North Carolina Railroads - North-Western North Carolina Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Greensboro, NC

Wilkesboro, NC
* 1894 - Purchased by Southern Railway in August of 1894.
+ 1871 - Acquired by the Richmond & Danville Railroad and completed in 1873. Retained its name.

In response to longstanding desires by the northwestern counties of the state of North Carolina for railroad service, the Constitutional Convention of 1868 chartered the North-Western North Carolina Railroad to run from some point off the North Carolina Railroad to the town of Salem. Later legislation authorized its extension either northward to Mt. Airy or westward to Wilkesboro and beyond.

The company quickly organized, and by the end of April in 1868, Cyrus P. Mendenhall, David F. Caldwell, and other Greensborough residents had secured its eastern terminus for their town by agreeing to finance the grading as far as the Forsyth County line.

In 1869, the North Carolina Railroad acquired $20,000 of the new road's stock and arranged with it for joint terminal facilities at a location just west of Greensborough, to be named Salem Junction, by the summer of 1870, but funds ran out before any track could be laid. The proffered state aid carried too many strings attached and was not acceptable to the new company. NWNC RR President Edward Belo, in June of 1870, proposed a merger with the North Carolina Railraod, but his terms were not acceptable to the NCRR stockholders.

The North Carolina General Assembly then allowed the North-Western North Carolina Railroad to merge with any connecting road that would complete its track to Salem. The North Carolina Railroad was still interested, however, the Richmond & Danville Railroad beat them to the line. The R&D acquired the North-Western North Carolina Railroad in early 1871, and completed the road by 1873.

The Richmond & Danville Railroad extended the line to Bethania in 1888 and to meet the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway at Rural Hall in 1889.

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

The North-Western North Carolina Railroad Company was chartered in 1868. Road opened to Winston (Salem), 26 miles, in March, 1873. Extended westward 7 miles in 1888; to Donaha early in 1889, and to Wilkesboro in 1890. The road is virtually owned by the Richmond & Danville Railroad Company.

The purpose of this Company, as declared in the original Act of incorporation, ratified by the Convention on the 9th day of March, 1868, was to construct a railroad from some point on the North Carolina Railroad between the towns of Greensboro and Lexington, running by way of Salem and Winston to some point on the north-western boundary line of the State, to be determined afterwards. It was allowed to have a capital stock of $2,000,000.00, and a corporate existence of 99 years. The charter was ratified and confirmed by Act of the General Assembly, passed 11th day of August, A. D. 1868, and the privileges of the Company were afterward enlarged by the Act of the Assembly, ratified the 2nd day of March, 1881, allowing it to extend and construct its road from Winston through the counties of Forsyth, Davidson, Yadkin, Davie, Rowan and Iredell, or any of them, to Statesville, or some other point on the Western North Carolina Railroad, and to build and operate branches thereto.

Chairman of the Board---------------President, ex officio ------------------ Raleigh, NC.
President------------------------------ A. B. Andrews ----------------------... Raleigh, NC.
Secretary------------------------------ R. Brooke......................................... Richmond, VA.
Treasurer ----------------------------- John W. Hall......................................Atlanta, GA

Property Operated:

North-western North Carolina Railroad, from Salem Junction to Wilkesboro, 100.14 miles.
North Carolina Railroad, from Greensboro to Salem Junction, 3.08 miles.
Total number miles of road operated, 103.22.

Towns on Route:


Salem Junction (1883) > Pomona (1896)

Terra Cotta

Guilford (1888) > Battle Ground (1888)



Salem > Winston-Salem (1899)



Hanes Rock Siding

Old Town Siding

Miller's Siding

Brickyard Siding


Rural Hall











Roaring River



Smith's Siding


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