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Dinner at the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Shop 1/13/2023

by Chris Guenzler

I picked up Elizabeth at the North Carolina Transportation Museum and we stopped at the Salisbury Amtrak station.

The Southern Railway station built in 1908. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, but was nearly demolished until it was bought by the Historic Salisbury Foundation in 1984. Renovations began in 1993 and were completed by 1996, although North Carolina Department of Transportation gave the foundation extra funding in 1999 to enlarge the waiting room. The station is served by three Amtrak trains: the Crescent, the Carolinian and the Piedmont.

The timetable board on the side of the station. Amtrak uses just a small portion of the building

The two of us returned to the hotel where I worked on the story while Elizabeth checked her e-mail and other items before we joined the group on the second of four motor coaches going to Candor for the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance conference dinner event. The bus ride took over a hour to reach Candor and upon our arrival, were met by Robert Menzies, the railway's owner and once inside, could wander around the shops and tour through the private cars.

Abereen Carolina and Western Information

We are a shortline or regional railroad, which means that we focus on getting shipments from industrial facilities to the larger railroads that span across North America, and vice versa. We focus on the shorthaul while the Class I railroads focus on the long haul. This collaboration allows for the best in both over the road and local freight service. Read more about the differences between shortline and the major railroad companies.

About Our Railroad

The Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway is the largest privately held shortline or regional freight railroad in North Carolina that connects with both CSX and Norfolk Southern national rail networks. Our lines run from Charlotte towards Raleigh, and extends south towards Pinehurst. Logistically, our railroad is centrally located between all major metropolitan areas in NC. We actively market greenfield industrial sites along our corridor to attract new industry.

Our Customers

Our freight customers manufacture or distribute various commodities including plastics, poultry, dimensional lumber, wood chips, aggregate, brick, butane, ethanol, propane, among others. You can find our railroad map below. We also service locomotives and freight cars belonging to shippers and other railroads.

Our Visit

My first priority was to photograph the various locomotives, passenger cars and other railroad equipment.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western dome car 554, ex. Saratoga and North Creek 554, exx. "Summit View", exxx. Westtours "Eklutna", exxxx. New York, Susquehanna and Western 504, exxxxxx. Auto Train 510, nee Santa Fe 554 built by Budd in 1954.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western short dome 200 "The Menzies Vista", ex. Wisconsin Southern 2005, exx. Montana Rockies Rail Tours, exxx. Anbel 2050 "Cafe Bar Ingles", exxxx. Auto Train 543, exxxxx. Auto Train 910, nee Union Pacific 9011 built by American Car and Foundry in 1955.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Skytop observation car 15 "Coffee Creek", ex. Canadian National 1902 "Fundy", nee Milwaukee Road 15, built by Pullman-Standard in 1948. This was acquired in July 2022.

