What’s shaking in Hamlet, N.C.
CSX train Q463 rolls southbound through downtown Hamlet, N.C., on its way to Cayce Yard in Columbia, S.C., on March 8, 2010. The train left the yard minutes before. Michael S. Murray

Hamlet, North Carolina

Hamlet, N.C., sits at a critical CSX junction, the hub of the former Seaboard Air Line Railway. To the north runs the Aberdeen Subdivision to Raleigh. (The stub-ended route continues north to Norlina, and once went to Petersburg, Va.) The Hamlet Subdivision extends south toward Columbia, S.C., and beyond to Charleston, S.C., and Florida. The Andrews Subdivision provides an alternate route to Charleston. To the east is the Wilmington Subdivision, which crosses CSX’s I-95 Corridor at Pembroke, N.C., then continues all the way to the port at Wilmington, N.C. To the west is the Monroe Subdivision, which takes traffic south to Atlanta and west to Bostic, N.C., to connect with the former Clinchfield Railroad.
icon_railroad_45TRAIN WATCHING
The Hamlet Historic Depot & Museum, built in 1900, is the area’s best place to watch trains. All trains, including unit coal trains that bypass the yard, go through here, except those heading north on the Aberdeen Sub. Six sets of tracks crisscross in front of the station. Restored to its original beauty in 2004, the depot is one of the most photographed train stations in the eastern United States. Its striking Queen Anne style architecture and famed “Witch’s Hat” dome landed it in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Amtrak’s Silver Star calls here on its way between New York and Florida. You can view the yard from N.C. Highway 177 (King Street) and Campbell Road.
Yard A is a receiving and hump classification yard with car and diesel shops nearby; Yard B is the departure yard; Williams Yard is for all layover unit trains and railroad equipment storage.
tracksideicon_frequencyRAILROAD FREQUENCIES
CSX road channel: 161.100; CSX road channel/Hamlet Yard: 160.590; CSX dispatcher to train channels: 161.520, 160.410, 160.230, 160.920.
tracksideicon_famFOR YOUR FAMILY
Visit the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame, three blocks north of the Hamlet depot at 120 Spring Street. The free museum includes paintings of famous Seaboard trains, such as the Orange Blossom Special and Silver Meteor, an authentic depiction of an early telegraph office, and model train layouts. Hamlet celebrates its railroad heritage with its annual Seaboard Festival on the last Saturday of October. For more tourism information about the region, visit www.richmondcountyoutdoors.com.
tracksideicon_plusDON'T MISS
Seaboard Air Line EMD SDP35 No. 1114, on display in faded but original colors near the depot, and a replica of the Tornado, a 4-2-0 built in 1839 by D.J. Burr & Co. of Richmond, Va.
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