Norfolk Southern Piedmont Division - Upstate South Carolina

Photos on this page depict images of the former Southern Railway main line through Cherokee County, SC and Cleveland County, NC. Radio frequencies for NS Piedmont on this line are:

  • AAR56 (160.950) Road
  • AAR80 (161.310) Channel 2
  • Click on images below to enlarge.

    - Sewell - MP408.6
    Norfolk & Western C36-7 8503 leads a northbound freight under the signals at Sewell.
    New trackside signals replaced the signal bridge. This view is looking railroad north. The newer style signal bridge was due to a derailment here in the 70's.
    Turnout change in 2021 resulted in signal reconfiguration here and at Kings Mtn.
    - Kings Mtn - MP411.3
    N&W 611 pulls an excursion north through Kings Mtn in this '92 photo.
    Signal bridge was removed in 2021.
    After a derailment south of Kings Mtn near Margrace Road, a flatcar is lifted back over the tracks by two Southern Rwy cranes in this '87 photo.
    Another view of the '87 derailment near Margrace Road just south of Kings Mtn.
    In times past, an industrial spur shown in the left side of photo crossed Hwy 216 here.
    - Hudson - MP413.6
    This view looking railroad north shows new signals at Hudson. Two signal bridges once guarded the crossovers. Southbound signals are on a new cantilever style bridge due to visibility limitations.
    NW GP30 539 and NS GP38-2 switch cars at a mine processing industry south of Hudson 6/90. Both units have winterized cab windows.
    NS 9003 leads 213's consist south through the crossovers at Hudson, MP413.3.
    - Archdale - MP416.3
    A northbound pig train at Archdale heads toward Kings Mtn. on an overcast August '90 morning. Mid-train units and radio control cars were a familiar sight in the 80's and 90's. The signal bridge at Archdale has since been replaced with Vader style trackside signals.
    A light snow had fallen on the signal bridge at Archdale. These signals are intermediates for Grover and the crossover at Hudson. New "Darth Vader" style signals have been installed. The signal bridge and its aspects were a familiar sight in past times and could be viewed from a distance in either direction from the highway. The signal bridge stood here for over fifty years. It was removed and replaced by trackside signals.
    NS 172 heads north on track 1 at Archdale. New trackside signals replaced the bridge that once stood here. Darth Vader hoods and overgrowth block the view of signal aspects at Archdale. In past times the railroad right of way was well trimmed. Trains and signal locations could be viewed from Kings Mtn to Grover when driving on Hwys 29 and 216.

    - Grover - MP418.7
    Home signal in Grover NC at milepost 418.69 looking south. This signal was a landmark in Grover for many years. It was removed in February 2013. Pole mounted signals and ATCS tower were installed. This line once had block signals before CTC arrived. The overturned concrete base in the lower left was for a block signal.
    Buckingham Branch 8851 in tow at Grover. NS 119 was stopped waiting on a NB movement. Caught up with NS 119 and BB 8851 at Blacksburg yard later in the day for a few more photos.

    NS 3294 SD40-2 leads a southbound freight through Grover NC in this 8/90 35mm slide view. Notice the radio control car tucked in behind the 4th unit.

    A solid UP consist waits at MP 418 for a northbound movement on a rainy December day.

    NS 3245 SD40-2 in Southern Railway livery sandwiched by units in NS paint. This consist was stopped at the Grover NC signal for a meet with northbound traffic at milepost 418.7. The "cigar band" scheme rapidly disappeared after this March '88 photo was taken. Those pesky telephone poles always seem to be in the background!

    NS 4009 powers a work train cleaning ballast north of Grover.

    NS 6653 leads a freight south through the turnout at Grover in this August,'90 photo.
    A Qwest fiber optic work train with rebuilt chopped-nose geeps is parked in the siding at Grover in this '99 slide. This siding originally extended to the Grover station where a parking lot now exists.
    The rear of NS 750's unit coal train with a faded Norfolk & Western caboose heads north toward Duke Power's Allen steam station in Belmont NC in 8/90. 750/751 regularly ran this line from Spartanburg SC by way of Saluda Mtn.

