Railroad North Carolina Railroad Locomotives

   The following list of early locomotives for the North Carolina Railroad contains the engine's name, later number (if known), date built, builder and wheel arrangement, where available. Of course, all were steam driven.
   The American style locomotive was the standard engine built by all of the  locomotive manufacturers. While the 

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locomotive had many exterior variations, the wheel arrangement (4-4-0) and the over-all appearance remained the same. This particular engine-wheel type was designed to place as much weight as possible on the drivers and to maneuver the sharp curves and poor quality of track conditions of the mid-1800s. Information is incomplete and additional research is being conducted.

Name Number
Date Built or
In Service



Retired Notes
Ixion   1854 Norris 4-4-4 1864 rebuilt as Col. C. F. Fisher
Traho   1854 Norris 4-2-0 1859 rebuilt (with Pello) as Carolina
Pactolus 16 1854 Norris 4-4-0   rebuilt in 1871
Pello   1854 Norris 4-2-0 1859 rebuilt (with Traho) as Carolina
Cybele   1854 Norris 4-4-0 1866 rebuilt? as Thomas Webb
Ajax   1854 Norris 4-4-0 1862 rebuilt? as Roanoke
Sisyphus   1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Midas   1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Apollo 14 1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Ulysses   1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Cyclops   1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Excelsior 7 1854 Norris 4-4-0    
Astron 1 1855 Norris 4-4-0    
Aristos   1855 Norris 4-4-0    
Helios   1855 Norris 4-4-0    
Kratos   1855 Norris 4-4-0    
Guilford 21 1856 Norris 4-6-0    
Rowan   1856 Norris 4-6-0    
Watauga 6 1856 Norris 4-4-0    
Yadkin 5 1856 Breese, Kneeland 4-4-0    
Alamance 9 1857 Norris 4-4-0    
Neuse   1857 Norris 4-4-0    
Orange   1857 Rogers 4-4-0    
Manassas Gap            
Col. Myers            
Manassas Gap #9            

Wheel arrangements list the number of wheels on each of up to 3 sets for these locomotives. The arrangement refers to leading/guiding wheel, main drivers and secondary driving wheels.
Source: NCRR and R&DRR Annual Reports, 1854 - 1874.

Norris Locomotive Works – A Philadelphia locomotive builder constructing about 1,000 engines between 1836 and 1860. It was the dominant American producer during most of that period.

Breese, Kneeland & Company – A Jersey City, New Jersey, company that used the name New York Locomotive Works. It produced less than 300 locomotives before the Civil War.

Baldwin Locomotive Works – A Philadelphia machine shop that had produced 1,000 locomotives by 1861.

North Carolina Railroad
– The railroad eventually developed the expertise and capability to build new locomotives from parts of earlier  locomotives.

Rogers Locomotive Works – Founded in 1832, this Paterson, New Jersey textile equipment builder became involved in building locomotives in the mid-1830s. The firm was a leader in engine improvements and productivity. Between 1837 and 1860, it produced 900 engines. Also known as Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor.

A. W. Denmead & Son – Began as Baltimore, MD, foundry operated by Adam Denmead. Among partners added were Wm. Denmead. The company produced about 30 locomotives from 1851 - 1859, as well as railroad cars and bridges.

Mason  – In Taunton, MA, William Mason was a machinist operating several companies that produced items for the textile business, as later the railroads. Mason began building his first locomotive in 1852, completing it in 1853. In 1857, his firm failed but soon reopened. By 1860, the company had produced about 100 locomotives. Due to Civil War demand, another 100 engines were built by 1865.

The Taunton Locomotive Manufacturing Company – Established at Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1846 by Willard W. Fairbanks and G.S. Griggs. The company’s first locomotive, Rough and Ready, was shipped on  May 19, 1847. By 1860, the firm had built 300 locomotives used all over the nation.

Hinkley – A Boston company that was officially the Boston Locomotive Works. It produced over 600 engines before being closed down by the Panic of 1857.

Amoskeag Manufacturing Company – This Manchester, NH, firm entered the locomotive engine manufacturing business in 1848/49. By 1856, the company was producing about 60 locomotives a year. This division became the Manchester Locomotive Works and operated until 1913. 

Grant Locomotive Works – Started in 1866/67, this Paterson, NJ, company was formed from the New Jersey Locomotive Company. In 1887, a fire damaged the Patterson plant which briefly reopened until a new Chicago plant was constructed. The company went out of business in June 1893. 

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