Since the train stopped running there has been talk of transforming the track into a “Rails-to-Trails” conversion or possibly getting an excursion train to operate. Norfolk-Southern isn’t about to abandon this track though it is now officially “out of service” from Saluda to just beyond Landrum, SC. There is a shortline railroad that is currently hauling freight from the Hendersonville area to Asheville and some talk has been circulating that the company might start an excursion train experience. A lot of rail fans would love to see that line extend to Saluda. I would definitely be among the first standing in line to buy a ticket for that. I’m guessing it would be a very long line.
Mike Reeves and Evan Lazer are two of the volunteer docents and were busy helping visitors the day I visited. Nancy Pew (third from left) is a friend of the museum and helps out at the shop next door so that owner Mark Ray can step in and open the depot on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Judy Ward on the right is the chair of the museum board. It takes a village to keep something like this running without any paid staff.
More to Know:
The Saluda Historic Depot and Museum is open every day except Monday. Times vary. Check the website at: www.saludahistoricdepot.com and their Facebook page for more info. The museum has a well-stocked gift shop along with their excellent professionally built exhibits including a “Z scale” model of the entire run down the famous Saluda Grade to Melrose Junction. To take your own trip down the grade from the safety of your laptop, check out an excellent YouTube video by Bob Keeton at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsS3fbhuJPg. The video combines original music by “The Carburetors” and Google Earth images into a fascinating “trip” that will give you a sense of the run. The Saluda Historic Depot offers tours, monthly “Train Tales” presentations, and has a couple of upcoming fundraising events including a 60s-themed party at the Party & Event Center in Saluda in July and a golf tournament in October at Kenmure. It’s a happening place!
Click on each photo in the gallery below to enlarge.
...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..