North Carolina Railroads - Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Fayetteville, NC Mt. Airy, NC Fayetteville, NC Stokesdale, NC Climax, NC
Fayetteville, NC

Mt. Airy, NC Ore Knob, NC Bennettsville, SC Madison, NC Ramseur, NC
Wilmington, NC
*1899 - Line split and the southern section was acquired by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, with the remainder being acquired by Southern Railway and spun off into a separate entity called the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway.
+ 1879 - the merger of the Western Rail Road and the Mt. Airy & Ore Knob Rail Road

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

Organized April 2d, 1879, under laws of the State of North Carolina, Act 25th February, 1879.

In the year 1833 a charter was obtained and the ground broken for the building of the Cape Fear, Yadkin and Pee Dee Railroad; but it was met by many difficulties, and being regarded as a doubtful experiment, the work was abandoned.

The Western Railroad Company was chartered by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina December 24th, 1852, and the Mt. Airy Railroad Company was chartered April 4th, 1871 (amended February 28th, 1877, also February 11th, 1879), consolidated under the name of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Company by Act of the Assembly, and ratified the 25th day of February, 1879, amended the 26th day of March, 1880, and February 27th, 1883.

The consolidation as above stated was effected in general meeting of the stockholders of the Western Railroad Company, held in Fayetteville, NC, April 3d, 1879.

Name of the original corporation, the Western Railroad Company, reorganized as the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Company, under Act of the General Assembly, February 27th, 1883, and consolidated with the Mt. Airy Railroad Company under the name of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Company, for the purpose of extension.

The road was built from Fayetteville to Egypt, 43 miles, in 1860, and extended from Egypt to Gulf, 4 miles, in March, 1879. Road opened between Gulf and Greensboro, June 19th, 1884; from Fayetteville south to Maxton, August 1st, 1884, and through from Greensboro via Fayetteville to Bennettsville, SC, including the leased South Carolina Pacific Railway, on December 5th, 1884.

Road opened from Greensboro to State line December 15, 1884, and extended from Greensboro to Belew's Creek, and branch built from Factory Junction to Millboro in 1886. In 1887 the main line was extended from Belew's Creek to Pilot Mountain, and in 1888 from Pilot Mountain to Mount Airy. The Madison branch was opened in December, 1888. An extension of the main line from Fayetteville to Wilmington, 82 miles, was opened February 17, 1890. The road is graded 4 miles beyond Mt. Airy to the State line, where a connection with the Norfolk & Western is proposed.

The corporate powers granted to this company by the Act of the General Assembly of the 24th day of December, 1852, were to continue until the year 1900.

By Acts of the General Assembly, sessions 1879 and 1883, the State surrendered its interests in the road to a company of private citizens, and furnished convicts for the completion of the road (and branches) to the Virginia State line.

President ----------------------------- W. A. Lash--------------------------- Greensboro, N. C.
Assistant to President ---------------- R. Percy Gray------------------------ Greensboro, N. c.
Secretary------------------------------ John M. Rose ------------------------ Fayetteville, N. C.
Treasurer------------------------------ James R. Williams--------------------- Fayetteville, N. C.
Attorney ------------------------------ George M. Rose---------------------- Fayetteville, N. c.
Auditor ------------------------------- Robert W. Bidgood------------------- Fayetteville, N. c.
General Manager---------------------- J. W. Fry----------------------------- Greensboro, N. C.
Chief Engineer ------------------------ H. L. Fry------------------------------ Greensboro, N. c.
General Freight Agent ---------------- W. E. Kyle---------------------------- Fayetteville, N. C.
General Passenger Agent-------------- W. E. Kyle --------------------------- Fayetteville, N. C.

Property Leased or Otherwise Operated:

South Carolina Pacific Railway Company, from South Carolina State line to Bennettsville, S. C., 10.50
miles. Leased to Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Company.

The South Carolina Pacific Railway Company extends from Bennettsville, S. C., to the State Line between North and South Carolina, a distance of 10-1/2 miles, and owns no equipment. It is operated by the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway Company, under lease for thirty years from and after January, 1885. The annual rental paid by the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway company is the interest upon the first mortgage bonds of the South Carolina Pacific Railway Company. The amount of said bonds is $104,600.00, bearing interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum.

The Cape Fear & Yadkin valley Railway Company also pays all taxes and other expenses, and keeps the road in good order.

In July of 1883, the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Pacific Railway, which had just completed grading their own line from Bennettsville, SC to the NC line. The two companies agreed to modify their routes slightly and to connect their railroads at the state line.

Construction of the track south from Fayetteville finally began in 1883. It reached Red Springs by mid-1884, Maxton by August, the state line by October, and Bennettsville, SC by year-end.

