Lydia to Timmonsville

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The station/depot in Timmonsville apparently served both the SAL and the ACL. It is oriented in the direction that the SAL entered town from Lamar. ACL trains had to take a circuitous route to get to the depot. This picture is taken from the former ACL/SCL/CSX Florence to Sumter main line ROW.

This branch line was apparently built at the same time as the Hartsville to Sumter branch of the SAL, or after 1907. The branch left the Hartsville to Bishopville portion of the Sumter branch at Lydia and went through Lamar and then to Timmonsville. Lamar was on the ACL line from Sumter to Darlington and Timmonsville was on the ACL main line from Sumter to Florence. Interestingly, the surviving depot/station in Timmonsville is oriented NW to SE, indicating that SAL trains pulled right into and beside it. However, ACL trains had to take a circuitous route in order to get to the depot (see topo below). This branch was abandoned in the 1950s. It can still be made out in places, particularly on aerial photographs. The ACL/SCL trackage in Timmonsville was removed in the early 1980s, and then the CSX Sumter to Florence mainline was abandoned in pieces in the late 1980s.

This line was never associated with the W&M or the ACL, and ACL trains never used it. The ACL depot was on Main Street, adjacent to the ACL main line. The loop track around town was jointly used by ACL/SAL for switching the many industries and tobacco warehouses that once were in Timmonsville. The SAL had to make its way in and around town as best it could since it was very much a late arrival.

Michael Young
Florence, SC
12/4/2009

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