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Going to the Beech: Beech Grove Shops that is

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Seaboard92

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A swimming pool at a train station!? Please elaborate.
The Union Station Trainshed with the exception of two platform tracks, an empty track grade next to the platform tracks, and two freight bypass tracks is the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Union Station As part of that they put a hotel under the train shed in an area where they removed the track grade. On the track grade however they have three strings of heavyweight sleepers parked as hotel rooms.
 

Michigan Mom

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All I can say is, Wow. You really know how to adventure!
Thank you for taking us along.
 

railiner

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The Union Station Trainshed with the exception of two platform tracks, an empty track grade next to the platform tracks, and two freight bypass tracks is the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Union Station As part of that they put a hotel under the train shed in an area where they removed the track grade. On the track grade however they have three strings of heavyweight sleepers parked as hotel rooms.
Looks like it was modeled after the St. Louis Union Station redevelopment....
 

Palmland

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Excellent detailed and informative report, Seaboard. I feel like I took the trip with you, but certainly couldn’t have kept up if I had!

Your trip brought back lots of memories including meandering through the back roads of SC. I assume that was PC in Clinton. A good school! Were the deadline of Alcos you saw from the Pickens RR? A good operation that had been family run when I worked with them on a project. Louisville Union station brought memories of many trips on the L&N. It’s not quite the same without the huge train shed but at least it’s preserved thanks to the local transit operation.

I noticed you managed to avoid many opportunities to enjoy Amtrak’s cuisine. Probably a wise choice, but I keep hoping someone will have a positive report. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your work on Pacific Park. Looks like a fun project.
 

Seaboard92

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All I can say is, Wow. You really know how to adventure!
Thank you for taking us along.
Your welcome. I enjoy going on the adventures for sure. I'm thinking my next super big adventure will be to one of the few countries allowing us in before the end of the year.

Looks like it was modeled after the St. Louis Union Station redevelopment....
I believe you are right, but maybe more like the Chattanooga Choo Choo in the old Southern Station in Chattanooga, TN. I don't believe STL has railcars turned into hotel rooms. But it is an active PV parking lot.

Excellent detailed and informative report, Seaboard. I feel like I took the trip with you, but certainly couldn’t have kept up if I had!

Your trip brought back lots of memories including meandering through the back roads of SC. I assume that was PC in Clinton. A good school! Were the deadline of Alcos you saw from the Pickens RR? A good operation that had been family run when I worked with them on a project. Louisville Union station brought memories of many trips on the L&N. It’s not quite the same without the huge train shed but at least it’s preserved thanks to the local transit operation.

I noticed you managed to avoid many opportunities to enjoy Amtrak’s cuisine. Probably a wise choice, but I keep hoping someone will have a positive report. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your work on Pacific Park. Looks like a fun project.
I'm glad you feel like you were coming along for the ride. I really wanted that in these covid times to help everyone get out of their houses for just a bit and see a glance of the country along with me.

Yes I went to Presbyterian College for my Freshman year in 2013. It was a good school but it has to be one of the costliest in the state. You should go meandering some more again as there are plenty of good backroads in the upstate of SC.

Yes the deadline of Alcos is on the Pickens Railroad at Docheno, SC which is on Docheno road which splits off US 76 at Belton-Honea Path High School, about halfway between both of those towns. There are also a few other locomotives there as well in various states of disrepair. The main Pickens fleet I believe is kept either at their shop, or behind the Packaging Corp warehouse on US 76 near Honea Path. But I see them tied down a lot next to the Greenville & Western.

It is a good little operation and I hope they continue to be family run for some time to come.

The person I had showing me around Kentucky knows everyone in Louisville Union Station so I feel like we got a VIP tour of the place. I can't imagine it with the train shed but I know that at one point it had one.

Yes I did try and avoid the Amtrak Cuisine. Part of that wasn't intentional as I really want to finish riding the entire network so taking the Pennsylvanian made a lot of sense. And riding the Wolverine has been on my to do list for a long time. I actually had three contemporary meals 2 on the Cardinal, and 1 on the Crescent. But as of so far I haven't had a positive experience with the menu yet. Not going to rule it out though I keep an open mind.

I'm sure you will hear more about the Pacific Park and maybe even see more here soon.
 

Bob Dylan

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Excellent detailed and informative report, Seaboard. I feel like I took the trip with you, but certainly couldn’t have kept up if I had!

Your trip brought back lots of memories including meandering through the back roads of SC. I assume that was PC in Clinton. A good school! Were the deadline of Alcos you saw from the Pickens RR? A good operation that had been family run when I worked with them on a project. Louisville Union station brought memories of many trips on the L&N. It’s not quite the same without the huge train shed but at least it’s preserved thanks to the local transit operation.

