History of the Deep River Rail Trail

The Deep River Rail Trail has been a beautiful addition to the Eastern part of Randolph County. The trail makes its way through Randleman, Franklinville, and Ramseur. Following along the Deep River, where it gets part of its name. The “Rail” bit comes from its history as a rail bed. 

It began in 1879 when the Fayetteville & Western Railroad and Mt. Airy & Ore Knob Railroad merged to become the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railroad.Its main line ran from Greensboro through Staley and Liberty, and then to Franklinville. Then in 1883, when it was “reorganized” as the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway. The Cape Fear and Yadkin Railway, opened to Franklinville in 1890. This became known as the Factory Branch, which followed the Deep River to Franklinville and Ramseur where it terminated at a turntable. From there, the engines were “turned around” on a steam powered turntable to head back towards Greensboro.

The Ramseur Page on Facebook says:

“The Ramseur yard had room for 34 cars. A 1916 Southern Railways Shipping Guide lists 15 businesses that shipped goods out of Ramseur including the cotton mill, furniture factory, roller mill… and six businesses that shipped oak lumber. The cotton mill in Coleridge also shipped goods out of Ramseur.”

By 1984 the railway found itself in the hands of Southern Railway. Due to the lack of use, they went to the state and the interstate commerce commission to abandon the route. By 1987 the tracks and trestles were removed. 

Today the Rail Trail utilizes the rail bed and is part of 5 miles worth of trail along Deep River in Randolph County.

Photo courtesy of the Ramseur Community Museum with restoration by John Fogarty.


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