• Myrtle Beach AFB railway

  • A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads
A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by RailVet
At one time Myrtle Beach AFB (closed over a decade ago) had its own base railway. I've found the old right-of-way on the west side of the base, where it looped around to the north and ran northeast and parallel to Route 707 until it reached a junction with the former ACL line.

Does anyone have any information on this line and when the tracks were pulled up? I believe the base had its own switcher at one time, too.
  by hojackjoe
I ride my bike through the base all the time but never saw a ROW . Where would i find ( and follow ) it ?

  by RailVet
Go to


and then enter

myrtle beach

in the City box and


in the State box, then click on the GO button. When the next screen appears, select

Topo Map 7/1/1990

Using the scale on the left side, select the magnification level right in the middle and you'll see the rail line running parallel to Route 707, then turning south. It does another 90 degree turn, this time east, and then another one going south.

Print out this sheet and then go back to select

Aerial Photo 1/23/1994

Using the topo map as a guide, you'll be able to locate the right-of-way on the base.

When biking or walking the site, a good point to start may be the old Base Supply warehouse, which appears to have had the track alongside it - a typical arrangement at one time for air bases with rail service. Keeping in mind that brush grows quickly in SC, it may be difficult to follow some of the ROW.

  by hojackjoe
I think i've got a good idea where it is ... thanks my friend . Do you live in the area ?? . I live on the other side of the intracoastal off Forestbrook drive . Thanks again .
  by RailVet
Unfortunately I don't live in the area, but I'm somewhat familiar with it. I lived just two hours down the coast in Charleston for four years and got up to Myrtle Beach on occasion. I haven't been down there in four years, though.

  by HENRY
I was stationed at MB in 1972-74 when the railroad was deactivated. They had a GE locomotive assigned and the rr was closed due to cost cutting measures. I don't know when the tracks were removed.
  by RailVet
The base had its own locomotive, which I believe was a GE 44-ton centercab. Reportedly it was acquired by the town of Branchville, SC, in anticipation of a railroad museum that never materialized. I believe it still exists somewhere and will check into it.

Typically a base railway line had branches running alongside the Base Supply warehouse and into the fuels area. When general freight moved to trucks and underground fuel pipelines replaced tank cars, base railways dropped off one by one.

  by hojackjoe
Hello again Railvet . With your help , i've found the former ROW on the base . There's alot of growth around it , but if you look hard enough you'll see it . Don't dare walking it though , especially in the summer .....SNAKES!!!. Alot has happened since you last visited the base . Condos being built , a beautiful park .... complete with bike paths & ball diamonds , an outdoors hockey rink , football field & picnis areas already in place . When you get a chance , google Myrtle Beach Market Commons and see for yourself . Thanks again my friend !.
  by RailVet
Glad you found the old route! Yes, it would be best to wait until the winter months, when Mother Nature's little fiends aren't as plentiful, and the vegetation dies down somewhat.

I'm glad to read that the base is being developed for new uses. During my last visit, a guard shack near an entrance had all of its large glass windows smashed out of it and the door was hanging by one hinge. On base, many buildings were vacant, deep grass was growing on formerly mowed lawns, and in general it just looked pitiful. You would never have known, by its appearance then, that it had once been a favorite assignment in the Air Force.
  by RailVet
Here's the information on the base locomotive. It was USAF 7934, a GE 65-ton, serial number 15885, and built in February 1943. It was the last locomotive used at the base. It had previously served at Tinker AFB, OK, and was at MBAFB by November 1963. Post-AF shots put it at Branchville, SC, in October 1977, January 1979 and April 1980. By April 1981, the city's hopes for a rail museum were apparently over and the locomotive was in the possession of Republic Locomotive in Greenville, SC, on the western side of the state. The locomotive later became Florida Rock Industries #229. Thanks to Ken Ardinger for this data.

  by hojackjoe
Railvet , i need to put your Air Force experience to work . While riding around the Myrtle Beach base , i've noticed 4 or 5 empty concrete bunkers . They're about 80 feet long , maybe 25 ft. wide , and about 15 ft. high with steel doors in front . The roofs are somewhat tapered and they're covered with grass & shrubs ( so they can't be detected from the air maybe ??? ) . Do you know what these are or what they were used for ??. Thanks ...in advance .
  by RailVet
Are all of these bunkers located in one location, possibly away from most other facilities on base? Judging by the description, I suspect they were munitions bunkers. MBAFB was once home to F-4 Phantoms and later A-10s, and these bunkers could be where their munitions were stored.