I noticed you managed to avoid many opportunities to enjoy Amtrak’s cuisine. Probably a wise choice, but I keep hoping someone will have a positive report. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your work on Pacific Park. Looks like a fun project.
My late father was from Pickens, and I remember as a kid riding a Mixed Train pulled by a Steamer from Pickens to Easley, and then to Greenville to catch the Southern Crescent!

It was owned by the Singer Sewing Machine Company that also owned a Lumber Company and the Cabinets and Machines were put together in Pickens and shipped out for Sale.

The old Pickens Cotton Mill, where so many of my relatives worked, was next to the Pickens Depot and when wed visit I enjoyed watching the Trains come and go.( it was a Terminal Depot for years until a Wye was put in, and then the Trains could be turned so they didn't have to run " backwards" to Easley.)
 
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Palmland

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was owned by the Singer Sewing Machine Company that also owned a Lumber Company and the Cabinets and Machines were put together in Pickens and shipped out for Sale.
Interesting! I knew there were lots of mills in the Piedmont area of SC, but had not heard of this. Fortunately this area is now regaining its economic strength with the likes of BMW and Michelin along the I-85 corridor. But you would never have known it on a late night ride I had on a CSX local from Spartanburg to Belton and the Pickens interchange. We passed many derelict textile millS with towns like Pelzer that, at least downtown by the tracks, appeared not to have changed from the 50’s. This branchline of CSX was formerly an electric line called the Piedmont and Northern built by the Duke family that started Duke Power that now supplies electric for our home as Duke Energy.
 

Bob Dylan

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Interesting! I knew there were lots of mills in the Piedmont area of SC, but had not heard of this. Fortunately this area is now regaining its economic strength with the likes of BMW and Michelin along the I-85 corridor. But you would never have known it on a late night ride I had on a CSX local from Spartanburg to Belton and the Pickens interchange. We passed many derelict textile millS with towns like Pelzer that, at least downtown by the tracks, appeared not to have changed from the 50’s. This branchline of CSX was formerly an electric line called the Piedmont and Northern built by the Duke family that started Duke Power that now supplies electric for our home as Duke Energy.
Thanks, theres lots of old "Company towns" that once flourished all over the South ( and all States) that are now dying, or Ghost towns, due to relocations and basically greed on the part of Corporations!

What really got the Area back on its feet was when Duke Power damned up the Keowee River and Rich folks built Summer Cabins around the Lake and Tourism came to the Oconee/Pickens area of the Piedmont,which had always been dirt poor.

Then BMW built the Non-Union plant @ Spartenburg and people started flocking to the area as Greenville/Spartenburg boomed and Retirees started settling in the area.

I have relatives in the Piedmont who work for Duke Power and BMW, although there have been lots of layoffs during the COVID Shutdowns.( they would be in the Cotton Mills,Logging or @ Singer in the old days)
 
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Seaboard92

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My late father was from Pickens, and I remember as a kid riding a Mixed Train pulled by a Steamer from Pickens to Easley, and then to Greenville to catch the Southern Crescent!

It was owned by the Singer Sewing Machine Company that also owned a Lumber Company and the Cabinets and Machines were put together in Pickens and shipped out for Sale.

The old Pickens Cotton Mill, where so many of my relatives worked, was next to the Pickens Depot and when wed visit I enjoyed watching the Trains come and go.( it was a Terminal Depot for years until a Wye was put in, and then the Trains could be turned so they didn't have to run " backwards" to Easley.)
This will make you really sad then but the Pickens abandoned their original line back a few years ago. It has now been turned into a trail for the entire length between Pickens and Easley. The last customer for the last few years was the Johnson Locomotive shop which I believe is owned by the same family that owns the Pickens. So once they built a shop on the Honea Path Division that spelled the end for the old line. They did leave one old switcher in Pickens however to mark it's heritage at the old locomotive shop. Now the Pickens Railway runs from Gluck to Honea Path via Anderson and Belton. The times have changed a lot in the upstate of South Carolina.


Interesting! I knew there were lots of mills in the Piedmont area of SC, but had not heard of this. Fortunately this area is now regaining its economic strength with the likes of BMW and Michelin along the I-85 corridor. But you would never have known it on a late night ride I had on a CSX local from Spartanburg to Belton and the Pickens interchange. We passed many derelict textile millS with towns like Pelzer that, at least downtown by the tracks, appeared not to have changed from the 50’s. This branchline of CSX was formerly an electric line called the Piedmont and Northern built by the Duke family that started Duke Power that now supplies electric for our home as Duke Energy.
There are still spots in the state that don't appear to have changed much surprisingly Pelzer downtown is still one of those. However the Piedmont & Northern station is long since gone as is the textile mill. I am jealous you got to ride that local because I've always wanted to ride that line. Now it is a day job from Spartanburg actually. Of course at one point from Belton all the way down to Greenwood the Piedmont & Northern (CSX) and the Southern Railway (NS) paralleled each other mostly in eye sight of one another for that entire distance. At places I believe it was less than a 50 ft difference between the right of ways. That was originally the Columbia & Greenville Railroad which up until the 1950s had passenger service between Columbia and Greenville. Now all that remains of it is a small 10-15 mile section in Greenville County, and a 25 mile section in Newberry county that is completely out of service at this point.

