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Atlantic & Yadkin Railway

History &


Greensboro (Milepost CF 70.0)


Greensboro is a large city. For history and other information on it, I suggest the Greensboro History web page.

 The Atlantic & Yadkin Railway was the only railroad (to date) to be headquartered in Greensboro.  The Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley at one time had a relatively big yard with turntable and shop, a lot of local industry to switch, and a junction with the Southern providing a lot of interchange.   After the A&Y was formed and taken over by the Southern, much of the CF&YV roundhouse, turntable and shops was no longer used and the A&Y shared the Southern's roundhouse and coaling facilities.  This led to some interesting controversies when the A&Y began operating independently, especially under receivership.  Greensboro  is where the Southern delivered all the leased cars, cabs and locomotives that comprised the A&Y roster.  The A&Y had no need to maintain it's locomotives elsewhere as most trains on the A&Y originated and terminated in Greensboro - a city centrally located on the line. Coaling stations and water tanks could be found along the line, and turntables and/or wyes were used at the terminal cities, but Greensboro facilities were the main hub of maintenance for the A&Y.

The A&Y obtained most of its revenue (according to it's annual reports) by switching industries in Greensboro, including the Furnace Branch (named for the pig iron furnace that was once located in the city on this line. This city and the A&Y trackage could be the focus on an entire web site.  More info to come.


Here is a colorized photo postcard of the Southern station in Greensboro circa 1908.  I'm not sure what the A&Y did for passenger service in Greensboro. They did not have a separate station (although the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley did before the Southern Railway split it with the ACL).

This colorized photo postcard depicts the Southern Railway station in 1930. Little appears to have changed in two decades.
This photo postcard circa 1941 shows the new station.



Track Diagram  

bw_v27-18b_greensboro.jpg (274998 bytes)  

This diagram is only the overview of the A&Y - Southern junction and tracks from the ICC Valuation blueprints. More detailed maps are available, but I have not had a chance to clean them and stitch them together.

bw_v27-18b_depot.jpg (271571 bytes) This diagram includes the depot.
bw_v27-18_cf070_furnace_branch.jpg (51719 bytes)  

This diagram does not give much detail, but it shows the relative geometry of the A&Y's furnace branch in Greensboro relative to the Southern's mainline.


bw_v27-18d_southern_power_co.jpg (110731 bytes)  

This diagram shows the Southern Power Plant in Greensboro.

bw_v27-18e_proximity_mills.jpg (98454 bytes)  

This diagram covers the entrance to Proximity Mills, a textile mill.



Here is a view of the yard tracks from a Southern Railway document showing where the A&Y tracks were to be removed.

Document is from the collection of Marvin Black (R.I.P.).




A Southern Railway Shippers Guide from 1916 indicates the following industries in addition to LCL shipments, passengers, and mail were located in Greensboro and used either the A&Y or the Southern for delivering and receiving products by rail (although some may have used the station or team track rather than having a dedicated siding). I will add other industries as I receive information about them:


