Scenic Train Rides in South Carolina

The Railroad Nation

Charleston Greenwood Lancaster Spartanburg Winnsboro

The South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro operates the only scenic train rides in South Carolina on the Rockton, Rion and Western Railroad. There are 13 steam locomotives listed in South Carolina today. Most of them are now abandoned or on display. The Hampton & Branchville Railroad 2-6-0, No. 44 is on display at the SCRM and is open from April through October. The 1911 H.K. Porter 2-8-0, Argent Lumber Company No. 7, is on display in a city park in Hardeeville, SC. and the 2-8-2 Rockton & Rion No. 19 is on display at the Railroad Historical Center in Greenwood. A replica of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road's Best Friend of Charleston is on display at the Best Friend Train Museum.
Did you know?
The first regularly scheduled passenger service in South Carolina began in 1830 on the Carolina Canel and Railroad Co. Today,
Norfolk Southern services 783 miles of South Carolina's approximate 2283 total route miles. South Carolina Amtrak passenger service can be found on the Crescent, the Silver Star, the Silver Meteor, the Palmetto and the Auto Train.


Best Friend of Charleston Railway Museum

The "Best Friend of Charleston," temporarily on loan to Norfolk Southern for display in their Atlanta, GA office building, is a full-sized replica of the 1830 train. The steam engine was constructed from the original plans in 1928 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the "South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company." Southern Railway operated this replica on excursions across the USA. The special railroad cars designed to carry the train between excursions are presently on display at the South Carolina Railroad Museum. The "Best Friend" was donated to the City of Charleston by Norfolk Southern in 1993.
The Best Friend of Charleston Railway Museum contains artifacts, videos and Lionel's limited edition operating model of the Best Friend train.

"Best Friend of Charleston" -- a historic re-creation of the first steam railroad locomotive built entirely in the United States.


Railroad Historical Center

Railroad Historical Center display's include #19, a 2-8-2 Mikado steam engine along with a sleeper,a dinning car, the "Carolina" office car and a caboose. Admission for the center is free. Directions


Lancaster & Chester Railroad and Museum

The highlight of the Lancaster & Chester Railroad museum is a scale model train replica of the original 29-mile route of the L & C. Exhibitions include hundreds of photographs depicting the railroad from the beginning to the present, railroad memorabilia with information on the shortlines of the Palmetto state that have disappeared, along with other relative artifacts. The L&C Railway museum offers luxury railcars for private charter to corporations and individuals. Plan your next business trip, employee award, or vacation aboard a rolling 1st Class Hotel.


Hub City Railroad Museum

Hub City Railroad Museum is housed in an Amtrak station between two active CSX tracks. Exhibits tell the story of the rich textile heritage, tremendous agricultural industry, and the sole freight passenger car repair shop, Hayne Shops, of Southern Railway. Also featured are the individual railroads of Southern, Clinchfield, C&WC, P&N and Glenn Springs. Southern X3115 caboose has been recently refurbished.Directions


South Carolina Railroad Museum

The South Carolina Railroad museum in Winnsboro has a large collection of railroad equipment. This equipment has been acquired over several years from various railroads, industries, historical groups and governmental agencies by way of donations and/or purchase. The museum's railroad equipment includes former Hampton and Branchville Railroad steam locomotive #44. One hour round trip scenic train rides operate on Saturdays over 5 miles of the 11.5 mile line of the former Rockton and Rion Railroad. Private train charters are available anytime during non operating times. Directions