info about Warrenton railroad? : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

In the late 1980s I would ocassionally travel to Warrenton NC on business. I took note of a rail line that ran into the town from an SAL connection a few miles to the north. The rails were overgrown and had been cut at several crossings. I am sure that these rails are now long gone as are, of course, the SAL from Norlina eastward to Roanoke Rapids. My atlases show this 'railroad' to have been the Warrenton Railroad. Can anyone provide info on the 'Warrenton"? When started...when served....any corporate affiliation with the SAL ? Thanks

-- Greg Hodges (, June 11, 2000


When I lived in Raleigh in the early 1970s, I used to go to Warrenton on Sundays where I helped switch cars and run their locomotive. (I've got a couple of shots of me in the cab and hanging from the side of a box car.) There were several cars of US Army vintage that belonged to a struggling chapter of the NRHS there. One of them became the Norlina Public Library.Ex-Westinghouse (and later, ex-Amtrak conductor) Ed Rosenberger of Raleigh worked with the local government in an attempt to get Federal funding to upgrade the tracks during that time period, but there didn't seem to be a lot of interest from local residents or the town fathers, and (as aluded to in the previous answer) when the Seaboard System line was abandoned, it went dormant.

-- Doug Riddell (, June 18, 2000.

The three mile long Warrenton R.R. connected Warren Plains on the SAL's Portsmouth, Va., to Norlina, NC, line with Warrenton, NC. The line opened in November 1884. Interestingly, in the 1830's the people of Warrenton had run off the surveyors of the Seaboard & Roanoke (SAL predecessor) with shotguns as they didn't those smoke belching "demons" in their neighborhood. Things changed in the next 50 years and the Warrenton business men organised a connection with the SAL. There was never an affiliation with the SAL, though. The WRR served about a dozen local businesses. On August 31, 1985, the 101 year old railroad quit operating, following the abandonment of the Seaboard System connection. The rails were still in place, mostly, as late as 1992, and at that time the company had not been officially abandoned. The Warrenton RR's power in the last years was an ex-US Government Whitcomb 45-ton diesel loco. A seven page article on the Warrenton RR appeared in the short lived RAILROAD MODELER magazine back in the early 1980's.

-- Tom Underwood (, June 12, 2000.

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