Carolina and Northwestern Railway

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Carolina and Northwestern Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge 3 ft (914 mm)(?)

The Carolina & Northwestern Railway (Ca&NW) was a railroad that served South Carolina and North Carolina from 1897 until January 1, 1974. The original line was operated by the Ca&NW as a separate railroad controlled by the Southern Railway until 1974 when the name was changed to the Norfolk Southern Railway.[1] On June 1, 1982, Southern Railway and Norfolk and Western Railroad merged to form Norfolk Southern Railway. Choosing to use the name 'Norfolk Southern Railway' for the merger, in 1981, the original Ca&NW line along with original Norfolk Southern Railway was renamed Carolina and Northwestern once again. In the early 1950s several shortline subsidiaries of the Southern Railway were leased to the Ca&NW for operation, with these lines remaining a part of the Ca&NW into the 1980s.

History[edit]

The carrier traces its beginnings back to the Kings Mountain Railroad that ran from Chester, South Carolina, to York, South Carolina, before the Civil War.[2] The Kings Mountain Railroad was begun in 1855 but was destroyed by the Union Army during the War Between the States and was not rebuilt after the conflict.[3]

The route lay abandoned for almost eight years until the creation of the Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge Railroad in 1873.[4] Within a decade the Chester & Lenoir had extended the line to Lenoir, North Carolina. At over 120 miles (190 km), the Chester & Lenoir was the largest narrow gauge railroad in the Carolinas.[2]

Over the next decade, the railroad operated under the umbrella of the Richmond and Danville Railroad.[2]

When the Richmond and Danville was re-organized as the Southern Railway in 1894, the Chester & Lenoir operated on its own for a short while. By 1896, it went into receivership, and the following year was re-organized as the Carolina & Northwestern Railway.[5] Though technically controlled by the Southern, this shortline carrier, more than any other in the Southern Railway family, was allowed to operate almost autonomously.[2]

By 1902, the Carolina & Northwestern Railway was converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge track, and it purchased a controlling interest in a logging railroad, the Caldwell and Northern, that ran from Lenoir to Collettsville, North Carolina.[2] By 1906, the railroad had been expanded to Edgemont, North Carolina, making the line nearly 150 miles (240 km) long, further increasing access to the timber in the mountains north and west of Hickory, North Carolina.[6]

In 1912, new shops were built in Hickory and within 10 years a locomotive was even built within the railroad’s shops.[2]

By the mid 1930s, the Carolina and Northwestern was only operating one freight train a day except Sundays between Chester and Lenoir. By 1938, the railroad abandoned the line from west Lenoir to Edgemont, the Carolina and Northwestern was absorbed into the Southern Railway system around 1940.[5]

In 1943, the Carolina and Northwestern was only operating one passenger train a day between Chester and Edgemont. Passenger service was soon discontinued in 1947; in March 1948, the carrier had completely dropped steam (with Southern Railway 2-8-0 #544 having the honor of being the last steam locomotive on the line) and replaced it with diesel locomotives. The Carolina & Northwestern was one of the first completely dieselized railroads in the southeast.[2]

The section of the line between Chester and York was abandoned around 1972, the section from York to Clover was abandoned in 1981. By the late 1980s, the line had been abandoned all the way to just north of the North Carolina state line, near Bowling Green, South Carolina.

Around 1990, the track from Newton to Lincolnton, North Carolina was abandoned by the Norfolk Southern,[7] the North Carolina Department of Transportation has railbanked the line from South Newton, NC to an area South of Maiden, NC where the end of the line stops at U.S. Highway 321.[8]

In 1994, Norfolk Southern sold the original 22-mile (35 km) line from Hickory, NC to Lenoir, NC to the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission (CCEDC). The CCEDC subsequently leased the line to the Caldwell County Railroad Company, a subsidiary of Southeast Shortlines Inc.[9]

The five-mile (8 km) stretch of railroad track between Gastonia and Dallas was abandoned on or about August 20, 2003.[10]

Locomotives[edit]

Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotives

Number/Name Wheel
Arrangement
Builder Serial Number Built Retired Notes
A.H. Davega 0-6-0 Porter Bell & Company 196 7/1874 unknown Bought new, first narrow gauge locomotive for the C&L
1st #2 0-6-0 Porter Bell & Company 201 7/1874 unknown Diverted to Martha's Vineyard Railroad. This engine never saw service on the C&L
2nd #2 0-6-0 Porter Bell & Company 204 10/1874 1886 Bought new. Replaced the 1st #2. Destroyed by fire/boiler explosion at Maiden, North Carolina in 1886
V.A. McBee 2-4-0 Porter Bell & Company 246 6/1876 Unknown Bought new. Named after Lincolnton Attorney
4 4-4-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 5439 1/1881 Unknown Bought new. Baldwin class 8/18 C 4-4-0.
5 2-6-0 Brooks Locomotive Works unknown 11/1879 Unknown Bought second hand from the Washington City, Virgnia Midland & Great Southern Railroad which was serving as their #2.
6 4-4-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works unknown unknown unknown Bought new. Baldwin class 8/18 C 4-4-0.
21 0-4-4T Mason Locomotive Works unknown unknown Unknown "Mason Bogie" acquired from the Richmond & Danville Railroad. Disposition Unknown
230 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 5136 1880 Unknown Bought second hand on 9/27/1899 from the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Originally built as Denver & Rio Grande #71 "Pacific Slope"
255 4-6-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown Unknown Unknown Acquired 2nd hand by the C&N-W prior to 1899.
367 2-truck-Shay Lima Locomotive Works 367 1891 Unknown Bought new by the Lower Creek & Linville Valley Railroad, later to the Caldwell & Northern Railroad.

Standard Gauge Steam Locomotives

Number/Name Wheel
Arrangement
Builder Serial Number Built Retired Notes
100 4-6-0 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Formerly Central of Georgia Railway, sold to the C&N-W in 1902
101 4-4-0 S&R Ry Unknown 1883 Unknown Formerly S&R Ry #7, to Seaboard Air Line as their 1st #7, sold to the C&N-W in 1904
115 4-4-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 10480 1890 1932 Ex-Cooperstown & Chit. Valley Rwy #3, later Delaware and Hudson Railway as their 2nd #215. Sold to the C&N-W in 1905. Scrapped after a fatal accident in Oyama, North Carolina in 1932.
121 4-4-0 Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works 3454 1884 1925 Built as NYWS&B #50, later to New York Central & Hudson River as their 604. Sold to the C&N-W in 1908. Scrapped 1925.
122 4-4-0 Unknown Unknown Unknown Acquired in 1908
150 4-4-0 Brooks Locomotive Works 1010 1884 1941 Built as Virginia Midland Railroad #18, later renumbered to 686, Became Southern Railway #844 in 1894, later renumbered to 1850 and then to 3850. Sold to the C&N-W in 1926. Scrapped 1941.
1st #167 4-6-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 10107 1889 early 1920s Built as Western New York & Pennsylvania #118/124, later Pennsylvania Railroad #6260. Sold to the C&N-W in 1911. Retired in the early 1920s. Parts used to build the 2nd #167.
2nd #167 4-6-0 C&N-W Hickory Shops Unknown 1923 1942? Built new at the Hickory Shops in 1923 using parts off of the 1st #167 and a new boiler from Baldwin. According to resources, the engine was sold for scrap in 1942, however a photograph shows #167 at Chester in 1943.
200 4-6-0 Pennsylvania Railroad 488 1880 1914 Built as PRR #?, sold to the Richmond & Danville Railroad as their #305, later became Southern #605 in 1894. Sold to the C&N-W in 1902. Sold to the Wyatt Lumber Company in 1914. Disposition unknown.
205 4-6-0 New York Locomotive Works Unknown 1883 1913 Built at East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad #148/355. Became Southern 1st #444 in 1894. Sold to the C&N-W in 1902. Sold to CW Lane in 1913. Disposition unknown.
206 4-6-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 39957 1913 1946 Purchased new. Scrapped in 1946 after a wreck in Clover, South Carolina.
207 4-6-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 39958 1913 1948 Purchased new. Scrapped due to dieselization in 1948.
230 2-6-0 Hinkley Locomotive Works Unknown Unknown 1913 Purchased in 1902. Sold in 1917 to Desha Lumber Company.
235 2-6-0 Rhode Island Locomotive Works Unknown Unknown Unknown Not much is known about this locomotive.
255 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown Unknown Unknown Not much is known about this locomotive.
256 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 21295 1902 1931 Built as CNO&TP #673, became Southern #5156. Sold to the C&N-W in 1925. Scrapped 1931.
260 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 21355 1902 1931 Built as CNO&TP #677, became Southern #6160. Sold to the C&N-W in 1924. Scrapped 1931.
265 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1882 1924 Acquired 1903. Scrapped 1924.
266 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1882 1924 Acquired 1903. Scrapped 1924.
267 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 7103 1883 1941 Built as NYWS&B #138, later New York Central & Hudson River #2222. Acquired 1903. Scrapped 1941.
268 2-8-0 Dickson Manufacturing Company 364 1883 1924 Built as NYWS&B #154, later New York Central & Hudson River #2233. Sold the C&N-W in 1905. Scrapped 1924.
270 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 38182 1912 1948 Bought new. Scrapped 1948.
271 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 38183 1912 1948 Bought new. Scrapped 1948.
272 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 39443 1913 1948 Bought new. Scrapped 1948.
273 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works 39444 1913 1948 Bought new. Scrapped 1948.
300 3-truck-shay Lima Locomotive Works 1840 1907 1920 Bought new. Sold to the Red River Lumber Company in California. Disposition unknown.
440 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Ex-Southern Railway #440. Sold to the C&N-W in 1928. Disposition unknown. Very likely scrapped after dieselization in 1948.
465 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Ex-Southern Railway #465. Disposition unknown. Very likely scrapped after dieselization in 1948.
477 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1902 Unknown Leased Southern Railway locomotive (class J-2). Relettered C&N-W, but not renumbered.
514 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered, C&N-W but not renumbered.
519 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered, C&N-W but not renumbered.
533 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 1945 Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered C&N-W, but not renumbered. Scrapped 1945.
537 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered C&N-W, but not renumbered.
540 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered C&N-W, but not renumbered.
544 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 Unknown Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Only member of the class was leased to the C&N-W that was not relettered. Last steam locomotive on the C&N-W in March 1948.
546 2-8-0 Baldwin Locomotive Works Unknown 1903 February 1948 Southern Railway class J 2-8-0. Leased and relettered C&N-W, but not renumbered. Scrapped in February 1948 after a wreck.

