Jump to content

monsoon

Piedmont & Northern Railroad

Recommended Posts


I "discovered" this the other day while driving around the Wesley Heights:

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Charlotte,+NC+28202&hl=en&ll=35.228198,-80.863988&spn=0.000452,0.00066&sll=35.203154,-80.839829&sspn=0.655326,1.352692&oq=2820&hnear=Charlotte,+North+Carolina+28202&t=h&layer=c&cbll=35.228244,-80.864028&panoid=kRB3Gjhn5KECzqOlZDXFZA&cbp=12,342.27,,0,15.44&z=21

 

Wesley Heights / Bryant Park used to be an industrial area all served by the P&N, and it's good to see this small piece of track preserved and incorporated into the sidewalk and brickwork... 

 

I ran across a map the other day of all the P&N trackage in the Wesley Heights / Bryant Park area but can't seem to find it... any help is appreciated :)

Edited by ChessieCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for old right-of-way in areas like this, it's actually pretty simple... look for long, sweeping curves along the side of buildings in a row.  Just a quick example in the area you mentioned... you can easily see where the line would once have run to service all these old industries.

 

frWoAQ7.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  Yeah indeed it looks like the P&N had a semicircle of service where the walking trails parallel Stewart Creek, then cross into the area in red you have circled above, then reach the mainline between Calvert St and I-77... 

Edited by ChessieCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder where the abandoned line that crosses Freedom Dr once led to.  Maybe it terminated at Bryant Park?

 

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bank+of+America+Stadium,+South+Mint+Street,+Charlotte,+NC&hl=en&ll=35.229659,-80.868961&spn=0.003619,0.005284&sll=35.203154,-80.839829&sspn=0.655326,1.352692&oq=bank+of+a&hq=Bank+of+America+Stadium,+South+Mint+Street,+Charlotte,+NC&t=h&z=18

 

Or maybe it went further and reached the NS Mainline past Wilkinson?  Always wondered...

Edited by ChessieCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As recently as the late 2000s, that line was actually quite busy.  Now, it didn't go further than you see in that image (at least not in the recent past, I -think- way back when it connected with the Southern past Wilkinson) but the industrial building right there on Freedom used to be Armen Plastics.  In the end, they wanted to expand their building but the owner wouldn't let them, so they moved out.  And now the building sits empty, looking to be leased.  I imagine the owner feels like an idiot.

 

ozDPWuC.jpg

 

From everything the older guys told me, the place was a PAIN to work.  They'd have cars sitting on both house tracks (the small spurs coming off the big spur) AND cars on the spur, straight across the switches.  Plus, to get back to the P&N main there was only enough track left there to back out with I believe it was 2 motors + 3 cars at a time.  So it was hell trying to switch them.

 

Of course, back in the day that spur would have continued down to serve all those warehouses along Freedom.  Another spur for the other side of the street, etc.  That area was the Thrift Industrial District.

Edited by TotalLamer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another bit.  Two of these industries were also recently worked.  The ones circled in blue.  Southern Concrete and Cunningham Wholesale.  Late 2000s they went out I believe.  I've heard Southern Concrete at some point in the recent past wanted to get service again but the railroad said it would be too expensive to fix the track that far and Southern Concrete didn't want to pay it either.  Obviously there would have been house tracks coming off all this to serve the various industries but I don't have them marked.

 

hlzbEWh.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Interesting info..  was this not the original trolley line that connected somehow connected East Blvd to the Lakewood Amusement Park in the early 1900's ?

Yes. Lakewood was in the area just to the right (east) of the easternmost rail line in the photo immediately above. If you look on google maps you can see the creek which was damed for the lake and a street named Lakewood ave. I believe that high-tension power lines and a large substation make up most of the historic park space.

