Western North Carolina Railroad                               

     An early locomotive crosses the stone viaduct over Grant's Creek near Salisbury, NC circa 1856. This 4-4-0 was one of five that served on the railroad for nearly 25 years. This is the only known picture of a WNCRR engine which shows the lettering and trim decoration on the locomotive.

Coming in 4Q 2006 !!!

  The Western North Carolina Railroad:
Penetrating America's "Land of the Sky"

    The definitive history of the Western North Carolina Railroad will soon be released. The hardback book will be sporting 200pp and dozens of 19th century photographs.  The history of this legendary railroad will be covered in immaculate detail, most of which comes from first-hand documents of the Samuel McDowell Tate estate of Morganton, NC.  Tate played a major role in the construction of the railroad from its inception in 1855 to its sale to the Richmond & Danville in the 1880's.
    Politics, the Civil War, Yankee raids, a corrupt Reconstruction governor, and robber barons all play a role in this most-storied railroad.
    Using the Tate collection and other government records, fact is separated from myth, and in many cases, only adds excitement to the lore that surrounds it.

    The "Old Fort Loops" were an engineering marvel in their day and at one point the track could be seen winding and twisting upon itself at over 17 points.  This is on the grade below High Fill Trestle, which was obviously very new when this photo was taken.

   Who was Samuel McDowell Tate? What role did James Wilson really play in finishing the line? Was Alexander Boyd Andrews all he was cracked up to be?
    It took over 25 years for the WNCRR to reach Asheville from Salisbury, and another decade to reach Murphy, NC. When you are finished with the journey, you will marvel that it was able to be done at all !

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    A 4-4-0 pulls a mixed train out of Cowee Tunnel on the Murphy Branch of the WNCRR, circa 1892.