It seems to me that a railroad has to have a purpose. It might be to carry people, bricks, ore or lumber. This is especially true for a small railroad. When that purpose changes .. as when the sole purpose of a railroad was to carry logs, the evolution of the highway system in the US and increased use of trucks led to the end of those railroads.
My railroad will be one that may carry all the other things but .. at it’s center .. a company that was developed for transportation of minerals.
|My two On30 modules were ‘purposed’ at a very early stage as centering around a coke oven bank. When asked “where is it” I mumbled something vague .. in that I really didn’t know. “Somewhere .. umm .. uhhh .. between South Carolina and North Carolina” I might says. Since then the name has evolved into the Lugoff, Camden & Northern Railroad .. and I have been plotting the route from the Lugoff/Camden area into North Carolina. I was pleasently surprised to find an area in North Carolina that not only had coal mines .. but it was ‘cokeable’. The fact that it is considered too deep and fractured to mine today .. in fact has been closed since around WWII .. I could care less. If I can re-write history .. I can re-write geology too.|
|the Deep River Coal Field|
The area along the Deep River, which forms the border of Chatham and Lee County and Randolph county In North Carolina was a major coal-producing area between the Revolutionary War and the Great Depression. It was called the Deep River Coal Field. The communities of Carbonton and Cumnock (formerly called Egypt in Lee County) originated with development of the coal mining industry. Much of the coal mined in the field during the Civil War was used to fuel Confederate operations.
A fatal explosion at the Coal Glen mine disaster in the 1920s, along with frequent flooding by the Deep River, sealed the fate of the mines; they were all closed by the 1940s. Recent attempts to tap the coal have proved failures; geologists say the coal is too highly faulted and the threat of explosive gases underground is too high. In addition, the high-sulfur coal cannot be economically used under environmental laws that have succeeded in reducing air pollution. Geologists once thought that natural gas and oil might also exist in the area where the coal mines were, but none that is economical enough to be pumped has yet been found. 96% of the coal mined in North Carolina comes from Chatham County, the other 3% comes from small quarries in Randolph and Lee counties.
|Industries located in Cumnock|
brick factory kiln-burned brick Goldston Brick Co.
The Western Railroad was a railroad in North Carolina connecting Fayetteville to the coal fields of Egypt (now Cumnock).
A group of Fayetteville citizens obtained a charter from the North Carolina legislature in December 1852 to construct a railroad from Fayetteville to the coal fields of Chatham County (now Chatham, Moore, and Lee counties). The state helped finance, build, and operate the new railroad. Problems with the construction contracts and obtaining rights of way delayed its construction, the first rails being laid in 1858. It was not completed until the first part of the American Civil War. Its first operations in commenced in 1861 to McIver’s Depot, and the line was completed to Egypt in 1863.
Charles Beatty Mallett (1816-1872) served as the railroad’s second president from 1855 to 1865, and fourth president from 1867 to 1868. He was the son of Charles Peter Mallett (1792-c1874). Mallett was a cotton manufacturer, acquiring a controlling interest in the Union Manufacturing Company during the time he served as the railroad’s president. In 1862 Mallett, in partnership with James Browne of Charleston, South Carolina, took over management and operation of the Egypt Coal Mines. These mines had been owned by a Philadelphia-based company, and had been placed into receivership by the Confederate government at the start of the war. The facilities of the railroad were used to transport the coal to Fayetteville, where it was then moved down the Cape Fear River to its contracted final destination of Wilmington, North Carolina. In 1865 Gen. Sherman’s army reached Fayetteville. During his campaign Sherman burned or destroyed several of the bridges used by the railroad, 12 miles of track, and several depots. Its rolling stock was saved, having been moved to the Egypt end of the line. By 1868, his other businesses and personal residence also destroyed by Sherman’s campaign, Mallett was forced into bankruptcy.
The line resumed operations in 1868. In the following two years, additional connections were made to the railroad, and it continued operations for another 11 years. In 1879 the railroad was renamed Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway and absorbed the Mount Airy Railroad.
Now .. Gentle Reader .. you may be asking .. “What’s all this then?”. Note that the Western Railroad was completed to Egypt, North Carolina in 1863. Egypt (now Cumnock) is the site of a coal field. Ahh. Supply coal to my coke ovens! Second. Note that in 1879 the railroad was renamed the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway. If you look at the LC&NRR History I am creating, go to 1894. Ha! I (in MY history) have the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway sold to my Carolinas Aggregiates!!!
The next step will be to create another town near where Egypt/Cumnock is located for my coal mine. That will supply the coke oven bank that my modules display. I will have the CF&YVRR interchange with my narrow gauge there at that town.