The Lawndale Railway Today                             

   On April 30, 1943, the last train pulled out of Lawndale. The equipment was parked, and within two years, the Interstate Commerce Commission allowed the railroad to be abandoned. For nearly 45 years, the railroad was the thread that bound the tiny textile community together.
   Not much is left of the railroad in 2003, and Nick Wells (pictured at left), was the last surviving train man. In this photo, he is standing at Lawndale Junction in March, 1999 as a CSX freight roars by on the old Seaboard Air Line trackage.
   Until his passing in February, 2003, Nick claimed that his days as brakeman and fireman on the Lawndale were the best times of his life.

    The grandest testimony to the memory of the Lawndale is the museum at Metcalfe's, the approximate halfway point on the railroad, and the site of Hague Metcalfe's old service station.
    Metcalfe supervised the building of the railroad and was its road foreman for its entire existence.     
   The museum was dedicate in November, 2001 and contains the restored service station and a restored Lawndale boxcar, complete with its original trucks.  The complex is located off of NC Highway 226.

      Boxcar 314, a 34 foot homemade car, is one of six Lawndale boxcars that exist today, but it is the only one with its original trucks, grab irons, and hardware. It is available for public viewing next to Highway 226 between Lawndale and Shelby, NC.

    This view shows the interior of the boxcar, where very little restoration was required. Note the arched roof supports, the original planking on the roof, and the plankingon the interior walls, only halfway up.

    For more details on the life of the Lawndale Railway, its people, its equipment, and its legacy, please be sure to purchase a copy of the award winning
Lawndale Railway & Industrial Company.

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