Diesel Locomotives

Number/Name Wheel
Arrangement
Builder Serial Number Built Retired Notes
1 ALCo Rs-2 American Locomotive Company 75687 1948 early 1970s Bought new. Scrapped by the early 1970s.
2 ALCo Rs-2 American Locomotive Company 75688 1948 early 1970s Bought new. Scrapped by the early 1970s.
3 ALCo Rs-2 American Locomotive Company 75689 1948 early 1970s Bought new. Scrapped by the early 1970s.
4 ALCo Rs-2 American Locomotive Company 75690 1948 early 1970s Bought new. Scrapped by the early 1970s.
5 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 78326 1950 Unknown Bought new. Ex-Danville & Western 2nd #1, Traded in on ex-Southern GP35, disposition unknown.
6 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 78327 1950 Unknown Bought new. Ex-Danville & Western 2nd #2, Traded in on ex-Southern GP35, disposition unknown.
7 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 78328 1950 Unknown Bought new. Sub-lettered Blue Ridge, Traded in on ex-Southern GP35, disposition unknown.
8 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 78329 1950 Unknown Bought new. Sub-lettered Blue Ridge, Traded in on ex-Southern GP35, disposition unknown.
9 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 79090 1951 Unknown Bought new. Sub-lettered Yadkin, Traded in on ex-Southern GP35, disposition unknown.
10 ALCo Rs-3 American Locomotive Company 80514 1953 Unknown Bought new into Southern #10, Traded in to GE in April 1974, later scrapped.
11 ALCo Rs-11 American Locomotive Company 81464 1956 Unknown Bought new into Southern #11. Later became Chicago and Northwestern Railroad #2651, later renumbered to 425. disposition unknown.

References[edit]

External links[edit]