North Carolina Railroads - Wilmington & Weldon Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Wilmington, NC

Weldon, NC
* 1900 - Merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

+ <1900 - Built/Owned the Clinton & Faison Railroad.

+ <1900 - Built/Owned the Clinton & Warsaw Railroad.

+ 1898 - Built/Owned the Southeastern Railroad.
+ 1892 - Built/Owned the Fayetteville Cutoff.
+ <1891 - Built/Owned the Wilmington, Onslow & East Carolina Railroad.
+ 1886 - Built/Owned the Wilson & Fayetteville Railroad.
+ 1885 - Acquired the Albemarle & Raleigh Railroad, which retained its name until merged into ACL 1900.

+ 1883 - Acquired the Midland North Carolina Railroad, which added the line from Smithfield to Goldsboro.

+ 1883 - Acquired the Scotland Neck Railroad, extending its Halifax service to Scotland Neck.

+ 1860 - Completed the line from Rocky Mount to Tarboro in August.
Was the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad

First Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Office - Weldon, NC

On February 15, 1855, the state of North Carolina General Assembly finally agreed to grant a new charter and the line's name was formally changed from the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad to the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad. The line never went to Raleigh, as originally intended in 1834.

The company relaid its entire track in the 1850s with T-rail. In 1850, the company (as the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad) began constructing a nineteen (19) mile branch line from Rocky Mount to Tarboro, which was completed in August of 1860.

When the U.S. Civil War came in 1861, "all minor matters were dropped from consideration and the company began to serve the Confederate government in the transportation of troops and munitions of war." Company President Ashe reported on November 14, 1861 that he had the "gratification of feeling just and patriotic pride tha the company has been able to render to our beloved country inappreciable assistance in repelling from our soil ruthless invaders."

However, throughout the four years of the war there was little harmony between the railroad company and the Condederate Army officials. The new government kept insisting on lower and lower rates, and the government consistently broke up the regular schedule of the trains and began running them to suit their convenience. This was no doubt necessary, but was a constant source of complaint of the railroad's management.

The biggest challenge, like the rest of the Southern railroads, was in replacing the worn-out rails. The road was furnished iron which was taken from other lines, and the old rails were turned over to the Confederate government for use in the making of munitions.

On December 16, 1862, the road was attacked for the first time, and the Federals burned the bridge over the Neuse River, the trestle at Goshen, the water station and a number of cars at Dudley's Station. By the summer of 1864, the condition of the road was alarming. It rails were wearing out and no material for repair could be acquired from any source. The rolling stock was taxed severely and it was impossible to get labor except for an inferior class of workmen.

Events during the latter part of 1864 and early 1865 moved in rapid succession and the railroad was damaged alternately by the Federal and Confederate armies. Wilmington fell on February 22, 1865 and Goldsboro a month later, and operations of the road ceased altogether. The road south of Goldsboro was operated by the Federal authorities until it was turned back over to the company by mid-Summer. The road north of Goldsboro was practically dismantled by the Federal troops, with the destruction of most of the rolling stock, bridges, and warehouses.

One of the first tasks which the company undertook after the war was the forming of physical connections back with the other railroads in the area, which were also rebuilding. The biggest challenge that the company now faced was that it would have to rebuild with an entirely different labor situation.

In 1866, a new bridge was constructed over the Cape Fear River at Wilmington by the Wilmington Railway Bridge Company, the stock being owned jointly by the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad. The bridge with a few miles of new road established the connection of both lines at Wilmington. With better connections now in place, the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad was in position to profit greatly from increased traffic.

In 1892, the North Carolina State Supreme Court ruled that all the branch roads of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company were liable for taxation. The original charter exempted the company from taxation as long as the profits did not reach eight percent of the capital stock.

In 1900, the railroad was merged into the rapidly growing Atlantic Coast Line.

Towns on Route:

Line #1 - Wilmington to Weldon:



Pender (1890s)

Ruggles (1890s)


Bricks (1912)

Whitakers Station (1866) > Whitakers (1869) > Mayonia (1886) > Whitakers (1886)


Rocky Mount

Sharpesburg (1872)

Joyners Depot > Toisnot (1873) > Elm City (1891)


Contentnea (1890s)

Black Creek


Nahunta > Fremont (1872)

Pikeville (1856)


Genoa (1893)


Dudley #2 (1860)

Calypso (1898)

Mount Olive

Faisons Depot > Faison (1883)

Bowdens (1860s)


Carroll (1899)

Stricklands Depot > Magnolia (1857)

Rose Hill (1860s)


Wallace (1866)


Sills Creek > Camera (1865) > Willard (1883)

South Washington #2 (1870) > Watha (1905)

Washington Depot

Cypress Grove > Burgaw Depot (1871) > Burgaw (1879)

Ashton (1874)

Rocky Point (1860)

Marlboro (1860s)


Castle Hayne (1869)


Line #2 - Rocky Mount to Tarboro (1860):

Rocky Mount

Medora (1898)

Kingsborough (1866) > Hartsborough (1876) > Kingsboro (1883) > Penelo (1888) > Kingsboro #2 (1919)


Line #3 - Smithfield to Goldsboro (1883):



Walter (1883)

Goldsborough > Goldsboro (1893)

Line #4 - Halifax to Scotland Neck (1883):


Polenta (1880s)

Tillery (1882)

Looking Glass (1880s)

Spring Hill (1886)

Scotland Neck

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