North Carolina Railroads - South Atlantic & North Western Railroad


Year Chartered or Incorporated

Year Line Operational

Year Service Ended

Original Starting Point

Original Ending Point





Southport, NC

Bristol, TN
July 31, 1886 - Articles of Incorporation.
January 28, 1887 - Legislative Act authorizing counties and towns to subscribe to the stock.

Proposed in 1886, the idea was to lay a road from Southport to Bristol TN, 400-odd miles away in the northeastern corner of Tennessee. A subsequent modification extended that distance to Memphis TN, with a route that led through Salisbury and Mocksville, NC. Commodity traders from the Chicago Board of Trade were apparently backing the venture, and it even involved George Pullman of the Pullman Car Company for a time.

Brunswick County voters seemed to be captivated by the idea, and they approved a $100,000 capitalization bond to support it. However, the venture failed to obtain enough subscriptions in the North Carolina counties where it was to run, and it went through a major reorganization. A revival was attempted in 1887, but the company did not begin construction by 1890, and the bond subscription was revoked. The effort lingered on a couple of years more, and some properties were bought near the Cape Fear River.

A subsidiary corporation, the Southport Construction Company, was formed by some of the railroad principals to handle the building of the road, but did not get very far. That company was succeeded for the same project by the Cape Fear Harbor & Coal Company, just in time for the great 1893 financial panic to deal the final blow to the enterprise.

The above provided in October of 2016 by Mr. Mark Koenig of the Wilmington Railroad Museum in Wilmington, NC.

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