North Carolina Railroads - Graham County Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Topton, NC

Robbinsville, NC

Chartered on February 27, 1905, the Graham County Railroad was to connect Robbinsville to the Southern Railway at Topton, NC. Construction did not start by 1910, when the Whiting Company of Philadelphia, PA bought the entire town of Robbinsville. The Whiting Company planned to bring in over 1,500 loggers and to build a power plant for the town, but it was not until 1916 until the railroad construction actually started.

Soon after tracks started to be laid, misfortune struck. The company had purchased a used locomotive that needed repair, and it was sent to Asheville to the Southern Railway mechanics. In June of that year, a horrible flood hit the area, wiping out many miles of existing track of all carriers, but also washing the Graham County Railroad locomotive downstream - never to be found. Track construction was immediately halted.

This railroad finally became operational in 1925, with brand new equipment. Its first business was with the Bemis Company, which had built the Buffalo & Snowbird Railroad to connect to the new Graham County Railroad from Robbinsville to the Southern Railway connection at Topton.

This railroad peaked in the late 1920s and early 1930s, taking sawed lumber out of the mountains and bringing fresh vegetables, general merchandise, hardware, and household goods into Robbinsville. The line held on until the 1960s, when the day-to-day existence of the railroad was "iffy" at best. The timber had already been largely removed and freight hauling was the only business left keeping the line alive.

In 1978, floods destroyed portions of the line and two bridges, and the railroad was doomed. The line was abandoned and all track was pulled up by 1987.

Towns on Route:


Tulula (1894-1914)


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved