North Carolina Railroads - Street Railways - Fayetteville

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

On February 12, 1867, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Legislative Act granting a charter for the Fayetteville Street Railway Company to operate a "two-mile street railroad propelled by animal or other power." In 1889, a second Legislative Act was ratified to charter this company again with new incorporators. This Author has found no evidence that this street railroad was ever operational.

The following four (4) known "Street Railways" were operational in the city of Fayetteville from 1907 to 1921, when the last line ceased operations.

Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1907

1907

1908

1.25 miles

The first streetcar of the Fayetteville Street Railway was powered by steam and connected the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad depot to the old fairgrounds on Gillespie Street. When the huffing and puffing of the steam bothered horses on the streets, the company experimented with gasoline engines, but that did not work either.

Per the 9th Annual Report of the North Carolina Corporation Commission, dated December 31, 1907, the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company operated 1.25 miles of track and gasoline powered motor cars. The original company officers were: W.D. McNeill of Fayetteville as President & Treasurer and W.E. Kindley of Fayetteville as Secretary.


General Electric Self-Contained Gasoline Powered Motor Car - 1907

The Electrical Railway Journal Volume XLII of November 8, 1913 reported that Ernest Poindexter, representing Chicago Interests, is understood to be negotiating for the purchase of the property of the Consolidated Railway & Power Company, which controls the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company and the Little River Power & Transmission Company.

The Electrical Railway Journal Volume XLII of November 15, 1913 reported that the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company, which is controlled by the Consolidated Railway & Power Company, has been placed in the hands of H.L. Brothers of Fayetteville, NC, as receiver, by Judge C.C. Lyon of the Superior Court at Fayetteville, on application of the Kalby Frog & Switch Company, Birmingham, AL.

Consolidated Railways, Light & Power Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1902

1908

1921

Not Known

In 1902, Hugh MacRae of Wilmington formed the Consolidated Railways, Light & Power Company, and purchased the city’s street railways, light, and power facilities. He had recently established a company to generate electricity near Rockingham on the Pee Dee River. In 1908, MacRae's Wilmington company leased the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company.

The Electrical Railway Journal Volume XLII of November 8, 1913 reported that Ernest Poindexter, representing Chicago Interests, is understood to be negotiating for the purchase of the property of the Consolidated Railway & Power Company, which controls the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company and the Little River Power & Transmission Company.

The Electrical Railway Journal Volume XLII of November 15, 1913 reported that the Fayetteville Street Railway & Power Company, which is controlled by the Consolidated Railway & Power Company, has been placed in the hands of H.L. Brothers of Fayetteville, NC, as receiver, by Judge C.C. Lyon of the Superior Court at Fayetteville, on application of the Kalby Frog & Switch Company, Birmingham, AL.

Fayetteville Traction & Power Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1911

1911

1911

2 miles


Typical Open Passenger Streetcar with Trailer (not Fayetteville)

Per the 13th Annual Report of the North Carolina Corporation Commission, dated December 31, 1911, the Fayetteville Traction & Power Company operated one (1) mile of track within the city limits of Fayetteville and one (1) mile of track outside the city limits, along with four (4) streetcars and one (1) trailer. Company officers were: A.L. McCaskill of Fayetteville as President and A. Brown of Fayetteville as Secretary, Treasurer, and Manager.

Cumberland Railway & Power Company

Year Chartered

Year Operational

Year Ended

Length of Line

1919

1919

1921

5 miles


Cumberland Railway & Power Company Streetcar - 1920

The Cumberland Railway & Power Company was chartered on February 12, 1919 and was subsequently sold for $75,000 on August 2, 1921 to the North State Power Company of Raleigh.

The Electric Railway Journal of April 12, 1919 reported: "Cumberland Railway & Power Company, Fayetteville, NC—The Cumberland Railway & Power Company has been organized by Herbert L. Jones of Richmond, Va., and associates, with a capital stock of $200,000, to take over and complete the old street railway system at Fayetteville, owned by the municipality, extending it to Camp Bragg and also adding to it 3 miles of line within the city. The company has authorized an issue of $500,000 of bonds, with the Bankers Trust Company of Norfolk as trustee. Construction work will be begun at once and it is expected the line will be placed in operation within six months."

The Electric Railway Journal of January 1, 1921 reported: "J. R. Baggett, Wilmington, NC, has been appointed temporary receiver of the Cumberland Railway & Power Company, Raleigh, NC. After a meeting with the directors of the company Mr. Baggett issued a statement to the effect that with co-operation on the part of officers, directors and bondholders the outlook was good for placing the properties on a paying basis."

The Electric Railway Journal of July 30, 1921 reported: "The property, including franchises of the Cumberland Railway & Power Company, Raleigh, NC, was recently bid in for a committee of bondholders by Herbert L. Jones, president. The public sale took place at Fayetteville on July 2. The price was $75,000. It is reported that the bondholders will continue the road in operation."

On August 16, 1921, the North State Power Company of Raleigh purchased the Cumberland Railway & Power Company, when the receivership of that company was terminated. On December 7, 1921, the North State Power Company sold all of its railway assets to Cape Fear Railways, Inc. - which was reported along with all passenger and freight railroads since inception.

The Electric Railway Journal of December 31, 1921 reported: "The North State Power Company, Raleigh, NC, which on Aug. 16, 1921, bought the Cumberland Railway & Power Company when the receivership of that company was terminated, sold its railway holdings on Dec. 7 to the Cape Fear Railways, Inc. This company is a new corporation, with its home office in Fayetteville, but with its general offices in Raleigh. The capital stock is $50,000 and the extension of the present system to a total length of 20 miles is immediately contemplated. Previous sale of the Cumberland Railway & Power Company to a company of bondholders was recorded in the Electric Railway Journal for July 30, 1921."



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