North Carolina Railroads - Fayetteville Cutoff

Acronym

Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point

ACL

1885

1892

1900*

Fayetteville, NC

Pee Dee, SC

Built by the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1900. This line was an upgrade of the existing South Carolina Pacific Railroad (in South Carolina) and a name change for that line in South Carolina.

During the late 1800s, the Atlantic Coast Line had grown into one of the three big conglomerate railroads providing long distance service from north to south. (The others were Southern Railway and Seaboard Air Line Railway.)

In 1885, the Atlantic Coast Line's north-south main line still went from Weldon to Wilmington. Because the competition had developed shorter, more-direct routes to the south, the extra miles to Wilmington was increasingly seen as an impediment to growth. As a result, Atlantic Coast Line management planned a new line more directly from Wilson, NC to Florence, SC. This planned line would pass through Fayetteville and would cross the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway twice.

The "Fayetteville Cutoff" was built in three phases. In 1885-1886, the upper 70-mile Wilson-to-Fayetteville portion was built. The line did not see much traffic, but it did interchange with the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway. This section is covered within this website under the name of Wilson & Fayetteville Railroad, and its route can be found in that section herein.

In 1886-1888, the lower 24-mile Pee Dee-to-Rowland portion was built. It too saw very little traffic.

The middle 43-mile Fayetteville-to-Rowland portion was not completed until 1892. The death of the Atlantic Coast Line president, the driving force behind the cutoff, and opposition from the town of Wilmington had postponed completion.

Now, however, traffic flowed fast and furious. The mainline was 61 miles shorter, and the Atlantic Coast Line was very competitive again.

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, resulted in the first abandonment of the original CF&YV 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 main line at Parkton by a new short section of track (date unknown). The rest of the original line remained intact for more than sixty years.

Towns on Route (in NC):

Fayetteville

Hope Mills

Parkton (1892)

Blanchard (1892) > Rex (1896)

Alfred (1888) > Rennert (1892)

Cromartie (1892)

Buies (1890)

Pembroke (1896)

Elrod (1892)

Purvis (1894)

Plainview > Rowland (1888)

NC/SC State Line



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