The following are system maps of the C&WC published by Rand McNally in 1904. The first shows the C&WC north of Augusta, GA.  The second shows the C&WC south of Augusta, GA.

The depots are marked by the colored dots and the community by the underline.

 --- The coloring coding ---

Green - Between Laurens, SC and Spartanburg, SC Main Line

Purple - Between Laurens, SC and Port Royal, SC Main Line

Red - Between Laurens, SC and Greenville, SC

Blue - Between McCormick, SC and Anderson, SC

The communities and depots marked in Black were the Glenn Springs Railroad.  It's sole connection was the C&WC at Roebuck, SC. The line held trackage rights over the C&WC between Roebuck and Spartanburg. The Glenn Springs area was a much touted resort and mineral springs area. The C&WC was part owner for the last 8 years of its existence.  It was abandoned in 1911.



The Charleston and Western Carolina had its origins with the Port Royal Railroad.  This railroad was chartered in the State of South Carolina in 1856.  The charter for the railroad had its proposed route between Port Royal, SC and Augusta, GA.  A factor in the establishment of this railroad was the need of a deep water port by the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company (ultimately the Central of Georgia). Augusta would be its connection point to this newly formed Port Royal Railroad. 

The Port Royal Railroad was officially opened in March of 1873.  It rostered 11 locomotives, 12 passenger cars, and 3 baggage/mail cars over 5 foot gauge track.  This was the good news; the bad news was that the Port Royal Railroad would bankrupt some 8 months later. By 1880, the railroad was re-organized as the Port Royal and Augusta Railway.

 


The passenger operations of the PR&A was known as the "Magnolia Route".  It connected to Charleston and Savannah over the Savannah and Charleston Railroad (ultimately the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad). The connection point was Yemassee, SC. (Noted on the map to the right above.)  The Magnolia Route even offered sleeping car service to Charleston and Savannah by the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company.

In 1881, the Central of Georgia purchased a controlling interest in the PR&A.  The Atlantic Coast Line took over the C&WC in 1897 but operated it as a subsidiary until 1959 when the ACL fully absorbed it.

The brief ownership by the Central of Georgia was a big influencing factor for the depots of the C&WC.  As noted by Buddy Hill in the ACL/SAL Historical Society forums: "the C&WC's rural/small town depots appear to be based on the CofG Class C design. (Note-field measurements taken from the larger C&WC depots have matched the dimensions of CofG Class B depots.)"

The former Mountaineer Precision Products company offered a model of the Class C depot.  This allows a view of C&WC architecture for the smaller depots.  The following are photos from the web site of the former Mountaineer Precision Products.

Connections to the interior of South Carolina continued with the establishment of the Augusta and Knoxville Railroad.  This road connected Augusta with Greenwood, SC and the "golden spike" for this road was laid in April, 1882.  The next year this line was leased by the PR&A.  The push inland to Spartanburg was completed in 1885 when the  Greenwood, Laurens, and Spartanburg Railroad opened.  This allowed the establishment of daily passenger service between Augusta and Spartanburg.  The other two legs of the future C&WC were established when the Savannah Valley Railroad extended from McCormick to Anderson, SC in 1886 and the Greenville and Laurens extended from Laurens to Greenville, SC in same year.  All of these roads were consolidated into the Port Royal and Western Carolina in late 1886. The PR&WC rostered 12 locomotives and 8 passenger cars. The PR&WC and the PR&A referred to their combined route (Port Royal to Spartanburg) as the Augusta and Spartanburg Short Line.


The Port Royal and Western Carolina and the Port Royal and Augusta were merged in 1896 to form the nearly 400 mile long Charleston and Western Carolina Railway.

The Yemassee -- Augusta passenger operations consisted of two trains in each direction for many years. (Trains 41, 42, 45 and 46). The Augusta -- Spartanburg operations consisted of two trains as well in each direction. (Trains 1,2,3, and 4). These trains were separate operations and not extensions of each other.

Trains 41 and 42 actually carried through coaches to Charleston via the Atlantic Coast Line at Yemassee.  Former ACL employees have actually noted that C&WC equipment appeared in Charleston for a time. [ACLSAL Historical Society].  At one point, drawing room Pullman service was offered between Augusta and Jacksonville by additional trains (48-89 and 80-47).  The C&WC pooled with the Southern (via the Carolina Special) at one point to offer through Pullman service from Augusta to Cincinnati via Trains 1 and 4.

By the 1930's, passenger service between Augusta and points inland was reduced to mixed trains.  Regular passenger service continued between Augusta and Yemassee until 1955.  At that point, all passenger service ended on the C&WC.

Below is the executive list for the railroad in the 1914 timeframe, in addition to the system map in the 1913 timeframe. These excerpts originated in the July, 1914 edition of Official Guide of the Railways published by the National Railway Publication Company. (While this issue of the Official Guide was copyrighted and originally published in 1914 by the National Railway Publication Company, this issue of the Official Guide is now in the public domain.)


Below is the Equipment Register of the Charleston and Western Carolina in 1925. This is an excerpt from the Official Railway Equipment Register published by the Railway Equipment and Publication Company in January of 1925. (The Register is copyright 1925 by the Railway Equipment and Publication Company. This excerpt is published here under the fair use doctrine. The image is for non-profit education on the condition of the C&WC in 1925. It contains non-fictional facts and figures from a published work. This excerpt is a very small portion of the whole register. Finally, publishing only this excerpt does not diminish the market value of the 1925 Register.)