North Carolina Railroads - Durham & Charlotte Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Planned Starting Point

Planned Ending Point





Durham, NC

Charlotte, NC
* 1911 - Merged into the Raleigh, Charlotte & Southern Railroad on March 7, 1911. In 1913, this was purchased by Norfolk Southern Railroad #2. One source asserts the merger was on January 1, 1914.
+ 1910 - Built the Gulf to Cumnock line.
+ 1910 - Built the Star to Troy line. 
+ 1900 - Built the Glendon to Star line. 
+ 1896 - Acquired the Glendon & Gulf Railroad

The Durham & Charlotte Railroad was chartered March 2, 1893 and planned to connect the two cities named with the railroad. On July 15, 1896, it bought the Glendon & Gulf Railroad, running from Gulf southwest to Glendon. After reaching Elise (Robbins) in 1899, the Durham & Charlotte Railroad started building towards the town of Star. The company endured several years of litigation over the right-of-way with the Wright Tramway, which was built in 1896. The tramway was removed in 1901, and the Durham & Charlotte Railroad was then completed to Star in 1902. In 1910, it bought the former Raleigh & Western Railway right-of-way and rebuilt the line from Cumnock to Gulf, and built an extension from Star southwest to Troy.

The Z.T. Wright and Son Company Railroad was built in 1896 and went out of Star towards the east for 3.5
miles into the virgin forests of Moore and Montgomery Counties to the Archibald Callicutt and Dr. James Allen timberlands. Z.T. Wright joined with business partners to justify building the tramway. It stopped at a place called the “Callicutt Place” and ran almost on the same proposed route of the Durham & Charlotte Railroad. The Durham & Charlotte Railroad was built to Elise in 1899. John Lenning, from Philadelphia, PA was the
president of the company. As the Durham & Charlotte Railroad construction crews approached Star, they came upon the tramway, which they claimed was in their right-of-way.

The Durham & Charlotte Railroad took Z.T. Wright to court. Mr. Wright claimed that he was there first and had the proper right-of-way. Wright also stated in his testimony that he operated a steam locomotive on the line. He actually owned two Shay engines (#344 and #541) but #541 was not bought until after he mortgaged the tramway in 1897 to Albert H. Saunders, a fellow lumberman from Candor, in order to keep the tramway in operation. After several years of litigation, Z.T. Wright and John Lenning finally came to a compromise. Mr. Lenning agreed to intstall a siding on his railroad for Wright at the Callicutt Place if Z.T. Wright removed his tramway. Mr. Lenning also had to pay Mr. Wright for the right-of-way and court costs. The tramway was removed in 1902 and the Durham & Charlottte Railroad was then completed to Star. Thus a new thoroughfare was opened for trade between Durham and the western parts of the state. In 1911, the Norfolk
Southern Railroad purchased the entire capital stock of the Durham & Charlotte Railroad and the Aberdeen & Asheboro Railroad, thus merging the two into the Norfolk Southern Railway.

The Durham & Charlotte Railroad vs. the Wright Lumber Company trial influenced the pattern of railroading
events from 1899 until 1901. Since the building of the Durham & Charlotte Railroad was delayed for three
years, the Aberdeen & Asheboro Railroad built a line to Troy from Biscoe before the Durham &
Charlotte Railroad could, and the Durham & Charlotte Railroad route was never completed according to
John Lenning's plan. Numerous railroad maps made during this time period were also influenced because
of the delayed building of the Durham & Charlotte Railroad. Many North Carolina businesses were looking forward to the completion of the railroad, and their fate was determined by the outcome of the trial.

Towns on Route:

Line #1 - Glendon to Gulf:




Line #2 - Gulf to Cumnock:



Line #3 - Glendon to Star:


Putnam (1898)

Hallison (1898) > Parkwood (1953)

Hemp (1900) > Robbins (1943)

Spies (1900)


Line #4 - Star to Troy (1910):



The Sixth Annual Report of the North Carolina Corporation Commission for the Year Ending December 31, 1904, with Compilations from Railroad Returns for the Year Ending June 30, 1904, includes the route of the Durham & Charlotte Railroad, including mileage:

Stations in Order (33 miles):

Haw Branch
Parkewood Junction

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