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Palmetto Brick Company 3' Railway

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  • #16
    thanks for the information, it is very interesting. I like how they dump the hoppers, pretty simple method.

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    • #17
      Thanks for the great overview, Larry.

      Video of the narrow gauge in action:

      http://www.ovguide.com/video/palmett...1116c2aa879c5d


      Mark Chase

      Richmond VA

      Comment


      • #18
        Great topic, Larry. I hope other post photos, as well.

        Jeff S.

        Comment


        • #19
          Jeff and Coaltrain thanks for stopping in.

          Mark, thanks for the link.

          The loading area was not much to see as it was a Saturday and the trains are not in use due to current low demand for bricks. If you search for 1/50 construction equipment on ebay you can find everything you would need to model this part of the rr.






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          • #20
            Hi BigLars,

            Thanks for post all this info on the Palmetto Brick Operation. I have collected a lot of info on it. I'm always amazed what new info comes along. With all that I have found I never knew that there was a section of dual gauge. Something too add to my quarry railroad layout. Do you know how far it ran? Did it ever cross the bridge and if so wouldn't they have needed a heavier/wider bridge? It is also interesting that they went from standard gauge to narrow gauge as that is the opposite of what was the norm. For Example: when I lived in northern Arkansas the Arkansas Lime was narrow gauge until they were forced to convert from narrow gauge to standard gauge in 2000. I unfortunately didn't get there to see it till 2004 but at least the equipment and tipple was still there. All evidence of the narrow is now gone. In talking to them they said that it wasn't that the narrow gauge didn't work out for them but because they could haul more with standard gauge they converted. Pure economics!

            What thread did you find out about Palmetto's standard gauge operation?

            On my layout will be a bridge based on the Palmetto Brick bridge. I really like the lack of "ties" and that they used I beams and bolted down the rail instead. How cool is that! It'll be a lot of work to make all those plates and bolt details but the uniqueness alone is worth the effort

            Also on my to do list is to make some O scale side frames like some of the Palmetto cars had. I have never seen that type on any other railroad. I wonder if they were built in the Palmetto shops. Does anyone know?

            I don't know if it is still available but I have a old VHS tape of the Palmetto operation filmed by Matt Conrad. It is not the best quality but if you can find it it is worth watching.

            Finally I hope there will be more on this interesting operation. It is such a nice simple design great for a small layout.

            Regards

            BILL

            Comment


            • #21
              Bill here is the full content of the material I found on a dead internet site. Found it using using an internet archieve service.

              Palmetto Brick Company is the largest producer of bricks in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Located in Wallace, SC, the company operates a 1.5-mile 3-foot gauge railroad to haul bricks from its clay storage area to the kilns.

              The company uses two Plymouth 10-ton diesels. No. 1946 (right) was built in September of 1948 for the Richtex Brick Company in Farmington, NY. She was transferred at some point to Richtex's South Carolina plant. When Richtex discontinued rail operations, the unit was purchased by PBC.

              No. 1946 is Plymouth construction number 5402. She's a 10-tonner and was purchased by PBC in 1973. She's been rebuilt at Palmetto Brick's factory in Wallace, SC with a Detroit 371 cubic inch diesel (she was built with a gasoline engine), which generates 138 hp.

              Palmetto Brick's No. 1939, shown at left, was also originally built as a gasoline engine and has been rebuilt with the same type of diesel engine as the 1946. No. 1939 was built in December of 1939 for E.I. DuPont of Barksdale, Wisconsin. Palmetto Brick bought the 10-tonner in 1955. The 1939 is construction number 4023.

              Palmetto Brick's railroad started out as a standard-gauge line. In the 1940s, the company bought a 5-ton 3-foot gauge Plymouth diesel and added the third rail for the new narrow-gauge equipment. By the end of the 1940s, the standard gauge rail had been removed, and the Porter steam locomotive used on the standard-gauge line was scrapped. Two other unidentified standard-gauge steam locomotives were apparently sold. No information on these locomotives is known, except that they were used in Cheraw at the Anderson Plywood plant until the early 1960s.

              Another thing that is unclear about the Palmetto Brick operation is where the 24 dump cars the line uses came from. These cars were given new wheels by Palmetto Brick in the recent past - the wheels came from standard-gauge Trailer Train flatcars. It is possibe thatl the diminutive dumpers were aquired secondhand from Richtex or some of the brick works PBC has bought out. It's also possible that they were bought new.

              The Palmetto Brick Company is the world's easiest railroad to railfan. The entire 1.5-mile length of the railroad is paralelled by a good-quality, paved country road (appropriately named "Brickyard Road"). Virtually every inch of track is visible from this road without trespassing in any way. The loading operation, now handled by a Catepillar shovel instead of the old draglines, is also clearly visible. The clay pile is renewed about once a year or so, and alternates between sides of the track. The only part of the operation that is difficult to see is the unloading operation, which takes place inside a shed. Even this is easily viewed through the high chain-link fence, and you can sort of see into the shed.

              The railroad has one road crossing, which is the only remaining active, narrow-gauge, public road crossing in the state. This crossing is protected by a set of flashers which look like they date from before the Civil War! The locomotives have horns, but they aren't blown at the crossing. Having heard the flange squeal at the curve on either side of this crossing, and also no. 1946's horn, I doubt you'd be able to hear it if it were blown!

              The other particularly photogenic spot on the line is the short deck-girder bridge over a swamp just west of the factory. This bridge is often used by local fishermen, and is about the only place on the line you'll get to hear a horn.

