The historic Myrtle Beach Train Depot hasn’t welcomed arrivals for decades, but on Friday, a new car landed on the tracks.
The 53-foot boxcar was purchased for $10,000 by the City of Myrtle Beach to expand meeting space at the depot, which has become one of the most popular places for meetings, parties and wedding receptions.
The rusted, yellow-striped, boxcar was hoisted onto a flatbed truck in the Forestbrook area Friday morning, driven across the Intracoastal Waterway and deposited on the existing tracks at the train depot, at the corner of Broadway Street and Ninth Avenue North.
Supervising the transport of a 71,000-pound boxcar was nothing new to Charles Caughman of Coastal Crane Services.
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“This is just a standard day, nothing to it,” he said, as cranes moved the boxcar into position on a flatbed trailer for the short ride downtown. Caughman helped move larger boxcars and locomotives as part the R.J. Corman railroad renourishment program outside of Conway, and said this move was “no big deal.”
Coastal Crane Services started work around 8 a.m., disconnecting the wheels from the car. The component parts were moved on separate trailers and then reassembled on the tracks next to the depot.
The boxcar was trucked at a cost of roughly $12,000, City Spokesman Mark Kruea said. There are no existing tracks over the Intracoastal that could have accommodated the train car.
Myrtle Beach was a finalist in the Knight Cities Challenge, a grant competition that awards funds to projects like the train car refurbishment, but was not one of the winners announced Monday.
But City Planner Kelly Mezzapelle, who has spearheaded the project, was happy to see the boxcar in place nonetheless.
“Everybody’s just super excited,” she said.
Myrtle Beach is also in discussions with CSX Transportation to buy another train car to put on the tracks, Assistant City Manager Fox Simons said Tuesday.