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Railroad Raleigh & Gaston
   When Wilmington investors were spurned by Raleigh businesses, the Wilmington group changed the route of the approved Wilmington & Raleigh line to go to Weldon and connect with a Virginia railroad. In 1835, Raleigh railroad supporters received a charter from the General Assembly for the 


 
Locomotives
  Map of Railroad
  History & Officers




    
Raleigh & Gaston railroad, to make a similar connection with the same Virginia railroad. Begun in 1836 and completed in 1840, the Raleigh & Gaston 86-mile track was the North Carolina standard of 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches  standard with the Wilmington & Weldon and the connecting Petersburg railroads. This measure eventually became the American standard for all railroads, but at the time North Carolina stood apart from the common 5 foot tracks in Virginia, South Carolina and many other Southern railroads.
   During construction, the railroad track was leased to the Petersburg Railroad, which provided rolling stock and operated the road until construction was completed. Completion of the road provided rail connection between Richmond and Raleigh (over 3 railroads). 
   The railroad faced financial and track difficulties. The line was sold under a foreclosure in 1845. At the sale, North Carolina Governor William A. Graham had the state buy the entire property and franchises. The railroad was then run by the state, until reorganized in 1851and 1852. The state retained majority stockownership.
   The railroad's original strap-iron rails (1836 - 1840) were replaced with T-rails in 1852.
   Those officers listed below indicate confirmed dates of service. Where there are gaps in the record, this may be filled in later as more research is conducted.

Officers & Board

Presidents George Washington Mordecai 1836 - 1839
Samuel F. Patterson 1840 - 1843
James Wyche 1844
Wesley Hollister 1844 - 1845
William Boylan 1846
Thomas Miller 1847 - 1848
R. O. Britton 1849
Major William Worrell Vass 1850 - 1851
George Washington Mordecai 1851 - 1852
  Lawrence O'Bryan Branch 1852 - 1854
E. A. Crupup 1854 - 1855
  R. A. Hamilton 1855 - 1857
  Dr. William J. Hawkins 1857 - 1858,
1860 - 1875
  Major George W. Grice 1875 (died) in office 42 days
  John  M. Robinson 1875 - 1884+
Superintendent & Chief Engineer  C. F. M. Garnett  <1840 -
  Peyton A. Dunn 1861 - 1864
  Gen. W. G. Lewis 1866
  Alexander Boyd Andrews 1867 - 1875
  John C. Winder 1881
  William Smith 1884
Treasurer S. W. Whiting 1836 - 1842
S. Birdsall 1843
  Major William Worrell Vass* 1844 - 1849, 1852 - 1893
C. J. Williams  1850 - 1851
Secretary Major William Worrell Vass 1861 - 1865
James M. Pool 1866
Directors
Raleigh William Boylan 1836 -
Thomas P. Deveraux 1836 -
Charles Manly 1836 -
Warren Joseph W. Hawkins 1836 -
William Plummer 1836 -

* also held combined Secretary-Treasurer positions

   1856 Annual Report (online)

 
 

Major William Worrell Vass
Treasurer-Secretary
Raleigh & Gaston Railroad

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