they took down the gates at their grade level crossings in Landrum. Even though it is not being actively used, I do think it helps in emergency purposes.

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If the Spartanburg to Charlotte line had to shut down because of a serious emergency (nuclear meltdown, etc.) and you had to move things from Knoxville, TN to Charleston, would you be willing to spend the money to move things down the Asheville to Spartanburg line while the emergency is taken care of?

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The county council actually talked about purchasing the tracks if they are abandoned. They feel it is vital for economic development in that area. I think they said there are 10 businesses that rely on that line.

Do you guys think the abandonment of those tracks would have a significant negative impact on the economies of Pelzer and Belton?

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I hope Anderson County County considers buying it. So many good opportunities lie with that track.

It would hurt some businesses between Pelzer and Belton. I prefer the end result benefits all parties involved.

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If the tracks weren't being used anyway, then the impacts on Pelzer and belton will be minimal.

I am a fan of buying up rail lines, because the odds are that we will need them in the future.

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Article: County files letter of protest to keep rail line open

Anderson Independent-Mail (SC)

2006/6/10

Anderson County officially submitted a letter of opposition to the Surface Transportation Board against CSX's plans to abandon its line from Pelzer to Belton. Communities along the line in question may suffer economically as businesses depends on it to send materials out of the area. With higher fuel costs and inefficient access to I-85, keeping the rail in operation that benefits the area economically is a top priority.

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America is the only industrialised country that routinely destroys and abandons existing railway infrastructure. In the long run, it's a really, really, bad idea. They should cede it to the State and it should be at least preserved for some future use.

CSX to abandon local railroad line

Williamston Journal (SC)

2006/2/8

CSX is engaging in plans to abandon its rail line from Pelzer to Belton. It claims the section has little profitability to keep running.

This is part of a line that once connected Greenville to Greenwood, Ninety Six and Newberry. CSX's mainline runs through Spartanburg, Woodruff, Laurens and Greenwood.

If this line ever has a future, could one imagine it as a form of light rail trainsit from Belton to Greenville and/or Anderson (via the Pickens line)?

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That is true. But the difference is that in other industrialized, which tend to be old world/european, trucks are less efficient means of transportation, so rail is dominant. In America they are usually the quickest way to do it, depending on what you're shipping of course. I'm not saying thats good or bad, its just how it is.

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America is the only industrialised country that routinely destroys and abandons existing railway infrastructure. In the long run, it's a really, really, bad idea. They should cede it to the State and it should be at least preserved for some future use.

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Thats an interesting observation. I think its also noteworthy that we have 3rd or 4th largest land area of any country in the world. Most industrialized nations are much more compact. The exceptions are Canada and Russia (less people, more unihabitable land).

The right of way issue is critical. I think that freight trains are going to become more common in the future, but is it going to be enough to activate the random spurs to small towns? I doubt it. It would be nice to see the government take some action to establish separate rights of way for passenger trains.

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