This branch line was part of the original Port Royal and Western Carolina Railroad's mainline between Augusta and Spartanburg (which is still in use today by CSX). The mainline included branch lines to both Greenville and Anderson (this abandonment). Ownership of the line changed hands many times during its first few years: After a legal battle over questionable intentions, the state of South Carolina took over the line, and merged it with the Port Royal & Augusta Railway to form the Charleston & Western Carolina Railroad in 1898. The Atlantic Coast Line gained control of the railroad in 1897 essentially to gain access to Augusta. The ACL soon thereafter completed a line from Denmark down to Robbins on the C&WC, and then on the C&WC into Augusta. The ACL attempted to merge the C&WC in 1930, but this was protested by neighboring roads. The ACL finally merged the C&WC in 1959, and the line continued to see service through the Seaboard Coast Line, Seaboard System and ultimately, CSX.
This abandoned line branched from the Augusta-Spartanburg mainline at McCormick, and extended to South Anderson. The section of a Seaboard Coast Line abandonment from East Anderson (Toxaway) through Campbells to Belton Junction was actually formerly part of the Piedmont & Northern. The section from McCormick to Calhoun Falls and back to Iva was abandoned in the late 1970s. The former P & N section was abandoned during this time also. The section from Iva to South Anderson was abandoned in the early 1980s. Today, a spur is still in place from South Anderson through Orr Mill and into Anderson.
A list of stations/towns the abandoned right-of-way visited:
- Mount Carmel
- Calhoun Falls (where it crossed the SAL main line to Atlanta)
- South Anderson
Thanks to Julian Finley for contributing information about this route.