    - Kemstrand - MP421.3
    This view looking north shows new signal installation at Kemstrand. Single tricolor head for southbound traffic is a distant signal for control point at Broad River. Northbound signal is tricolor over bicolor. Northbound signal is approach to the control point at Grover, NC. This location is north of Blacksburg yard at the 421.56 milepost. Old signals were replaced in early 2013. Kemstrand siding is inaccessible by vehicle and seldom used since Blacksburg yard traffic has ceased.

    The southbound local out of Spartanburg rolls slowly by after switching LNG cars at a siding north of Kemstrand. A stack train was held at Grover while the crew finished their work. The new northbound signal displaying default yellow over red at Kemstrand can be seen to the left of tank car in this May 2014 photo.

    Southbound stack train with BNSF consist rolls past Kemstrand at restricted speed. This train had been held up due to the local's crew switching LNG cars and tying up the main at a facility north of Kemstrand. This train had to follow on the local's block to Broad River where double track begins and the local's consist could be passed. The local could have used the siding at Kemstrand, but the dispatcher chose not to instruct the crew to take siding.

    - Blacksburg - MP424
    Click here to visit Blacksburg yard/SB line page.
    - Broad River - MP427.2
    Broad River, milepost 427.2 south of Blacksburg. View is south toward viaduct in this '89 photo. Although the viaduct is a huge concrete arch structure, only the white markers beside tracks give any evidence of its existence from this location.
    A more recent view of Broad River signals. New trackside signals replaced bridge supporting northbound aspects.
    NS 3274 leading a second SD40-2, two GP30's, and a GE unit lift a consist out of the Broad River valley in this photo from '89. The signal at Broad River north end can be seen at the bottom of the grade just to the left of the whistlepost.
    A northbound pig train rolls across the viaduct at Broad River. The signal bridge shown in this '89 35mm slide has since been removed and replaced with track side signals.
    NS119 at Broad River. Old signal shown in this photo has since been removed.
    Northbound signals at Broad River before upgrade was completed. New trackside signals replaced signal bridge. The 427.0 defect detector can be seen in the distance on right side of tracks.
    Broad River viaduct looking Northeast (railroad north). The original stone piers in the river are visible to the right. There are 12 concrete pillars on the north bank leading to original single track alignment.
    Broad River viaduct looking West (railroad South). The viaduct has four additional arches to the right not displayed in this view. Stone piers from original trestle and alignment are visible to the left.
    - Cherokee Creek - MP429.7
    NS 8643/8620 lead a manifest north of Cherokee Creek viaduct between Gaffney, SC and the Broad River. The train will cross Broad River viaduct and head up the valley through Blacksburg yard and on to Charlotte, NC.
    Conrail 8303 in a consist crossing Cherokee Creek viaduct. This structure is a shorter version of the concrete arch viaduct spanning the Broad River, a few miles north of this location.
    NS 9466 leads a Conrail unit north at milepost 429.3 under the intermediates at Cherokee Creek. New trackside signals replaced the signal bridge.
    - Cherokee - MP432.8
    NS 8455 heads northbound through Gaffney SC during a quick summer cloudburst.
    - Timken -
    Timken intermediate signals at milepost 435. The view in this photo looks southwest toward the control point at Thicketty. Various companies have industrial leads in this area. New trackside signals were installed in March 2013.

    - Thicketty - MP437.5
    Control point at Thicketty MP 437.5. This view looks railroad north toward Timken and Cherokee (Gaffney, SC). Double track extends north to Broad River at MP427. New signals were installed in March 2013.

    - Cherry Hill - MP440
    Intermediate signals at MP 440. View in this photo looks railroad north toward control point at Thicketty. Signals on right side of tracks were removed in early 2013 during upgrade.

    - Converse -
    NS 8360 leads a southbound over the Pacolet river bridge at Converse, SC. The bridge frame for what was once a double track line is still intact.

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