By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor
Our last North Carolina before hopping the plane home to Minnesota was the iconic Seaboard Air Line depot in Hamlet. It wasn’t opened when we came through, but that doesn’t diminish the impact of this big wood Victorian survivor. It opened in 1900 where the SAL Richmond-Florida main line crossed the Wilmington-Atlanta-Birmingham line. Although Hamlet’s current population is only 6000, it was a division headquarters and therefore merited such a large depot.
The depot was located in the northwest quadrant of the junction. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It continued to serve Amtrak.
For liability reasons, CSX wanted it removed from the center of the junction. Sold to the city, the depot was moved in stages during 2001-2004 to the southwest quadrant, adjacent to the town’s business district. After the move it was restored by the City of Hamlet and North Carolina DOT, using federal Transportation Enhancement funds. In the process the exterior was repainted from the longtime white to its darker original colors. Today it houses the Amtrak station and displays on local rail history.
Across the street an SAL SDP35 1114 (EMD 1964) and caboose 5421 (Magor Car 1924) are on display.