ACL Line to Columbia, North Carolina?? : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Didn't the ACL line from Rocky Mount on to Plymouth used to run further east to a small northeastern North Carolina town by the name of Columbia? Also, if so, this line would have crossed the old Norfolk Southern at some point. What woas the name of the crossing point? When was this line abandoned east of Plymouth, NC?

Thanks, Raymond Smith

-- Raymond Smith (, December 18, 2001


Ray Smith's original question asked if the ACL line from Rocky Mount to Plymouth, NC, ever went east to Columbia. As I've stated above, the ACL did not. The ACL line was built by the Albemarle & Raleigh RR, a standard gauge common carrier, opening from Tarboro to Williamston in 1883 and on to Plymouth in 1889. Where it stopped. The A&R was acquired by the Wilmington & Weldon RR in 1894, and the W&W became part of the ACL in April 1900.

The next railroad to reach Plymouth was the 3ft gauge Roanoke RR & Lumber Co. who built a line from "Little" Washington NORTH to Plymouth in 1888-1889. In 1901 this company became the Washington & Plymouth RR, a 3ft gauge common carrier. Now we have the ACL coming into Plymouth from the west and the W&P coming into Plymouth from the south.

The Washington & Plymouth RR was sold to the Norfolk Southern RR in 1904. Also in 1904 the NSRR built a standard gauge line from Mackey's (Ferry) to Plymouth, entering Plymouth from the northeast, and the ex-W&P line south of Plymouth was standard gauged.

The line from Mackey's to Columbia was built by the Virginia & Carolina Coast RR, a standard gauge common carrier, in 1906, in an effort to compete with the Norfolk Southern for eastern North Carolina freight traffic. The V&CC was merged into the NSRR that same year.

Hope this clears up the history of the Plymouth-Columbia railroad.

-- Tom Underwood (, December 22, 2001.

Mr.Underwood, You are correct on your information as far as the NSRR.My info is from THE ORGINIAL VAL MAPS CSX still has in the MOW dept.

-- V.L.LEWIS (, December 21, 2001.

Mr. Lewis - What is the source of your information about the line to Columbia being a logging RR that was abandoned in 1900? I have a copy of the Interstate Commerce Commission Valuation, dated June 1914, of the Norfolk Southern RR which shows the NSRR owning a line from Mackeys to Columbia. The line also is shown as NSRR in a 1911 NSRR promotional book, the map with the NSRR schedules in the 1907 OFFICIAL GUIDE and 1908 Poor's MANUAL OF RAILROADS. The NSRR was running two passenger roundtrips a day, except Sunday, in August 1917. It may have been a logging RR prior to 1906, but it was certainly NSRR from then 'til 1950.

-- Tom Underwood (, December 19, 2001.

The line did continue to columbia,but only as a logging rr.It was abandoned in the early 1900's.CSX still has some of the ORIGINAL Blue prints for that line..

-- V.L.LEWIS (, December 19, 2001.

Although it was Norfolk Southern that served Columbia, prior to 1927 (?), NS's Pamlico Division crossed ACL's Plymouth Branch twice in the 2.2 miles between Haley and Plymouth. A realignment of NS's main line eliminated one of the crossings. The crossing that remained is the NS lead to the pulp mill.

-- Harry Bundy (, December 19, 2001.

The ACL only went as far east as Plymouth, NC. There it connected with the original Norfolk Southern RR which ran to Mackeys and on east to Columbia. I have the Mackeys-Columbia abandonment being circa 1950. Mackeys-Plymouth became part of the mainline of the NS.

-- Tom Underwood (, December 19, 2001.

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