Small trains moving large and unusual loads

The Charleston Industrial District's primary focus is the of movement high/wide shipments to and from the Port of Charleston. It is located at the southeastern corner of Southern Railway's Carolina Division in South Carolina. Southern called it the SA line. The tracks stretch from Charleston on the Atlantic Ocean to Aiken and then across the Savannah River into Augusta. This is the original track of the South Carolina Railroad that started regular service on Christmas day in 1830 with the Best Friend of Charleston. It crosses the Seaboard at North Charleston, and again in Denmark.

It is 1982 on my HO scale model railroad, and two new nuclear power plants are under construction in South Carolina, and two in Georgia. To support these new nuclear power plants, and the other power plants that are being built in the growing south, a trans loading facility for high wide loads (transformers, generators, reactors, etc.) has been opened on Shipyard Creek in Charleston. Also, new manufacturing facilities have been constructed in Charlotte (Westinghouse) and Greenville (General Electric), which will use the port to export generators, gas and wind turbines nacelles. Along with older shippers like General Electric who manufactures transformers in Rome, Georgia, and steam turbines in Ladson, South Carolina. Special trains of nuclear material will run to and from the naval base, along with other loads.

Cabooses still appear on the rear of all freight trains running on the district's tracks. Some of these cabooses are Southern, Department of Defense and those of specialty shippers.

This trans load facility, the Charleston Heavy Lift Terminal, will be the center piece of the layout. It will be served by the South Carolina Public Railways, with Southern having trackage rights. But other industries in the district are served by the Southern and the South Carolina Public Railways.

Updated February  6, 2024