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Alexander Railroad Company
" The Junebug Line "
The Alexander Railroad Company began service in 1946, when local businessmen and investors purchased an 18-mile branchline from the Southern Railway which had been slated for abandonment. Since that time, the railroad has continuously paid dividends to its shareholders and business continues to grow.
The railroad was built in 1887 as the "Statesville & Western", which was in reality an extension of the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio which ran between Charlotte and Statesville, North Carolina. Over the years, the line was operated by the Richmond & Danville, and later, the Southern Railway. The nickname of the railroad, "the Junebug Line" was born in the North Carolina state legislature during a debate between two senators.
Romulus Linney, the colorful and loquacious politician from Taylorsville, remarked something to the effect that the the emeralds found in the nearby Hiddenite mine were so valuable that "a well-wintered junebug could fly away with enough of the mineral tied to its hind leg to pay for the whole railroad!" When the vote for the railroad's charter came to be taken, the first senator polled announced that "he voted for the Junebug Road!" and the nickname was born.
Today, the line's management is led by Ben Zachary, a third-generation railroader of the same family which has guided the ARC since its inception in 1946. Ben's grandfather, Lawrence, was the line's first general manager, a post which he served from 1946 until 1952.
Ben's father, Sam Zachary, followed his father's footsteps into the role and led the railroad from 1952 until 1987. Today, the Zachary family legacy is a strong, vibrant company that is considered a crown jewel in North Carolina's railroad industry.
Romulus Linney was Alexander County’s most famous son and the leader of the effort to bring a railroad to Taylorsville.
As a side note, his great-grandson and namesake is one of the country’s pre-eminent playwrights and his great-great-grandaughter, Laura Linney, is currently one of Hollywood’s hottest female talents.