This section of Seaboard Coast Line trackage was part of the Durham & Southern for most of its lifetime. The Durham & Southern was incorporated in 1906 and was an extension of the Cape Fear & Northern Railway. The CF&N built the line (originally a lumber line) from Apex to Dunn, and the D&S was organized to extend the line into Durham in order to connect Durham with the ACL "A-line" at Dunn and the SAL "S-line" at Apex. The road also connected with the old Norfolk-Southern at Varina. The Duke family was an owned and in 1930 Duke Power became the owner of the D&S. The management of the D&S was consolidated with another Duke Power line, the Piedmont & Northern. The Seaboard Coast Line bought the D&S in 1976 and merged the company in 1981. The section from Apex to Erwin Junction was abandoned in the late 1970s. Towns along this line from Apex south were Holly Springs, Wilbon, Varina (which merged with Fuquay Springs to become Fuquay-Varina), Holland, Kennebec, Angier, Barclaysville, Coats, Turlington and Erwin Junction. The Dunn-Erwin Railway operates the segment from Erwin Juction to Dunn and the branch into Erwin.
The section of the old D&S from Durham to Apex is still operated by CSX. The Dunn-Erwin Railway operates the segment of the old D&S from Erwin Juction to Dunn (and a connection with CSX) and the branch into Erwin.
The old ROW can still be seen in most places, especially in the section just removed in 1993.