This abandoned railway was built in 1880s as a part of the Cape Fear & Yadkin Valley Railway. The original CF & YV route ran all the way from Wilmington, NC to Mount Airy, NC, with a branch from Fayettville to Bennettsville, SC. This company entered receivership in 1894. In 1899, Southern bought the portion from Sanford to Mount Airy and organized the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway to run it. The Atlantic Cost Line took over the remainder of the line from Sanford to Wilmington and the Fayetteville to Bennettsville, SC line. (See also Rural Hall to Greensboro.)
Seaboard Coast Line abandoned the section from Roseboro to the northern outskirts of Wilmington in the mid-1970s (58 miles). Towns on this section of railroad were Mintz, Parkersburg, Garland, Tomahawk, Kerr, Ivanhoe, Atkinson, and Currie. You can still see evidence of the right of way going through the middle of town in Garland and Tomahawk. In Atkinson, it looks like the old station/depot has been moved a few blocks to the W and is being used for a store.
This line was one of four connections that the ACL had into Wilmington (the SCL had five after the ACL-SAL merger). It was the first one to be severed.
SCL abandoned the section from Fort Junction, at Fort Bragg northwest of Fayetteville, to Jonesboro, just outside of Sanford, in the early 1970s (23 miles). This section of railroad passed through towns named Manchester, Spout Springs, Olivia, and Swann. The old ROW can still be made out in spots.
Seaboard System abandoned the section from Roseboro to Vander (15 miles) in the mid 1980s. Towns on this section were Stedman, Autryville, and Hayne. The old ROW is still easily traceable in this area.
CSX still operates the section from Fort Junction (near Spring Lake) through Fayetteville, to Vander, with an industrial spur from Vander down to the Cape Fear River.