ACBA Buys Trolley Barn From City

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Nov 282014

According to the Charleston Regional Business Journal, the American College of the Building Arts has purchased property from the city that will become a new campus on the peninsula by 2016.

Meeting Street Trolley Barn - PeriodThe school, in partnership with real estate finance and investment firm Parallel Capital LLC, recently purchased the Trolley Barn property at 649 Meeting St. for $10. Charleston City Council authorized the property sale in February, and renovations are expected to start early next year.

The brick Trolley Barn was built in 1897 to house public transit trolleys, according to the news release. Two other buildings were later added, and when Charleston switched to buses in 1938, the facilities were used as a depot and maintenance shop. They have been dormant since the 1980s.

The new campus will include classroom and design workshop space for the college’s six craft specializations: blacksmithing, architectural stone, masonry, plastering, carpentry and timber framing. Residential housing for students and a mixed-use commercial space are also expected.

You can read more on this at the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

2014 Charleston Area Model Railroad Show

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Oct 012014

The annual kick-off to the holiday season is coming soon. No, not the yearly fall visit of the Coastal Carolina Fair. I am talking about the Charleston Area Model Railroad Club’s train show. What would the holidays be without toy trains?

Model Railroad and Train ShowAs in past years, the show will be held at the Danny Jones Armory and Gymnasium, 5000 Lackawanna Blvd, North Charleston, SC 29405. This year looks to be a much bigger and better show with two buildings of vendors and displays. (Can we all get a shout of approval for the return of the displays?)

The dates of the show are Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, 2014.

For more information, check out the Charleston Area Model Railroad Club’s website. You can also email them if you are interested in being a vendor.

Requesting Charleston Rail Photos

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Aug 052014

South Carolina Photo Books by Arcadia Publsihing

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a book coming out about railroads in Charleston should be priceless. With a little help from generous townspeople, the book surely will be.

Local resident Michael Carnell is looking for old photographs that might be used in “Charleston Rail”, a pictorial history to be published by Arcadia Publishing in its Images of Rail series.

The importance of family collections cannot be overemphasized. Vintage photographs become increasingly fragile and by scanning and reproducing them in a book, they become available for all to see. While postcards are great, and well loved, what is being looked for here is actual photographs. They have to be out there somewhere – in trunks, in photo albums, or hanging on the wall.

Anyone having photographs to be considered for “Charleston Rail” should contact Michael Carnell at or 843-628-6379.

And if you are interested in the book, stay tuned and we will let you know when it comes out. If you subscribe to this site, you will be one of the first to know.

RPM Meet in Atlanta

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Jul 282014

The Southern Railway Historical Association is pleased to announce the Atlanta RPM Meet. RPM in this instance stands for “Railroads Prototype Modelers”. The meet will be held at The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Southern Railway Historical Society Hosts Atlanta RPM Meet

The RPM meet welcomes all model railroaders interested in replicating prototype railroad locomotive, rolling stock, structures and locations. The focus is on sharing and learning what modelers are doing and how they’re doing it. This meet is not a contest and welcomes models in any scale, finished or under-construction, based on prototype railroad locomotives, rolling stock, structures, and scenes, regardless of the modeler’s skill level.

The Southern Museum is the home of the “General” (Western & Atlantic No. 3); SRHA’s Southern Railway Archives (Presidents’ Files, drawings, photos, and document collections); Dave Salter photo collection; Glover Machine Works collection; and other Civil War and railroad collections. Admission to the museum is included in your registration and exhibits will be open to attendees. The museum is adjacent to the CSX Chattanooga Subdivision mainline

This meet is a joint effort of the SRHA, Atlantic Coast Line & Seaboard Airline Railroads Historical Society, Central of Georgia Railway Historical Society, and Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis Preservation Society.

Mark your calendars for September 18 – 20, 2014, get your models ready to display and plan to bring a friend.

For more information and registration, check the Atlanta Railroads Prototype Modelers Meet website and flyer.

The Best Friend Moves In

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Nov 032013

The replica of the Best Friend of Charleston, closing in on a hundred years old itself, returned to Charleston this morning. Its new home, a glass museum on John Street will open to the public early next year. The locomotive was transported in on low bed truck then transferred to breakaway flatbed for movement into the actual building.

There were quite a number of people on hand to watch the unloading of The Best Friend including Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston, representatives of the National Railroad Historical Society, and our own Mary Lehr of the Charleston Railroad Museum.

You can also see a nice little piece by the local TV news –

Best Friend Moves In On Sunday

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Nov 012013

Although the museum won’t open until next year, the Best Friend of Charleston will move in to its new home on John Street on Sunday.

The train is being moved this weekend into a new glass-sided building Sunday morning, November 3rd around 8 AM. The train will be coming in on two flatbed tractor trailers from King Street, the train will be off loaded into a new glass portion of the Camden Shed which is currently being renovated. After placement (which is scheduled to take place between 8 am and 2 pm), the remainder of the Best Friend Museum will be built around the train. The completed Museum and Train will be open for exhibit in early 2014.

Best Friend Museum Building 01 Best Friend Museum Building 02

The Best Friend Train has been on loan to Norfolk Southern for over 5 years. This effort has been an ongoing collaboration between many organizations including Norfolk Southern, Superior Transportation, The History Workshop, Hogan Construction, Ecovest Development, e.e. fava architects, the Charleston Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, and the City of Charleston, including Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., City Council and city staff.

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