North Carolina Railroads - Street Railways - Concord

Click Here for an excellent write-up on the history of "Street Railways" in North Carolina provided by Walter R. Turner.

The following two (2) known "Street Railways" were operational in the city of Concord from 1889 to ~1925, when the last line ceased operations.

Concord Railway Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1889

1889

~1895

2.75 miles

When the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) came through Concord, the depot was located a mile west of downtown. Residents wanted a better way to get to the depot than by buggies and wagons. In 1889, the Concord Railway Company built tracks and operated a steam railroad, nicknamed the “dummy line,” from the depot to downtown and Locke Mill, later Randolph Mill. Because of controversy over the train’s speed and other problems, the company lasted only a few years, and then the tracks were removed.

The Street Railway Journal of June 1892 reported: "Concord, NC.—The Concord Street Railway has been purchased by the Odell Manufacturing Co. The road will at once be re-equipped."

In 1894, the Johnston Electrical & Street Railway Directory reported that the Concord Railway Company operated 2.75 miles of track and three (3) passenger cars. They also reported that W.M. Smith served as President of the company.

North Carolina Public Service Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1909

1911

~1925

4 miles


North Carolina Public Service Company Streetcar - Year Unknown

In 1911 a company ran by men from Philadelphia began service with battery-powered streetcars developed by the Edison Electric Company. New tracks were built along routes similar to the above-mentioned "dummy line," but also including South Union Street and Gibson Mill, later Cannon Mills Plant 6. Though popular at first, the storage battery cars had too many mechanical problems. Passengers sometimes had to help push the cars. After years of no service, the North Carolina Public Service Company converted the lines to handle electric streetcars, which ran during the first half of the 1920s.

The North Carolina Public Service Company also owned and operated street railways in Greensboro, High Point, and Salisbury. In 1926, Duke Power purchased this company.

In 1913, company officers were: C. B. Hale of Greensboro as President; L. H. Hale of Greensboro as Secretary & Treasurer; and, R. J. Hale of Greensboro as Vice-President & General Manager. The company operated 35 passenger cars on 26.65 miles of track in four North Carolina towns.

The Electric Railway Journal of November 6, 1920 reported: "The Board of Aldermen of Concord, NC, recently authorized the North Carolina Public Service Company, Greensboro, to charge an 8-cent cash fare on its lines in Concord. The new rate took effect on Oct. 1. Four tickets are sold for 30 cents."

The Electric Railway Journal of July 2, 1921 reported: "The Corporation Commission of North Carolina recently permitted the Salisbury & Spencer Railway [?], operating in Concord, to increase its rates from 8 to 10 cents. The company is controlled by the North Carolina Public Service Company and would have had to abandon service had the commission refused the petition."

The Electric Railway Journal of March 17, 1923 reported: "The North Carolina Public Service Company, owners of the railway system in Concord, NC, recently announced a fare reduction in Concord. The new rate is 7 cents instead of the former rate of 10 cents. The electric railway in Concord has been in bad shape financially for some time and the fare reduction is made with the hope that it will increase traffic on the system. This is the opinion of R.J. Hale, Vice President and General Manager, who made known the reduction in a letter to City Attorney Caldwell."



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