North Carolina Railroads - Georgia, Carolina & Northern Railway


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Monroe, NC

Atlanta, GA
* 1900 merged into the Seaboard Air Line Railway.
+ 1899 - Consolidation into SAL by NC legislative Act of February 16, 1899.
+ 1899 - Merged into the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road, a North Carolina company.
+ 1888 - Considered part of the new Seaboard Air Line Railway system.
+ 1887 - Acquired the Chester, Greenwood & Abbeville Railroad.
Owned/built by the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad
Chartered in GA and SC in 1886. Chartered in NC in 1887.

The purpose of this road was to form an extension of the rapidly-expanding Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad system from Monroe, NC to Atlanta, GA. By 1888, forty-five (45) miles of track had been completed between Monroe, NC and Chester, SC.

Work progressed rapidly as the new railroad crossed the tracks of the Columbia, Newberry & Laurens Railroad at Clinton, SC, and passed through Greenwood and also Abbeville, which was to become the division point where engine and crews were to be changed. The Savannah River was bridged at Calhoun Falls, SC, where the road crossed the SC/GA state line and on the Elberton and Athens in Georgia.

In 1892, the city of Atlanta was reached via Inman Park, 266 miles from Monroe, NC, and a connection was made with the Georgia Railroad. However, the tracks were stopped at that point by an injunction obtained against the company to prevent entrance into Atlanta. Not to be dismayed, the company chartered and built the Seaboard Air-Line Belt Railway, forming a belt line north of Atlanta via Belt Junction and Emory University, to a junction with the Western & Atlantic Railroad at Wanda (Howells), and thus with trackage rights obtained over that road.

This new railroad was operated as part of the Seaboard Air-Line when opened for service in 1892, and later absorbed into the Seaboard Air Line Railway when it was formed in 1900. 

The Georgia, Carolina & Northern Railroad began purchasing property and right of ways for tracks to be laid from Baltimore, MD to Atlanta, GA in 1887. Around 1890, they began to purchase property for the present-day Lilburn, GA area. The area was called McDaniel, after William McDaniel the land lottery winner. The railroad laid out the streets and built a depot for the town of McDaniel.

The Georgia, Carolina & Northern Railroad was purchased or taken over by the Seaboard Air Line Railway during the construction phase. The first train with passengers came through Lilburn on April 24, 1892. The community had a depot, telegraph office, and several mercantile businesses. Cotton was the base of the local economy with a cotton gin built along Railroad Avenue. 

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

The Georgia, Carolina & Northern Railway Company was chartered by the General Assembly of North Carolina, Laws 1887.

Line of road completed: Monroe, NC, to Lawrenceville, GA, 238 miles. Only 15 miles in North Carolina.

The road is controlled and operated by the Seaboard Air Line System. Officers of this company same as those of the Seaboard Air Line System. Report of earnings, etc., not given.

From a January 1, 1891 New York Times article:

ATLANTA, Ga., Dec. 31. -- The progress of work on the Georgia, Carolina and Northern Railroad is very great. Through trains will soon be the result. Trains will be running to Athens by March 1. Trains already come to the Savannah River, and the roadbed is very nearly all graded from the river to Athens, ready for the tracks.

From a March 16, 1892 New York Times article:

RALEIGH, NC., March 15. -- The railroad known as the Roanoke & Southern, just completed from Roanoke, Va., to Winston, in this State, has been leased for ninety-nine years by the Norfolk & Western Company and passed into the hands of the lesees. It is intended to extend this road to Monroe, N.C., where connections would be made with the Georgia, Carolina and Northern Railroad, which has just been completed by the Seaboard system to Atlanta.  

Whitmire, SC, a trading center on the Enoree River, was incorporated in 1891 when the Georgia, Carolina & Northern Railroad came through.

Towns on Route (in NC):


Potters (1891) > Potter (1894) > Mineral Springs (1900)

Waxhaw (1888)

NC/SC State Line

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