Beaufort Railroad Company
The Newest Railroad in
It is unusual in this day and age to have a new railroad start up, although this particular company is essentially a rail road but not a transportation company.
history of the line stretches back to the Port Royal Railroad, chartered in
December of 1856, but not constructed until 1870 with the line running from
this was a clever ploy set up by the Georgia Railroad to purchase the Port
Royal Railroad on June 6 and the new PR&A took over in October of
1878. While Port Royal was not the port
that everyone hoped for, the
Two years later, the Georgia RR & Banking Company opted out of the railroad business and leased the Georgia RR to William Wadley’s Central RR & Banking Co (Central of Georgia) and sold the PR&A to Wadley at the same time. The Georgia Railroad was leased 50/50 by SCL and L&N until 1980, but the lease was renewed for 99 years in 1975.
Central RR&B used the PR&A to lease the
In 1886, the PR&A released the A&K from its lease, and the A&K merged with the three branch lines to form the new Port Royal & Western Carolina. (It should be clear that the PR&WC was a Central of Georgia operation.). The SC charter however called out that although the PR&A was to become a part of the PR&WC, no outside line could buy or lease any railroad now built which extended toward the ocean from the PR&WC. This clearly meant the PR&A. But, the PR&A and the PR&WC were both considered to be integral parts of the Central of Georgia by that company. The lines were operated in this way and the lines were shown on CofGA maps. This was no secret as the PR&WC leased Central of GA locomotives and ran them with the original name still on the tender.
remembered now, the
General Assembly of South Carolina, now aware of the illegal control of the
PR&A by a “foreign competing company”, resolved in late 1892 to compel the
PR&A to comply or forfeit the charter.
A year later, with no change in operation, the charter was repealed and
the corporation was dissolved. Section 5
of the declaration permitted the trains to continue to run. The PR&A was then purchased three years
later in 1896 by the new Charleston & Western Carolina Railway which then
purchased the PR&WC to form a single rail system from Port Royal to
there was no connection between the ACLofSC lines and the C&WC lines. A new track was laid from
C&WC was absorbed by the ACL on December 31, 1959. The Seaboard Coast Line was formed in 1967,
and Family Lines came into existence in 1972 as the L&N was absorbed. The Seaboard System was formed in 1983 and
began to consolidate some of the lines.
In September of 1984, the Yemassee to
South Carolina Public Railways Commission, which operated the Charleston Port Railways
and which lately had built the East Cooper & Berkeley in 1976, was called
on to save the Yemassee to
Tangent operated the line on an “as required” basis until November 30, 2003 when operations were ended. The right of way was maintained after that date by SC State Ports Authority.
September of 2006, a new entity, Beaufort
Railroad Company, was organized with a Certificate of Existence. The company issued 100 shares of stock and has
The Surface Transportation Board in Washington then received a Modified Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Beaufort Railroad to provide service “as required” from Yemassee to Port Royal (Finance Docket 34943). The document was received on December 1, 2006.
So, the newest railroad is the Beaufort Railroad that has no employees, no equipment, but the right to use the track of the former Port Royal Railroad that has been maintained by the SC State Ports Authority for three years.
Actually, an personal inspection of portions of the line in April of 2005 found the track to be in reasonably good condition where observed. There was no sign of abandonment, but more of a line lying dormant.
luck to the line.