Granite Block Transload.

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by inflammable, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

    The state of Georgia has quite a bit of granite, like other places, but all of these guys think that the granite there is better than that of other places.

    Most areas blast and crush it, for roads and cement and railroads and what have you. But the north east corner of the state, near South Carolina, a town called Elberton prefers the more refined way of getting it from the ground. They cut it out in large blocks.

    It used to be big business in the area, as evident by the number of businesses that dealt with it, though most were shuttered and unused when I saw them.

    But I did find one that was still operating.

    Williams Stone. I've looked around online, but have found little ready information that corresponds to this location. Google brings up a Williams Stone in Massachusetts, but I couldn't tell if the two were affiliated.


    It looks awfully similar to the Team Track models that Walthers would love to sell us. Even in North Georgia, it doesn't get as cold as in other parts of the country, so there's only a roof, to keep the rain off. I presume that flatbed trucks bring in the blocks from one of the nearby quarries, and it's either stored, or loaded directly into a gondola. The SD40-2 wasn't running, and was tied down. There were a few other places in town to switch, so I don't think that it was normally kept there, perhaps it's just where the local crew ran out of hours. Also notice that there are two tracks, and each would probably hold 4 or 5 gondolas. To the left, which I didn't think to photograph, was a fenced storage yard with more blocks. I measured on Google Maps; the shed is about 60ft x 250ft, and the storage yard is a curved 250ft x 250 ft.


    This is slightly to the right of the first photo. The track that is being used for storage was initially a shortline, which was torn up in 1935, then looks like it might have been used for a different industry, which had also been demolished. A trained eye can make out the B&O mark on the gondola, so for wherever the cars were going to, they probably stayed on the CSX, in near captive service. You can beat up, and otherwise heavily weather, your granite service gondolas!


    And of course the sign. Many places may not have one that large, but I suspect it has to do with the local truck drivers. The large letters of CSX Facility make me wonder if the same company also has/had an NS facility. NS previously connected to CSX in Elberton, but more recently they severed the connection to CSX, and only then allowed the Hartwell Railroad to operate that portion of their track. But a large sign would also help name it on your model, for your visitors' benefit.


    This is a different location, to show more detail of the gantry crane. This was actually in the downtown area, across the street from the station. There was a siding down the center of this location, also.

    I really enjoyed the trip I made to this part of Georgia. The original Hartwell Railroad, a ten mile original shortline (vice a class 1 spinoff), begged, to me, to be modeled. The line wasn't graded like you would expect, it followed the contours of the land just like the country roads did. There were several small, single car industries on it back in the day, and they made do with a few small GE centercabs for the work. It's expanded since then, when their own business dried up, NS leased them the 40 mile branchline that they connected with. That line would also make an interesting model. Granite block loadings, a woodchip mill, pharmaceuticals, even a grain elevator. The original ten mile line had a scrap yard, tire company, and a couple other small places like those. They even ran excursions out there for a little while, to make ends meet.


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  2. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    Big granite or marble blocks would make for a very interesting load in a beat up gon.

    Thanks for the pics! :thumb:

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