But you are right BMW and Michelin have really rejuvenated the upstate of South Carolina. I hear rumors we are getting an auto plant on the L&C somewhere which will spur a lot of development on the I77 corridor here in the next few years.
 

railiner

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Speaking of US-76 across South Carolina....I used to travel the portion between Florence, Sumpter, and Columbia back in 1967, when I was stationed at Shaw AFB. We used to have a short section of military railroad on the base, and it was neat watching the Air Force Blue painted switch engines
operate...:cool:

I see that like many other support services, civilians have taken over running it, but when I was there, Airmen performed the work...

 
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Seaboard92

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Speaking of US-76 across South Carolina....I used to travel the portion between Florence, Sumpter, and Columbia back in 1967, when I was stationed at Shaw AFB. We used to have a short section of military railroad on the base, and it was neat watching the Air Force Blue painted switch engines
operate...:cool:

I see that like many other support services, civilians have taken over running it, but when I was there, Airmen performed the work...

It actually made its last run about four years ago now. Towards the end they only ran on Wednesdays and Thursdays. However the track is still in and maintained. Both engines are still on base. I've actually ridden the whole route of the Shaw AFB Railroad back when I was in high school. US 76 actually has some of the best variety for railroads in the state of SC. You have RJ Corman Carolina Lines on the far eastern part of the line. The CSX Mainline in Florence along with the South Carolina Central (G&W) there as well. Cross over the Shaw AFB line near Sumter.

In Columbia you have CSX, and NS radiating out in nine different directions and you follow the CN&L all the way to Laurens. At Laurens you have the Carolina Piedmont (G&W), at Honea Path-Anderson the Pickens, at Belton the Greenville & Western, and at Clemson you pick up the EX Southern Mainline for NS. It's a great road to railfan on too.
 

MARC Rider

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I liked the pictures of Laurens. About 15 years ago or so, we went down to Greenville to have some meetings with folks at Michelin. They showed us their test labs in Greenville, one of the factories in Spartanburg, and the proving ground they have in Laurens. They had us out on the track doing a demo that shows why, if you only have 2 tires with good treads, you should put them on the rear of your car. Then they had their test driver, who used to me a move stunt driver, take us out on a wetted track, doing various driving stunts that definitely pumped up my adrenaline. We had lunch in a little cafe in Laurens where I got one of my first tastes of southern-style sweet tea. I traveled to and from Greenville in a roomette on the Crescent.
 

NS VIA Fan

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I liked the pictures of Laurens. About 15 years ago or so, we went down to Greenville to have some meetings with folks at Michelin. They showed us their test labs in Greenville, one of the factories in Spartanburg, and the proving ground they have in Laurens........I traveled to and from Greenville in a roomette on the Crescent.
I worked at Michelin back in the '80s (they have 3 plants here in Nova Scotia) and was sent down to Greenville and Spartanburg. I even worked some vacation time in while there over a weekend and did a roundtrip to Washington on the Crescent!
 

Seaboard92

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I liked the pictures of Laurens. About 15 years ago or so, we went down to Greenville to have some meetings with folks at Michelin. They showed us their test labs in Greenville, one of the factories in Spartanburg, and the proving ground they have in Laurens. They had us out on the track doing a demo that shows why, if you only have 2 tires with good treads, you should put them on the rear of your car. Then they had their test driver, who used to me a move stunt driver, take us out on a wetted track, doing various driving stunts that definitely pumped up my adrenaline. We had lunch in a little cafe in Laurens where I got one of my first tastes of southern-style sweet tea. I traveled to and from Greenville in a roomette on the Crescent.
I didn't know there was a proving grounds track there. Now I will have to do some searching to try and find that.


I worked at Michelin back in the '80s (they have 3 plants here in Nova Scotia) and was sent down to Greenville and Spartanburg. I even worked some vacation time in while there over a weekend and did a roundtrip to Washington on the Crescent!
The local I photographed P45 it's largest customer is actually the Michelin Plant at Sand Spring. It looks like it receives maybe 100 cars per week.
 

MikeM

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The train station is a hotel, that's why there's a pool. Amtrak still stops at part of the station, but the majority was redeveloped a number of years ago.
 

Seaboard92

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The train station is a hotel, that's why there's a pool. Amtrak still stops at part of the station, but the majority was redeveloped a number of years ago.
It is a lovely hotel. I would love to stay at it again when Covid isn't the largest issue. As I would love to use the pool facilities. Just to say I swam under the train shed.
 
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