On another note: does anyone know about the ownership of the P&N lines in Mecklenburg. The state rail map is pretty clear that NCDOT is the owner of the P&N in Gaston, but less clear about the shorter Mecklenburg segments. I know CSX currently operates on the lines to Parkway ave, but is that just a trackage rights deal (like Patriot rail on the Gaston side) or do they own outright? Ownership seems to get blurry around Pincoa.

Is the P&N bridge over the Catawba under the same ownership structure as the remainder of the lines?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As to the area around Mount Holly (and thus the bridge over the Catawba) I'm fairly certain CSX owns it.  There's a split rail here:

 

By9vPcX.png

 

When we interchange with the P&N, you have to line the split rail, shove the cars over it and then line it back.  I would imagine that marks the boundary between NCDOT owned track and CSX owned track.

 

As for the boundaries in Mecklenburg... I'm not really sure.  I would imagine CSX owns anything that hasn't been abandoned.  I can tell you there's a portable derail in place here:

 

jepMzQK.png

 

Because there are no other industries in-service past Blue Linx.  They operate out of both of those buildings (lumber yard and warehouse) and get cars at both as well.  I'm not sure if the track past that point is just out-of-service or abandoned and owned by NCDOT though.

Edited by TotalLamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aparently 12 carloads a month (!) were not enough for Patriot Rail to continute to operate on the P&N. They have terminated their lease and NCDOT is searching for a new operator.

 

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/short_lines_regionals/news/North-Carolina-DOT-to-seek-new-operator-for-stateowned-short-line--41809?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aparently 12 carloads a month (!) were not enough for Patriot Rail to continute to operate on the P&N. They have terminated their lease and NCDOT is searching for a new operator.

 

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/short_lines_regionals/news/North-Carolina-DOT-to-seek-new-operator-for-stateowned-short-line--41809?

 

Thanks for the update.  WVNC Rails says that "the two shippers along the route will continue to be served until a new operator can be secured."

 

http://wvncrails.weebly.com/piedmont--northernyesterday-and-today.html

 

WVNC Rails is by far the best source about the old P&N.  Whoever runs that website is really passionate about trains.

Edited by ChessieCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea for a Polar Express route to McAddenville is AWESOME.

 

This needs to happen now!  Or, you know, December.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This story is three months old but good to know that NCDOT signed a contract with Iowa Pacific Holdings to operate the 13-mile P&N line between Gastonia and Mt Holly:

http://www.gastongazette.com/article/20150609/NEWS/150609903/?Start=1

WVNC Rails has the best website about the P&N, yesterday and today:

http://wvncrails.weebly.com/piedmont--northernyesterday-and-today.html

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Iowa Pacific is a great company, they run many successful short lines (many with a passenger component) across the country, their Pullman rail journeys are 1st class, and they just took over Amtrak's Hoosier State.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is construction work going on next to the old P&N tracks near Cedar Street:

http://goo.gl/maps/AaZY3

 

Does anyone know what's going on?  NCDOT bought the property from CSX when they abandoned the line in the 90's and still owns it, correct?

This was referenced in another thread, but by now you likely know that they paved an asphalt trail connecting Irwin Creek Greenway to Cedar Street.  They're also exposing the rail and paving trail/sidewalk west of Walnut Ave in Wesley Heights.  It allows for an upgrade of the greenway connection but also clears the use of the rail corridor by the trail users so that the rail can be reactivated at some point.

 

I have used this new Frazier Park to Cedar St trail often as it is part of a nice 5k loop for my running, but I must say that I REALLLLLLY wish they had taken some care in adding shade trees along it.   I think they more or less did the connection for near free by redesigning the parking lots in that area and paving it as part of that, but there is no shade.   New asphalt and bitumen treatments smell like some toxic blend of cancer and dead babies, so it is really really unpleasant to run through that area in the sun and heat and stench, especially when you add on the proximity to Charlotte Pipe & Foundry.   At least some shade trees would reduce that some.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So streetcar 85 and the two Charleston streetcars are still stored in a building along the P&N, is the plan to run them on the line along the greenway still alive? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.