North Carolina Railroads - North-Western North Carolina Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point



Never in Ops

Never in Ops

Salem, NC

Salem Junction, NC
*1871 acquired by the Richmond & Danville Railroad and completed in 1873 in that name.

In response to longstanding desires by the northwestern counties of the state of North Carolina for railroad service, the Constitutional Convention of 1868 chartered the North-Western North Carolina Railroad to run from some point off the North Carolina Railroad to the town of Salem. Later legislation authorized its extension either northward to Mt. Airy or westward to Wilkesboro and beyond.

The company quickly organized, and by the end of April in 1868, Cyrus P. Mendenhall, David F. Caldwell, and other Greensborough residents had secured its eastern terminus for their town by agreeing to finance the grading as far as the Forsyth County line.

In 1869, the North Carolina Railroad acquired $20,000 of the new road's stock and arranged with it for joint terminal facilities at a location just west of Greensborough, to be named Salem Junction, by the summer of 1870, but funds ran out before any track could be laid. The proffered state aid carried too many strings attached and was not acceptable to the new company. NWNC RR President Edward Belo, in June of 1870, proposed a merger with the North Carolina Railraod, but his terms were not acceptable to the NCRR stockholders.

The North Carolina General Assembly then allowed the North-Western North Carolina Railroad to merge with any connecting road that would complete its track to Salem. The North Carolina Railroad was still interested, however, the Richmond & Danville Railroad beat them to the line. The R&D acquired the North-Western North Carolina Railroad in early 1871, and completed the road by 1873.

The Richmond & Danville Railroad extended the line to Bethania in 1888 and to meet the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway at Rural Hall in 1889.

Towns on Route:

Salem > Winston-Salem (1899)


Colfax (1879)


Guilford (1888) > Battle Ground (1888)

Salem Junction (1883) > Pomona (1896)

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