The Best Friend  

The Best Friend 

This is the train that established the first successful regularly scheduled passenger service in the US, commencing on Christmas Day, 1830. A replica of this historic locomotive, maintained by Charleston Chapter National Railroad Historical Society, is on display in the The Best Friend Train Museum at 36 John Street behind the Charleston Area Visitor Center on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. 

The original tracks were laid on what was then Russell Street in Charleston, north of the then center of population.  As the popularity of rail transportation for both freight and passengers increased, rail infrastructure grew.  Around Line Street, there was a bustling rail yard complete with roundhouse, and facilities for refurbishing rail cars.

But in 1959 (through 1969) I-26 was built, and in Charleston, many homes and businesses were demolished to clear the way.  Railroad and highway co-existed until around 2004, about the last time the rails were used.  We believe the final shipment was newsprint for the Post & Courier.

Construction of I-26 really divided the upper peninsula of Charleston, severing east-west streets, and disconnecting neighbors from one another.

 

 

 


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