As the railroad grew southward, new towns and businesses appeared along the line. During 1884, the railroad added double rails to their bridges to reduce the damage from derailments on a bridge. They also added hand railings to the bridges to keep pedestrians from falling into the water. The company purchased its first locomotives with air brakes, and installed sidings at several towns, including Lumber Bridge.

By 1886, the railroad had upgraded its mainline to 50 pound steel rail, and adopted the use of joint bars with four bolts at each joint. From Gulf to Maxton, the railroad had ten water tanks, nine lumber sidings (fuel for locomotive boilers), twenty-eight (28) depots, and nineteen (19) maintenance stations.

The railroad was in good shape for several years, but then it fell into financial decline. In addition to the southern branch, the railroad had expanded in both the northwest and southeast directions. It had reached Greensboro by 1884, Mt. Airy by 1887, and completed a line to Wilmington by 1890. But it was growing too fast. The expense of building the line to Wilmington combined with a general financial depression in 1893 proved to be too much of a strain. The railroad fell into receivership in 1894.

Following the foreclosure of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway, a confusing series of corporate transfers, legal challenges, and court rulings ensued. The corporate turmoil continued for many years, and took until 1924 to be resolved by the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The railroad was initially purchased by Harry Walters, president of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. The line passed several times through the same hands, including several companies with the name of Atlantic & Yadkin Railway. Mr. Samuel Spencer of the Southern Railway also got in on the action. Eventually, the Southern Railway obtained the northern portion of the railroad, while the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad retained the southern portion.

The completion of the Fayetteville Cutoff in 1892, combined with the takeover of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1894 (took until 1899 to finalize all the details), resulted in the first abandonment on the original line. It was immediately clear that the two lines south from Fayetteville were redundant. The original line was abandoned in 1899 from Fayetteville to Hope Mills, and to a point just west of Parkton.

The original line was connected to the new mainline at Parkton by a new short section of track. The rest of the original line remained intact for more than sixty years.

Towns on Route:

Line #1 - Fayetteville to Mt. Airy:


Manchester > Spring Lake (1948)

Overhills (1914)

Spout Springs > Flee Hill (1904) > Pineview (1906)

Spout Springs #2 (1905)

Dewberry (1907) > Rock Branch (1908) > Olivia (1913) > Rock Branch (1915) > Olivia (1916)

Swanns Station > Swann Station (1893)


Jonesborough > Jonesboro (1893)

Egypt Depot > Egypt (1894) > Cumnock (1895)


Goldston (1886)

Richmond (1884) > Bearcreek (1900)

Causey (1898) > Bonlee (1910)

Ore Hill > Mount Vernon Springs (1882) > Ore Hill (1884) > Mount Vernon Springs (1924)

Energy > Silver Station (1884) > Siler City (1886)

Waller (1885-1886)

Staley (1884)

Troy's Store > Liberty (1884)

Julian (1885)

Red Cross > Climax (1891)

Pleasant Garden

Vandalia (1884)

Greensborough > Greensboro (1893)

Battle Ground > Guilford (1888) > Battle Ground (1888)


Pond > Stokesdale (1887)

Belew Creek Mills > Belew Creek (1903) > Belews Creek (1971)

Walnut Cove


Rural Hall

Kings Cabins (1888) > King (1895)

Little Yadkin > Dalton (1875)

Culler (1888) > Pinnacle (1900)

Pilot Mountain

Forge (1888) > Ararat (1903)

Mt. Airy

Line #2 - Mount Airy to Ore Knob:

Mount Airy

White Plains

Turners Station (1880s)


Kapps Mill

Good Spring

Devotion (1888)

Cherry Lane

Glade Creek



City (1883-1886)

Laurel Springs

Ore Knob > Transon (1937)

Line #3 - Fayetteville, NC to Bennettsville, SC (in NC):


Lakedale (1916)

Hope Mills

Parkton (1892)

McNatt (1884)

Lumber Bridge (1877)

Shannon (1884)

Dora > Red Springs (1884)


Floral College (1886)

Shoe Hill > Maxton (1886)

Stewarts Station (1885-1888)

Johns Station (1886) > Johns (1912)

Skye > Hasty (1885)

NC/SC State Line

Line #4 - Stokesdale to Madison:

Pond > Stokesdale (1887)

Rocky Springs


Line #5 - Climax to Ramseur:

Red Cross > Climax (1891)

Millboro (1887)

Cedar Falls


Columbia Factory > Ramseur (1889)

Line #6 - Fayetteville to Wilmington (1890):


Vander (1890)

Blockers > Stedman (1890)

Shepard > Autryville (1890)


Roseboro (1890)

Hives (faded 1902)

Mints (1900)

Parkersburg (1890)

Garland (1890)

Tomahawk (1890)

Kerr (1890)

Ivanhoe (1890)

Atkinson (1890)

Odessa (1891-1895)

Rooks (1901)

Cedar Dale > Currie (1890)

Montague (1891)

Richards (1914)


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