North Carolina Railroads - East Carolina Land & Railway Company


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Trent River,
Jones County

New River,
Onslow County

* 1891 - Acquired by the Wilmington, Onslow & East Carolina Railroad.

1894, became the Wilmington, Newbern & Norfolk Railroad, which was almost immediately renamed to the Wilmington & Newbern Railroad.

The East Carolina Land & Railway Company was chartered by Craven County, North Carolina and the city of New Bern, North Carolina in 1887 to construct a 37-mile rail line connecting New Bern with Jacksonville, North Carolina. $60,000 was asked for the rail line from the county, plus an additional $40,000 to extend the rail line to either Washington, Greenville, or Pantego, all in North Carolina. The county commissioners agreed to underwrite $50,000 worth of bonds, provided the East Carolina Land & Railway Company's plans were approved by Craven County voters in a special referendum. In January of 1888, however, the railroad company withdrew its proposal and interest in the project waned.

In 1889, interest in the East Carolina Land & Railway Company was renewed, when citizens of New Bern petitioned the county commissioners to call a special referendum to allow the city of New Bern to vote on a proposition to provide $50,000 to the railroad company, provided that the railroad company connected New Bern with Jacksonville. The referendum was approved by the voters, the line was mostly-operational by 1891, and by 1893 the line was completed.

The same year, the county commissioners officially approved the town of New Bern’s purchase of East Carolina Land & Railway Company stock. However, the promise of lowered local taxes, owing to the proposed revenues that were to be generated by the railroad’s operation, never occurred, and in fact, taxes were raised to pay for the city’s stock purchase. Also at this time, the East Carolina Land & Railway Company was merged with the Wilmington, Onslow & East Carolina Railroad to form the Wilmington, Newbern & Norfolk Railway Company, as shown above.

Most of this line was abandoned in 1985, and tracks and cross-ties were removed in September and October of 1985. All of the bridges, including the trestle at Jacksonville, and a steel lift span at Pollocksville were gone by December of 1986, as were all crossing signals at various highway crossings.

Click Here for photos and more info on this abandoned line.

Towns on Route:

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

Debruhls (1888-1896)

Polloksville > Pollocksville (1947)


Kellum (1901)


© 2018 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved