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Graham County Railroad Company

by James Wrinn, 2006"Brand new Graham County Railroad Company's Shay/ Number 1925 stands outside the Lima Locomotive Works/ factory in Lima, Ohio in February, 1925." Image available from the North Carolina Historic Sites.

See also: Transportation: Air and Rail (from NC Atlas Revisited)

The Graham County Railroad Company was one of dozens of logging railways built in North Carolina in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Constructed over steep grades through the Nantahala Mountains between Topton and Robbinsville in 1925, this 12.6-mile line was one of the nation's last railways to use steam locomotives before it shut down in 1970. Bible-quoting, hymn-singing engineer Ed Collins ran the train for almost 40 years. The last run of the Sidewinder, a specially designed geared steam locomotive prized for its strength and agility, was covered by TV newsman Charles Kuralt. The railroad's original locomotive, No. 1925, is preserved at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Digital Collections search results for Graham County Railroad Company

Image Credit:

"Brand new Graham County Railroad Company's Shay/ Number 1925 stands outside the Lima Locomotive Works/ factory in Lima, Ohio in February, 1925." Image available from the North Carolina Historic Sites. Available from http://collections.ncdcr.gov (accessed June 19, 2012).

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Comments

Comment: 

Over the past few weeks I have been reading a lot about the RRs in WNC during the late 1800s and early 1900s. One item that is of particular interest to me is that the Graham County RR had purchased a used steam locomotive and had it sent to Asheville for repairs in 1916. The WNC area had a horrific flood in July that year and it was reported this steam engine was washed away and was never found (as of 2007). I am curious to know if, in fact, this engine was never recovered. I live in Asheville and would love to try and go find it, if it is still out there.

Thanks.

Comment: 

Hi -- thanks for writing to NCpedia with this question about the locomotive engine "Shay".

"Shay" is located at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina.  Following restoration at the museum in the late 1980s, it was used to pull the museum's on-site train ride for a number of years.  According to the museum's website, it is currently not in service while being overhauled.

You can find more information on the museum's website at http://www.nctrans.org/exhibits/rail-equipment----steam-locomotives.aspx

Thanks for your question!

Kelly Agan, NCpedia Digital Media Librarian

Comment: 

I was curious if there is any current info on it and its whereabouts thank you for you time

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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