The Pacolet River coming home to Landrum

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

City plans to welcome new rail car in style next week

LANDRUM — Landrum Mayor Robert Briggs, the city council and the interim museum board invite the public to come see the community’s new rail car as it is unloaded and placed on a platform behind the downtown depot next week.

The public is also invited to a welcoming ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. 

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The car is scheduled to arrive sometime in the evening on Aug. 1, and be offloaded late Thursday morning. Landrum Police will meet the car on Interstate 26 at the North Carolina/South Carolina state line, and escort it through town to the depot.

Briggs, the interim museum board and city council members will host a ceremony, complete with a christening, to welcome the car to Landrum.

“The museum will be an important step in preserving Landrum’s history, as well as serving as a new attraction for Landrum’s visitors,” Briggs said.

The rail car is a stainless steel, 85-foot-long Pullman Sleeper. It has 10 one-person roomettes and six bedrooms that sleep two people. Built by the Pullman Standard Company in Chicago in 1949, the car was one of 24 named after rivers in the area.

This particular car — which traversed the Southern Railways line from Columbia to Asheville — was named The Pacolet River.

It will take two cranes to lift the 70-ton Pullman rail car off the transport truck and onto the newly constructed platform. Construction crews have poured the concrete slab and added the railroad ties on which the car will rest.

Landrum City Administrator Rich Caplan said it would take a few weeks for the concrete to set because of the weight of the rail car.

Plans for the car include leaving one sleeper berth so people can see how people traveled long distances in the heyday of train travel. The interim museum board is asking for donations and loans of Landrum and historical railroad memorabilia to fill the museum, and for volunteers with railroad and/or museum knowledge to help govern the museum.

The board hopes to have the car restored and the museum completed sometime in 2019.

Landrum resident Bill Steward, who worked for Norfolk and Southern Railroad as a pullman and has been a private collector and a dealer of railroad memorabilia for more than 40 years, said this particular car is historically accurate for the Landrum area.

“This is one of the cars that ran the railroad line through Landrum,” Steward said.

Anyone interested in helping with the museum or anyone with items to donate is asked to contact the city of Landrum at 864-457-3000.