Goods Shipped/Rec'd

Company Name

agricultural manufacturer threshing machines J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co.
brick factory bricks Cunningham Brick Co.
chemicals rendering byproducts Carolina By-products
cigar factory cigars W. F. Clegg
cigar factory cigars Guilford Cigar Co.
cigar factory cigars T. A. Lyon
cigar factory cigars O. El Rees Cigar Co.
cigar factory cigars E. J. & A. G. Stafford
cotton mill Indigo Blue Denims Proximity Manufacturing Co.
cotton mill Indigo Printed Drills and Denims Proximity Print Works
cotton mill Indigo Blue Denims White Oak Cotton Mills
cotton mill Cotton and Canton Flannels Revolution Cotton Mills
cotton mill Grey Cloths Pomona Mills, Inc.
fertilizer factory fertilizer Armour Fertilizer Mfg. Co.
flour and grist mill roller mill W. A. Watson & Co. (Greensboro Roller Mills)
furniture factory furniture Patterson-Kiser Seat Co.
furniture factory furniture Standard Table Co.
furniture factory furniture Sterling Furniture Co.
manufacturing terra cotta pipe Pomona Pipe Products
marble tile factory marble and tile McClamrock Marble & Tile Co.
mattress, pillow, bedding factory matresses Caveness Mattress Co.
mills flour Wafco complex
ornamental metal works miscellaneous J. D. Wilkins
planing mill miscellaneous Cape Fear Mfg. Co.
shingle mill shingles Cape Fear Mfg. Co.
steel steel Carolina Steel
steel steel fabricated parts Carolina Steel
woodworking factory miscellaneous South Atlantic Lumber Co.
woodworking factory miscellaneous H. J. Thurman Lumber Co.
woodworking factory miscellaneous Guilford Lumber & Mfg. Co.
distribution merchandise Sears distribution center on Lawndale Ave
feed & seed fertilizer Agrico
feed & seed fertilizer USS Agrichem
manufacturing concrete
textiles cotton Cone Mills
textiles clothing Cone Mills


Odds and Ends


Here is the Greensboro station in the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley days.

Photographer unknown, image provided by Jim McGhee.


Greensboro-Proximity-Mills-postcard-ca1907-1915.jpg (18213 bytes) Proximity Mills was a textile factory owned by the Proxmity Manufacturing Company run by the Cone family. This colorized photo postcard was circa 1907-1915.
Greensboro-White-Oak-cotton-mills-and-houses-ca-unknown.jpg (43783 bytes) This is a photo postcard image of the White Oak cotton mills and company homes. White Oak was owned by the Proximity Manufacturing Company also. A lot of early large industries tried to keep workers sufficiently satisfied so that they would not attempt to unionize. In many cases, that included homes, schools, play grounds, garden plots, and other amenities. 

The mill village was laid out and constructed by the company around 1920 to serve the White Oak textile mill, a half-mile to the east. It was organized around a small isolated grid of streets which do not continue past 11th Street and 12th Street at the south, 14th Street and 16th Street at the north, North Church Street at the west, and the former Southern Railway tracks at the east. These amenities worked in many cases, keeping the workers happy. Being company supplied though, if profits were down these amenities could disappear or funding for them could be significantly reduced.

Learn more about the White Oak New Town Historic District here.

Here's another page on the Cone Mill Village.

Greensboro-aerial-view-poster-ca1890.jpg (101859 bytes) While not terrifically helpful to modelers, here is an aerial overview of the city circa 1890.  You can see the CF&YV (nee A&Y) track crossing the Southern.  The CF&YV start at the middle left of the image where they would continue to the left and up (railroad west) heading to Mt. Airy. From the middle left, the track comes down and to the right where it goes under the Southern mainline (angling from top right corner to just above the R in Greensboro) and curves a bit before heading off the lower right hand side (railroad east) towards Pleasant Garden and on to Sanford.
greensboro_AY_underpass_look_north Here is a shot of the Greensboro underpass of the Southern Railway. The track in the foreground was the Southern's heading up and away towards it's mainline which is on that overpass running from right to left.  The A&Y mainline is the second track heading under the Southern's line and away north to Mount Airy.
greensboro_AY_underpass_look_south Here is the junction looking south down the A&Y in the direction towards Sanford.


This website is copyrighted 1998-2016 by David M. Bott.  Images appearing on this website may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law, donor restrictions, and other rights or policies. The Railroad Roman font used in the title was bought from Ben Coifman. Persons who contemplate copying and using font or images should obtain all necessary permissions pertaining to use. Authorization to use images credited to the North Carolina Collection, University of N.C. Library at Chapel Hill should be sought from the Collection at CB#3934, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890. Telephone 919-962-7992. Images credited to the North Carolina State Library Photo Archives are considered in the public domain.  Images credited to others or unknown are subject to copyright restrictions and permission for use should be obtained.

This page  last edited Saturday, October 15, 2016