North Carolina Railroads - Cheraw & Darlington Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Cheraw, SC Cheraw, SC

Wadesboro, NC Florence, SC
*1897 - Acquired by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of South Carolina, which was folded into the overall Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1900.
+ 1893 - Completed the Hartsville Railroad, which it also owned in Soouth Carolina.
+ 1892 - Acquired the Cheraw & Salisbury Railroad, extending their original line into North Carolina to Wadesboro.
Most likely the owner of the Rockingham Railroad since the name shown on an 1896 map for this line is called the Cheraw & Darlington Railroad. 

Cheraw is a town in Chesterfield County, South Carolina located on the Great Pee Dee River, which is open to navigation only half of the year, and it was but natural that the town, which dominated the trade of the whole surrounding county and even that of a good part of neighboring North Carolina, should want a better outlet than the Pee Dee River. Consquently, an attempt was made as early as 1837 to secure sufficient capital to build a railraod due east to Conwayborough (now Conway in Horry County), situated on the Waccamaw River, the nearest direct outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.

A convention was called at Marion Court House in January of 1837, which provided for a survey for the conceived railroad. The distance was eighty-five miles, and the report of the engineers stated that the country to be traversed was fairly level and the soil easy to handle, that the rights-of-way could be had without much cost, and that the total cost was estimated to be $607,232.

All plans came to nothing, thanks to the Panic of 1837.

After more than a decade a second period of railroad fever started in the area, and the people of Charleston subscribed $100,000 on the condition that the road should be built to connect with the Northeastern Railroad at Florence. The Northeastern Railroad even subscribed $25,000 to be paid in transportation. The Cheraw & Darlington Railroad and enough capital was secured to begin the building of the forty miles between Cheraw and Florence.

The Cheraw & Darlington Railroad was chartered in 1849; construction was completed in 1853. This was a short line railroad, serving the farming area of northeastern South Carolina. It moved its southern terminus from Darlington to Florence during construction in order to make a direct connection with the Northeastern Railroad into Charleston. It also met the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad at Florence.

This line formed a route by which coal and other products from central North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia made their way down to Charleston, South Carolina via Cheraw, Darlington, Florence and then on the Northeastern Railroad to Charleston.

In 1892, it acquired the Cheraw & Salisbury Railroad to provide another route into South Carolina. With the merger of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line Railway in 1967, this line became unnecessary as tonnage from the Winston-Salem South Bound Railraod could access the former SAL main line at Wadesboro and then make its way to Charleston by other routes.

The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad abandoned this section in the mid-1970s.

Towns on Route (in NC):





NC/SC State Line

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