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Saluda in Polk County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Saluda Grade

 
 
Saluda Grade Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 7, 2008
1. Saluda Grade Marker
Inscription. The steepest, standard gauge,mainline railway grade in the U.S. Opened in 1878; three mi. long. Crests here.
 
Erected 1987 by Division of Archives and History. (Marker Number 0-73.)
 
Location. 35° 14.171′ N, 82° 20.933′ W. Marker is in Saluda, North Carolina, in Polk County. Marker is on W Main Street (U.S. 176), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saluda NC 28773, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Forever on Duty (a few steps from this marker); In Honor of Nolan D. Pace, Sr. (within shouting distance of this marker); E.B. 'Baty" Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Tryon Peak (approx. 5.6 miles away); Vance-Carson Duel (approx. 5.6 miles away); Harmon Field (approx. 5.6 miles away); Flat Rock (approx. 5.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saluda.
 
Regarding Saluda Grade. Saluda Grade is the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States. Owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway as part of their W Line, the Saluda Grade in Polk County, North Carolina
Saluda Grade image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 7, 2008
2. Saluda Grade
Looking back down the tracks.
consists of a three-mile section of track that rises over 600 feet (180 m) in elevation with a highest official grade of 4.7% but reaching 5.1% at one point between the towns of Melrose and Saluda.
 
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to the Saluda Grade. Maps and pictures of the Saluda Grade. (Submitted on September 7, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.) 

2. Save the Rails. An effort to save the Saluda Grade section of the Norfolk Southern Railroad for posterity. (Submitted on September 7, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Natural FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
On The Tracks image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 7, 2008
3. On The Tracks
The line begins its climb at the bottom of Melrose Mountain, where the town of Tryon can be found today at 1,081 feet (329 m), and continue on the southern side of the Pacolet valley. At Melrose, what is known as the Saluda Grade begins and climbs to the town of Saluda, cresting from the steepest grade of 5.1% right in the center of town at an elevation of 2,097 feet (639 m).
Up the tracks and around the bend the grade gets very steep image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 7, 2008
4. Up the tracks and around the bend the grade gets very steep
Because of numerous accidents involving downgrade runaway trains in the late 1880s, the then Southern Railway (the line's original owner) built special safety tracks along the route. This is a manned spur junction, which, for safety reasons, is always switched to a 60-foot (18 m) pile of solid earth, which is capable of stopping downgrade runaway trains. Only upon the application of a special whistle signal from the downgrade train will the signalman manning the spur junction throw the switch to lead the train safely to the main line. Special elaborate rules were made by Southern, and later Norfolk Southern, in dealing with operations on this route.
Saluda image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, July 17, 2011
5. Saluda
Saluda image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 7, 2008
6. Saluda
Old Saluda Depot image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, July 17, 2011
7. Old Saluda Depot
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,267 times since then and 47 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week March 6, 2011. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 7, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   5. submitted on July 17, 2011, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   6. submitted on September 7, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   7. submitted on July 17, 2011, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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