The Tarheel Press
Saluda: From Top to Bottom
The Asheville & Spartanburg Railroad was an important link in building a continuous rail connection from the lowlands of South Carolina over the Blue Ridge and into North Carolina. Though coming in at a mere 66 miles, its treacherous route included the infamous Saluda Grade, the steepest section of mainline railroad in the United States. For more than 125 years, the grade demanded the respect of those who ran it and struck fear in the hearts of many who traveled it.
This book is the first major publication on the grade and railroad in more than thirty years and goes deeper than any previous work. Penned by award-winning author Matt Bumgarner, the book explores the early history of the railroad’s formation, debunks the myths surrounding early engineering staffs and feats, and places the construction of the line in the context of railroad expansion in the era.
Along the way, the author examines in detail the sacrifices of convict labor (while paying homage to the specific men who died building the railroad), the rise of tourism in Western North Carolina, and the transformation of the railroad industry over the course of the last 150 years. Included in the book are historical timetables, depot floorplans, and detailed track profiles of the entire railroad.
This volume is the definitive work on the history of the Saluda grade and the A&S Railroad. It will be essential to any student of railroading history, local heritage, and fans of the Southern Railway & Norfolk Southern.
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- Hardback Color Cover
- More than 200pp exploring the history of
America’s steepest mainline grade
- Nearly 250 B/W and Color photos
- Complete history of the Asheville &
Spartanburg Railroad from its
inception to present day
- Track charts of entire railroad
- Floorplans of most depots along
-Foreword by Trains editor Jim Wrinn
-Detailed USGS study of surveys and
comparisons to Western NC RR
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plus tax & shipping
*Please note that demand on this book is extremely high. Demand is out-running the supply. Currently expect 3-4 week delivery.