North Carolina Railroads - Midland North Carolina Railway


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Goldsboro, NC

Smithfield, NC
+ 1884 or 1885 (see below) - Acquired by the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, and identified as the W&W Midland Branch.
* 1883 - In receivership.
+ 1881-1883 - Leased the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad.
+ 1881-1883 - Built the Smithfield & Goldsborough Railroad, which it owned. 

In 1881, James A. Bryan cooperated with William J. Best of New York to form the Midland North Carolina Railway, with plans to lease track from the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad and from the Western North Carolina Railroad to form an east-west rail system. Bryan worked hard to convince his fellow Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad directors that Best's idea was a good one, and seems to have succeeded. However, negotiations with the Western North Carolina Railroad were not so successful, and in the process Bryan became disenchanted with Best, who was revealed to be a con man.

In July 1882, Best requested that Bryan resign from the board of directors of the Midland North Carolina Railway. In August, Bryan wrote a long and detailed refusal, outlining what he had thought were to be the railroad's goals and what turned out to be Best's intentions. In 1883, all negotiations broke down, control of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad was returned to the board of directors, and Best was accused of malfeasance. Bryan became acting superintendent of the road.

In 1883, the lease of the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad was cancelled, and it returned to operations under its original name. That same year, the Midland North Carolina Railway entered into receivership and was sold at public auction on April 1, 1884 to the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, which ended up with the only line built by the Midland North Carolina Railway - the Smithfield & Goldsborough Railroad. 

1873, charted by the NC State Legislature on February 12, 1873, with objective of joining Beaufort, NC with Memphis, Tennessee.
The 1st Annual Report of the North Carolina Railroad Commission, issued December 31, 1891, asserts that the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad purchased the Midland North Carolina Railroad in June of 1885.

Towns on Route:

Line #1 - Smithfield to Goldsboro:



Walter (1883)

Holt's Mill



Goldsborough > Goldsboro (1893)

Line #2 - Goldsboro to Beaufort (1881-1883):

Goldsborough > Goldsboro (1893)

Best Station > Beston (1882)

La Grange

Falling Creek



Core Creek

Tuscarora (1882)

New Berne > Newbern (1892) > New Bern (1918)






Hollywood > Andrews (1882) > Wildwood #2 (1884)

Morehead City


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