Unique rail car can pull heavy-duty port cargo

A 680-ton nuclear power generator sits on a Westinghouse-owned schnabel rail car near the Port of Charleston

Where does a 680-ton nuclear power generator sit? Well, not exactly anywhere it wants.

That's why Westinghouse had to bring its 36-axle "schnabel" rail car to Charleston to haul the behemoth cargo to the new reactors being added to the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville by Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper and Cayce-based South Carolina Electric & Gas.

A schnabel is a special freight car built to haul heavy and oversized loads by rail.

Westinghouse owns the WECX-800 schnabel which, with a 345-foot maximum loaded length and a nearly 900-ton hauling capacity, is the largest rail car ever built.

The South Korea-built generator arrived at the Port of Charleston last month and was loaded onto the schnabel car, where it sat in the railyard at the end of Columbus Street until its departure over the weekend.

The generator will be used in the first of two new AP-1000 nuclear power units being built at the Jenkinsville site. The first of those units is scheduled for completion in late 2018 or early 2019, with the second following about a year later.

According to Wikipedia, schnabel comes from the German term "tragschnabelwagen," which means "'carrying-beak-wagon,' because of the usually tapered shape of the lifting arms, resembling a bird's beak."

Given the way the last gridiron season went, the USC Gamecocks would gladly take a No. 16 ranking, even from the likes of Forbes magazine.

But in this case, the statistical distinction had nothing to do with the win-and-loss column. It was based purely on the bottom line.

In a recent report, Forbes determined that the University of South Carolina's football program was tied for 16th - with the Michigan State Spartans - with a projected total team value of $72 million based on figures from the 2014 season. USC racked up $56 million in revenue and turned a $30 million profit, the business publication said.

"Increased ticket sales, contributions and conference distributions added $5.3 million to the Gamecocks' bottom line last year," Forbes said.

Topping the list were the Texas Longhorns, which the magazine estimated are worth $131 million. Forbes limited its rankings to the 20 biggest college football programs. Clemson University wasn't among them.

Forbes said it seeks "to measure the value that college football's top teams generate for four key areas: their athletic departments, their universities, their conferences and their local economies."

The site of the former Carolina's restaurant at 10 Exchange St. in downtown Charleston recently sold for $1 million. The buyer is an entity called ES10 LLC, according to county property records. The firm is registered to developer Anthony Kassis of Mount Pleasant.

Kassis wouldn't comment on what the building will be used for, other than to say an announcement could be made in the coming months.

Carolina's closed in March after 27 years of offering fine dining on the peninsula. The movement of bars and restaurants to Upper King Street and competition in the industry helped lead to its demise.

The 6,230-square-foot property was listed last year after Carolina's closed. The asking price at that time was $2.37 million. The seller was Isle of Palms-based 10 Exchange Street LLC.

Part of the Gateway project in Mount Pleasant will break ground this week.

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Officials from Landmark Enterprises, Raines Hospitality and Springbridge Development will turn the first ceremonial shovels of earth at a private event Thursday at 235 Magrath Darby Blvd. for a new 110-room, seven-story SpringHill Suites, a Marriott brand.

Gateway includes a 60,000-square-foot office building as well. Construction could begin on it in about six months, according to Jason Ward with Landmark Enterprises. Site work is already underway for the development.

Bull Street Gourmet wants its patrons to be able to dine al fresco.

Owner Justin Croxall has applied to the city of Charleston's Zoning Appeals Board to allow a sidewalk cafe at its 441 Meeting St location at the Elan Midtown apartments.

The restaurant is asking for a variance because the sidewalk does not meet the minimum width of 15 feet. The board meets at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at 75 Calhoun St.

Alltel is no more in South Carolina. The former wireless phone company's nine remaining retail locations in South Carolina recently made the switch to AT&T brand. The stores are in Orangeburg, Barnwell, Chester, Gaffney, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry and Seneca.

Dallas-based AT&T acquired the brick-and-mortar outlets as part of its $780 million purchase of Atlantic Tele-Network's Alltel unit in South Carolina and other five other states.

The September 2013 deal included 590,000 subscribers, as well as retail stores and wireless licenses, in mainly rural areas of the Carolinas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois and Ohio.

More than 70,000 former Alltel customers in South Carolina will be notified soon to make the switch to new devices that work on AT&T's network.