Reminder – Two Upcoming Shows in Charleston and Myrtle Beach

 Events, Models Trains  Comments Off on Reminder – Two Upcoming Shows in Charleston and Myrtle Beach
Nov 102016
Charleston Area Model Railroad Club's 5th Annual Train Show

Just wanted to send out this reminder that the two big model train shows that kick off the holiday season are coming this weekend and next. Both the show in Charleston and the one in Myrtle Beach are just days away!

The 7th Annual Grand Strand Model Train Show and Sale will be held November 12th and 13th at Inlet Square Mall in Myrtle Beach.

7th Annual Grand Strand Model Train Show

The weekend after that, November 19 and 20, is the Charleston show. This will be at the Danny Jones Armory and Gymnasium, 5000 Lackawanna Blvd, North Charleston SC 29405. The show is Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Charleston Area Model Railroad Club's 5th Annual Train Show

Oh, and if you are in the mood to go to a great shop, don’t forget that Train Town Toy & Hobby in Summerville, SC, is now open longer holiday hours. Plus they will be at the Charleston show above.  Their store hours in November area Tuesdays to Friday 11 am to 6 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. They will be closed Thanksgiving Day, November 24th. Starting November 27th and continuing up until Christmas, they will be open on Sundays from noon to 4 pm.


Oct 052015

The Charleston Regional Business Journal is reporting that Norfolk Southern has shut down the rail line that runs in and out of Charleston, said Susan Terpay, the rail line’s S.C. spokeswoman.

NS About

The constant deluge of rain that has hammered South Carolina for days has caused significant damage to Norfolk Southern’s Charleston service and rendered it inoperable, which impacts Port of Charleston customers.

Flash flooding and record rainfall have washed out tracks and closed rail bridges, Terpay said. No information is available yet on how many miles of track are damaged or how many customers will be impacted.

The Charleston rail service will be restored on Friday at the earliest. Norfolk Southern personnel are currently assessing damages on-site. Terpay said Norfolk Southern is checking to see which specific lines were impacted by flooding in South Carolina. She said damage to the company’s rail system is not statewide.

Read the full story at The Charleston Regional Business Journal.

New Novel Involving Early Charleston Railroads

 News  Comments Off on New Novel Involving Early Charleston Railroads
Dec 182014

In the Shadow of the SongbirdBen Pogue, member of the Charleston chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and former IBMer, has written a novel that takes place in the early days of railroads in Charleston, South Carolina. In the Shadow of the Songbird is especially significant for rail fans because it takes place during the time of the creation of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company and the Best Friend of Charleston figures prominently.
In the Shadow of the Songbird Cover

Quoting from the press copy of In the Shadow of the Songbird:

In 1828, many merchants in Charleston believed the economic doldrums could likely be improved by a new technology on the horizon. Horace Pickens, a wealthy slave-holding merchant, heavily invests in a railroad being built to the West. An “abominable” tariff passed by the U.S. Congress, designed to protect industry and foster internal improvements, provokes the South Carolina delegation. They work against the Federal Government providing funds to the railroad, fearing that states accepting money will become subject to the will of Congress, and therefore vulnerable to other initiatives, namely the abolition of the “Peculiar Institution”. There is a movement to nullify the actions of Congress. As the railroad becomes his obsession, Horace sees “nullification”, and its underlying cause, as it’s biggest threat.

Unbeknown to him, his daughter Dora, gets a glimpse of torture, and the human agony in a fleeing slave mother and child. She resolves to undermine slavery by assisting slaves in their escape to freedom, enlisting her reluctant maid’s and her new love’s support. Horace does not approve of her beau or her emancipation ideas. A fierce conflict between them emerges. Faced with the loss of his daughter’s respect, business profits threatened by politics, and the destruction of his personal property by those that disagree with him, Horace Pickens fears the issue of nullification will ultimately destroy his railroad investment, and tear apart his most prized relationship with his daughter, Dora, as the railroad builds it’s way toward Georgia.

Ben Pogue lives on Daniel Island, South Carolina. He retired from IBM as a marketing executive, but has been a storyteller and a “Story writer” all of his life. Ben graduated from Bucknell University with a major in psychology, and with the wisdom of hindsight, realized he should have majored in history and writing. Service as a lieutenant in the US Army, with a year in Korea during the Vietnam War shifted his focus, but he never stopped writing. Ben’s second book, another historical novel is well underway.

In the Shadow of the Songbird can be ordered now from


Bring The Best Friend home

 History and Preservation  Comments Off on Bring The Best Friend home
Sep 032011

Replica of The Best Friend of CharlestonA great editorial in the Charleston Post & Courier today….

The Best Friend of Charleston is coming home, but the timetable is still uncertain.

Nor is it certain that the artifacts belonging to the independent Best Friend of Charleston Museum will be included in the exhibit.

Now that the city is pushing forward on its plans to prepare a permanent home on John Street for the steam locomotive, it also should ensure that the appropriate artifacts are displayed with it.

The Best Friend — actually a replica of the first steam locomotive in the country to establish regularly scheduled passenger service — is in Atlanta on display at Norfolk Southern Railroad, which paid the city $250,000 in return for permission to restore it and keep it for five years. That time is up in 2012.

The agreement requires the city to use that money for a permanent home for the train. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said it will be supplemented with money from a tax increment finance district.
Continue reading »

Video of Charleston in 1934

 History and Preservation  Comments Off on Video of Charleston in 1934
Jul 142011

This short ten minute film recently posted to YouTube by BullDog Tours is entitled “City of Proud Memories”. Be prepared that it shows its age in some of the story telling and terminology used, but it is a fantastic glimpse into the city over 75 years ago. Of course what I am really partial to is the first scene which shows a trolley in motion on Broad Street. Later on there are further glimpses of the overhead wires for the trolleys, but that first scene is the only actual depiction of them.

And, if you are into this kind of picture into the past, as I hope you are, check out The Great Depression & World War II on the StudySC site. An amazing source of information in all formats.

Thoughts on Light Rail in Charleston

 Public Transportation  Comments Off on Thoughts on Light Rail in Charleston
Jul 102011

Street SmartWell, the posting of the video on the light rail system in Charlotte seemed to get some discussion stirred up on other social media sites about the possibilities here in Charleston. Some good points were made on all side, but to aid in this I thought I would post a few links on the top.

What we have here are some articles from the Post & Courier from last year. The first article is titled “Time to consider light rail” and was published February 10, 2010. I love the closing of this piece:

Charleston is one of the country’s most lovely areas and people have tried over the centuries to keep it that way. Light rail would contribute to that goal. If it is preferable to commuter rail, the area shouldn’t prematurely settle for second best.

The second article is from June 17 of the same year, “Look at light rail option“. A very good article, again, with a very good closing summation:

Enthusiasm for mass transit has grown nationally and here. The community needs to become part of the dialogue to ensure that the Charleston area gets transportation that is appropriate — and that the area isn’t left in a cloud of automotive dust.

Oh, and here is one from even further back, 2005. This one is titled, “Time to plan for light rail“.

Please take a read and let’s hear your thoughts. Is this an idea you could get behind? Is the concept of light rain in Charleston finally ready for prime-time?

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