Tailgate Tradition: South Carolina’s Rail-gate

11/15/2013

College Football Country Tailgate TraditionEvery week on College Football Country, we take you around the nation to find out more about one of the things that makes Saturdays so great: tailgating.

With one the week’s biggest games in South Carolina, it’s only fitting that we head to Columbia, and Williams-Brice Stadium. The stadium sits on the South Carolina State Fairgrounds and a very unique part of the USC tailgating experience is the South Carolina Cockaboose Railroad, which runs behind the stadium. The abandoned railcars were first incorporated into the tailgating experience in 1990 in an attempt to gentrify the unused tracks next to the stadium. For $40,000, buyers could purchase a gutted 30’ x 9’ steel car and were allowed to remodel the interior any way they pleased. The exterior, however, is maintained for them, to ensure each of the 22 cars look the same.

Owners installed electricity, plumbing, running water and any other amenities they cared to add to make these cars some of the most luxurious tailgating spots in the entire nation. Many have mahogany floors and marble countertops, making this more than just a tailgate – it’s a RAILGATE, and a fancy one at that! Each car has been remodeled to the owner’s taste and many of them have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their caboose.

If you’re fortunate enough to see these cars from the inside, don’t hesitate to do so. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and only a stone’s throw from Williams-Brice Stadium.

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