Monday, March 13, 2006

The Station is Leaving the Train !

" BOARD ! " Anyone old enough to remember train travel before Amtrak will know that call as a last warning to climb aboard just before the train left the station. The station is leaving the train at Ravenel, SC. The old railroad depot at Ravenel has graced trackside for very many years in the heart of that little whistle stop town between Hwy 162 and Hwy 17-South.

If you happen to be in Hollywood, Meggett or Younges Island and want to go to Summerville, Columbia or anywhere other than Charleston or Savannah, you'd take Hwy. 165. That road passes through Ravenel and at a dogleg turn this well preserved station stood only about twenty feet closer to the tracks than where it is pictured above. It will be moved a little further back then down line a bit by the Ozwalt Company which seems to be able to move just about any structure, any place intact except our State House into the twenty-first century.

Not forty feet forward of the car is a double set of tracks. You can quickly tell when a train has not passed over tracks as they rust over in a matter of days. From a light oxide film to a thick and porous scale they progressively decay. These steel rails are polished to mirror brightness [See Photo Below]. The trains both freight and passenger stream north and south passing within feet of the station, but they no longer stop. The luster has left the station, but it's rescue is at hand.

The search for and recording of colorful old structures both proud and humble drives this journal down the line. We, like the trains, are just passing through Ravenel this Sunday, but we're very happy to know that the station isn't passing from the scene anytime soon.

[ Please Note: Photos are compressed and at times distorted. Click on the photo for a better view. ]


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