              The railroad usually operates early in the week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week is reserved for track maintenance. It shuts down for lunch around noon, and is running again by about 1:30. There are plenty of places to pull off the road, especially the dirt parking area across the road from the bridge, where the abovementioned fishermen park. The shoulders of the road are nice and wide and provide ample room to get your car completely off the road for photography. The slow speed of the trains makes chasing a breeze. I once got five different shots of the same train on the same one-way trip, and I had to wait for it at each stop!

              So where is it?

              Palmetto Brick is located south of SC Route 9, just across the Great Pee Dee River from Cheraw. Take SC Route 9 to the junction with U.S. 1 North, and turn to the south instead of following Route 1 to the north (it'll be a right turn coming east from Cheraw, or a left if you're coming west from Bennetsville). You'll come upon the clay pile first, on your right, after you make a sharp left-hand bend. There's another road further east that comes out right next to the factory, but it's a bit more difficult to find.

              Palmetto Brick is truly a unique operation. The diminutive trains still use link-and-pin couplers, and they make couplings with them, too! There are no brakes on the cars, all stopping power is handled by a mechanical hand brake on the locomotive. The track uses 60-pound rail, and is assembled snap-track style by PBC using hommeade concrete crossties. The only things that give away the fact that you haven't stepped through a time warp to the late 1940s is the modern Cat shovel doing the loading and the modern trucks and automobiles on the road.

              This is one case where rail operation is more economical than trucks. It would take a half-dozen trucks, each with an expensive driver, to do the same job one man can do running the train. The company has done extensive track replacement recently, so it would seem that this little industrial critter will be around for some time to come.

              Comment


              • #22
                quote:


                Originally posted by the arkansas traveler


                Hi BigLars,

                Thanks for post all this info on the Palmetto Brick Operation. I have collected a lot of info on it. I'm always amazed what new info comes along. With all that I have found I never knew that there was a section of dual gauge. Something too add to my quarry railroad layout. Do you know how far it ran? Did it ever cross the bridge and if so wouldn't they have needed a heavier/wider bridge? It is also interesting that they went from standard gauge to narrow gauge as that is the opposite of what was the norm. For Example: when I lived in northern Arkansas the Arkansas Lime was narrow gauge until they were forced to convert from narrow gauge to standard gauge in 2000. I unfortunately didn't get there to see it till 2004 but at least the equipment and tipple was still there. All evidence of the narrow is now gone. In talking to them they said that it wasn't that the narrow gauge didn't work out for them but because they could haul more with standard gauge they converted. Pure economics!

                What thread did you find out about Palmetto's standard gauge operation?

                On my layout will be a bridge based on the Palmetto Brick bridge. I really like the lack of "ties" and that they used I beams and bolted down the rail instead. How cool is that! It'll be a lot of work to make all those plates and bolt details but the uniqueness alone is worth the effort

                Also on my to do list is to make some O scale side frames like some of the Palmetto cars had. I have never seen that type on any other railroad. I wonder if they were built in the Palmetto shops. Does anyone know?

                I don't know if it is still available but I have a old VHS tape of the Palmetto operation filmed by Matt Conrad. It is not the best quality but if you can find it it is worth watching.

                Finally I hope there will be more on this interesting operation. It is such a nice simple design great for a small layout.

                Regards

                BILL


                Bill,

                Please post any info you can here.

                The Dual gauge track runs from teh Bridge to the Road crossing.
                The bridge looks newer than 1950 so I have to guess that when they replaced the bridge they only made it Narrow Guage. The Standard guage would have had to cross the mill pond on a bridge.

                The road is also post 1950 so I bet the same theory ran true that they pulled the track when they made the grade crossing. The new ties under the dual guage track make no sense to me still. Why put full ties in?

                When you deside to build a car let me know and I will build one also. Maybe I will take teh parts and create a mold and cast the whole fleet.

                Larry

                Comment


                • #23
                  Very interesting stuff, thanks for posting it!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Hi BigLars,

                    I will just as soon as I get my PC back from the shop. The pictures etc are not on my lap top. Hopefully by the weekend.

                    Regards

                    BILL

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      quote:


                      Originally posted by the arkansas traveler


                      Hi BigLars,

                      I will just as soon as I get my PC back from the shop. The pictures etc are not on my lap top. Hopefully by the weekend.

                      Regards

                      BILL


                      Looking forward to it Bill.

                      Ray, Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I also have quite a bit on the Arkansas Lime Co.

                        BILL

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          quote:


                          Originally posted by the arkansas traveler


                          I also have quite a bit on the Arkansas Lime Co.

                          BILL


                          Can you start a thread? I like looking at any small railroads to model.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I will just as soon as I get the PC back hopefully Sunday.

                            BILL

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              GREAT STUFF GUYS!!

                              Thanks soooo much for sharing. I can't wait to you the Arkansas stuff. I really enjoyed the article in the NG&SLG. Both would be EXCELLENT model railroads!

                              Brian

                              quote:


                              Originally posted by the arkansas traveler


                              I will just as soon as I get the PC back hopefully Sunday.

                              BILL


                              My Website: http://sites.google.com/site/deercreekandlaurelry/

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Thanks for posting the photos and info. I started on these On3 Palmetto Brick RR dumpers nearly two years ago...maybe it's time to complete them and build one of the Plymouth locos.

                                Matt



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