Grand Trunk caboose 77956 built by the railroad in 1922 was in Noblesville, Indiana.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western E8A 101, ex. San Luis and Rio Grande 101, exx. Ilinois Central 101, exxx. Burlington Northern 9904, exxxx. Burlington Northern 9967, nee Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 9977 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1953.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western private car 600 "Roamer", ex. Green Bay and Western "Roamer", nee Pullman "Roamer" built by the company in 1918 for Joshua Cosden, a wealthy Oklahoma oil man, at a cost of $200,000. The car was used for the visit of the Prince of Wales to the United States in the early 1920's. It was purchased by the Green Bay and Western Railroad in 1944 and used as a business car until 1972. It was later owened by Thomas R. Hill of Ottawa, Illinois and purchased by the Aberdeen Carolina and Western at a later date.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western E9B 30, ex. San Luis and Rio Grande 30, exx. Alaska Railroad P-30, nee Illinois Central 30 built in 1957 and modified into a power car.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western six single bedroom-restaurant-solarium lounge-observation 150 "Mission Santa Ynez", ex. Pacific Northwest Chapter NRHS 7117, exx. Southern Pacific maintenance-of-way, exxx. Southern Pacific "Mission Santa Ynez", nee Pullman "Minneapolis" built by the company in 1928.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western AC60CW 656, nee CSX 656 built by General Electric in 1999.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western MP15AC 1457, ex. Union Pacific Yard 1476, nee Southern Pacific 2748 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1975.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western SD60F 5559, nee Canadian National 5559 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1989.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western F7A 100, ex. San Luis and Rio Grande 100, exx. Ilinois Central 100, exxx. Burlington Northern 9901, exxxx. Burlington Northern 9938, nee Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 9938A built by Electro-Motive Division in 1949.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western restaurant parlor car 7014 "Pinehurst", ex. Pennsylvania Railroad 7014 "The Defender", nee 2416 "Glenolden" built by Pullman in 1912. This car was acquired from the Balitmore and Ohio Museum.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western "San Marino" (the second), ex. Southern Pacific 107 "Del Monte, built by Pullman in 1916 for Henry E. Huntington, founder of the Pacific Electric. "San Marino" was outfitted with Circassia walnut from Turkey, bookmarked to perfection, for the dining room, observation room and passage ways. The staterooms and bedrooms were finished in satinwood. The Del Monte was retired by the Southern Pacific in 1978. Shortly after, it was sold to Mexico's Ferrocarril Del Pacifico Railroad as an executive car. The Pacifico was an old Southern Pacific property until it was taken over by the government of Mexico. Luckily the car was sold back to the United States in 1985 and was bought by Mr. Mark Dees, who changed the name back to the original San Marino name. The car is presently owned by Robert and Rita Menzies, owners of the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, who have completely re-decorated the car and cosmetically restored it to its original luxury. This even included replacing the carpet with Pullman Scottish Thistle pattern originally made in France of French wool found on a Pullman berth ladder.

A fantastic face of a F unit.

It is always excellent to see these first generation diesels.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western F7A 271, ex. Norfolk Southern 271, exx. Norfolk Southern 4271, exxx. Railroad Passenger Car Alliance 1020, exxxx. Railroad Passenger Car Alliance 102, exxxxx. Maryland Area Regional Transportation 85, exxxxxx. Maryland Department of Transportation 7185, exxxxxxx. Baltimore and Ohio 4557, exxxxxxxx. Baltimore and Ohio 4590, nee Baltimore and Ohio 947 built by Electro -Motive Division in 1952.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western F7B 276, ex. Norfolk Southern 276, exx. Norfolk Southern 476, exxx. Railroad Passenger Car Alliance 2020, exxxx. Railroad Passenger Car Alliance 202, exxxxx. Chicago Great Western 411, exxxxxx. Chicago and North Western 318, exxxxxx. Chicago and North Western 114B, nee Chicago Great Western 114B built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950.

A map of the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railroad.

The emblem of the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railroad.

The interior of "Coffee Creek".

Wig wag crossing signal and railroad emblems. I walked outside to photograph the display engine.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western Railroad GP9 896, ex. Brier Patch 896, exx. Seaboard Coast Line 896, nee Seaboard Air line 1716 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950. This was the first locomotive on this railroad and is now on display in front of the shops here in Candor.

Elizabeth on the observation platform of the "Roamer".

Elizabeth in front of Aberdeen, Carolina and Western F7A 271, one of the locomotives she rode behind in July 2004 when it was in service on the RailCruise America Dinner Train in St. Louis.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western SD40-3 6910, ex. Winconsin Central 6910, exx. GCFX 6040, nee Canadian National SD40 5153 built by Electro-Motive in 1970.

The roster of the Aberdeen, Carolina and Western motive power.

Aberdeen, Carolina and Western SD60F 5534, nee Canadian National 5534 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1989. I enjoyed the buffet dinner of pulled pork sandwiches (known as PoBoy sandwiches in the South) with lemonade; there were several side dishes available and banana pudding for dessert. At 9:00, we loaded the buses and we were returned to the hotel and went to bed.