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Piedmont and Northern Railway records

Identifier: MS0016

Scope and Contents

This collection contains various records of the Piedmont and Northern Railway Company and its predecessor lines, including the Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway (which eventually became known as the South Carolina division) and the Piedmont Traction Company (which became the North Carolina division). Also includes information on streetcar systems operated by the P&N in Anderson, S.C., and Gastonia, N.C.


  • 1910 - 1968


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

William States Lee, vice president of Southern Power and Utilities Company (now Duke Power Company), proposed the creation of the Piedmont and Northern Railway Company in 1909. Southern Power's president, James B. Duke, approved of Lee's proposal and stock was first issued in 1911. Envisioned as an electric interurban line linking the major cities of the Piedmont Carolinas, construction began in Charlotte in 1911 under the direction of Lee's brother, Arthur Carl Lee. Plans called for two lines in the initial stage: a 21 mile route from Charlotte to Gastonia, N.C., and a 98 mile route linking Spartanburg, Greenville, and Greenwood, S.C. A connection of the two routes was never realized when Southern Railway Company secured an ICC ruling against an expansion of the P&N after World War I. In 1969, the railway merged with the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (now CSX Transportation). [For additional information, see LeGette Blythe and Charles Raven Brockmann, Hornets' Nest (1961); and Thomas T. Fetters and Peter W. Swanson Jr., Piedmont and Northern (1974).]


24 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Records of the Piedmont and Northern Railway Company (incomplete), which operated in North Carolina and South Carolina, 1910-1969. Materials include operating reports and balance sheets, stockholder information, publications, legal documents, correspondence, and photographs.


The collection is arranged into the following 12 series:

Board of Directors and Stockholders, Operating Reports and Related Material, Publications, Legislation, Extension, Switching at Charlotte, N.C.: I. & S. Docket 3617, United States Government Control Period, Georgia and Florida Railroad, Durham and Southern Railway Company, Piedmont Traction Company/Greenville, Spartanburg & Anderson Railway Company, Photographic Prints and Preliminary Study Drawings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Seaboard System Railroad, 1984; Transfer from UNC Charlotte Library Cataloging Unit, 1988; Gift of Duke Power Company, 1989; Gift of Richard Shulby, 2012.

Related Materials

Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission Reports (MS 77): Piedmont and Northern Railway, Thrift Depot; J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections Map Collection (MS 519); Charlotte Engineering Department Maps (MS 323); Samuel Jones Nichols Papers, Duke University; William Robertson Perkins Papers, Duke University.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Randy Penninger in 1992.

Piedmont and Northern Railway Company records
Randy Penninger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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