North Carolina Railroads - Roanoke & Southern Railway

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

R&S RR

1887

1892

1911*

Roanoke, VA

Salem, NC
* 1911 - Formally merged into the Norfolk & Western Railway.
+ 1896 - Renamed to Norfolk, Roanoke & Southern Rail Road.
+ 1892 - Leased by Norfolk & Western Railroad, but retained its own name until 1911.

From the 1st Annual Report of the North Carolina Railroad Commission, dated December 31, 1891:

The Roanoke & Southern Railway Company was organized under laws of the States of North Carolina and Virginia, June 18th, 1887, and succeeded to the rights of the Roanoke & Southern in North Carolina and the Roanoke & Southern, in Virginia.

The Roanoke & Southern Railway was constructed by the Virginia & North Carolina Construction Company, which company receives and still owns all the bonds and stocks issued. Equipment is furnished by the Virginia and North Carolina Construction Company.

This Company was chartered by Act of the Assembly, ratified the 23rd day of February, 1887, for the purpose of constructing a railroad and telegraph line from some point on the line of the States of North Carolina and Virginia, in the county of Rockingham, through the counties of Rockingham, Guilford, Stokes, Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Rowan, Catawba, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Gaston, and Cleveland, or through any parts of either of said counties to the South Carolina line.

President------------------------------ H. S. Trout--------------------------- Roanoke, VA.
First Vice-President.------------------ J. W. Fries --------------------------- Salem, NC.
Third Vice-President------------------ J. H. Spencer------------------------- Martinsville, VA.
Secretary----------------------------- S. W. Jamison ------------------------ Roanoke, VA.
Treasurer ----------------------------- C.H. Fogle --------------------------- Salem, NC.
Auditor-------------------------------- R.D. Lankford ----------------------- Winston, NC.
General Mánager ---------------------- F. H. Fries --------------------------- Salem, NC.
Chief Engineer------------------------- A. Onderdonk ----------------------- Winston, NC.
General Superintendent ---------------- G.W. Maslin ------------------------- Winston, NC.
General Freight Agent------------------ G. W. Maslin ------------------------ Winston, NC.
General Passenger Agent--------------- G. W. Maslin------------------------- Winston, NC.

Property Operated:

Roanoke & Southern Railway, from Winston-Salem to State Line North Carolina, 46 miles.
From State Line Virginia to Martinsville, 14 miles.

David Houston, Henry Trout, Peyton Terry, and other native investors organized the Roanoke & Southern Railway Company. The firm, which had a North Carolina counterpart, planned to construct a 122-mile line from Roanoke, VA to Winston-Salem, NC, that would essentially complete the second half of the route originally proposed for the Clark firm’s Shenandoah Valley Railroad (SVRR).

The city’s editors applauded the idea, predicting the completed railroad would double the size of Roanoke and usher in the same kind of boom that accompanied the arrival of the SVRR. Local property owners, the only residents eligible to vote on civic financial issues, had previously rejected several small bonds for infrastructure improvements, but in April of 1886, they almost unanimously approved issuing $100,000 in bonds to buy Roanoke & Southern Railroad stock.

In the years that followed, however, the railroad struggled to find other investors and construction of the line stalled. In 1889, local business leaders proposed issuing bonds to cover another $100,000 stock subscription. The road, one merchant explained, was crucial for Roanoke since it “would add millions to the wealth of the city” by opening up a southern trade.

The press urged freeholders to endorse the subscription, warning that Salem residents would “gladly give all and more than Roanoke is asked to subscribe” and had even come up with a new name for the line: “The Salem & Southern.” Roanoke’s property owners voted 540 to 11 to authorize the purchase but on the same ballot rejected far smaller bonds for a hospital and police headquarters.

Later in the year, Henry Trout, Peyton Terry, and other business leaders provided the final incentive for the line by purchasing its $75,000 right-of-way into the city. Construction ended in early 1892, and in January the first Roanoke & Southern train pulled into town. The line was leased to N&W on March 16, 1892. Then four years later, the N&W bought the Roanoke & Southern and turned the line into its Winston-Salem Division.

Towns on Route (in NC):

NC/VA State Line

Prices Store > Price (1891)

Stoneville

Mayodan (1896)

Madison

Pine Hall

Walnut Cove

Fulp (1892)

Salem Chapel

Walkertown

Daisy

Salem > Winston-Salem (1899)

The Sixth Annual Report of the North Carolina Corporation Commission for the Year Ending December 31, 1904, with Compilations from Railroad Returns for the Year Ending June 30, 1904, includes the route of the Roanoke & Southern Railroad, including mileage:

Stations in Order (45.65 miles in NC):

Winston-Salem
Tise
Ogburn
Walkertown
Dennis
Fulp
Walnut Cove
Pine Hall
Sharps
Madison
Mayodan
Avalon
Fairs
Stoneville
Price
Roanoke, VA

The Thirteenth Annual Report of the North Carolina Commission for the Year Ending December 31, 1911, with Compilations from Railroad Returns for the Year Ending June 30, 1911, includes the route of the Roanoke & Southern Railway as part of the Norfolk & Western Railway:

Towns on Route (45.65 miles):
Winston-Salem
Ogburn
Walkertown
Dennis
Fulp
Walnut Cove
Pine Hall
Sharps
Madison
Mayodan
Avalon
Stoneville
Price
NC/VA State Line



© 2018 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved