Winston-Salem Southbound Railway
High Point Thomasville and Denton Railway


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WSS
Winston-Salem Southbound
January 26, 1930

The Winston-Salem Southbound Railway (WSS) was is a small southeastern railroad of sone 89 miles in length connecting Winston-Salem, North Carolina on the north with Wadesboro, North Carolina on the south. Its northern connection is the Norfolk Southern, formerly Norfolk and Western, and on the south it connects to CSX, formerly both Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line. During the 30's and 40's the WSS joined with the ACL to provide through passenger service from Winston-Salem south to Florence, South Carolina where the ACL main line could reach many other cities in South Carolina=, Georgia and Florida. Connections with Norfolk and Western trains from Roanoke to Winston-Salem on the north allowed the WSS to be an important north south link for both passengers and freight for the N&W and ACL, and, as a result, it was jointly owned be both N&W and ACL, now NS and CSX.
Commodities carried by the WSS are grain, sand, gravel, stone, forest products, paper products, coal, coke, cement, clay fertilizer, aluminum, chemicals, iron, and steel. Principal shippers are: Corn Products Co. of Winston-Salem - manufacturer of corn syrup and related products; and Owens Brockway Glass Co. of Eller - manufacturer of glass products.. Motive power is supplier by the joint owners either NS or CSX.
WSS2

The High Point, Thomasville & Denton Railroad Co. operated 38 miles from High Point southwesterly through Thomasville and Denton to a junction with the WSS at High Rock, North Carolina 38 mikes south of Winston-Salem. The HPT&D always had a close relationship with the WSS and was purchased by the WSS in 1960. The HPT&D also connecred with the Southern, now NS, at High Point. Commodities carried by the railroad are forest products, paper products, chemicals, brick, coal, cement, and furniture. Principal shippers are: Thomasville Forest Products of Shale Brick a division of Lowes Inc.; Carolina Container Corp. of High Point manufacturer of pulp board; and Georgia Pacific of Denton chemical manufacturer.
Timeline for Winston Sale-Southbound
1905 - Charter granted for the Winston-Salem Southbound Railway on January 3.
1905-06 - Line is surveyed.
1905 - Wheeling Contracting Company hired to build the WSS.
1906 - Southern Railway buys large amount of WSS stock but announces construction would be delayed and canceled contracts.
1909 - Norfolk & Western buys out the Souuthern and forms joint venture with Atlantic Coast Line to build WSS.
1910 - Winston-Salem Southbound built from Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Wadesboro, North Carolina, 89 miles.
WSS is originally owned, jointly, by N&W and ACL (now NS and CSX)
1910 -1957 - WSS operates with steam locomotives and is slow to dieselize due to N&W clinging to steam.
1957 - 4 new GP7 diesel-electrics, purchased from N&W and ACL, arrive on WSS and replace steam.
1960 - WSS acquires HPT&D, but HPT&D maintains separate identity and interchanges with WSS at High Rock.
1960's - WSS begins leasing the motive power from N&W and ACL to reduce need for separate paint schemes for WSS.
2010 - HPT&D merged into WSS.
Current - Ownership of the WSS is still split 50/50 between its parent roads Norfolk Southern and CSX. Trains operate daily using power mainly from one of these two roads.
Timeline for High Point Thomasville and Denton Railway
1905 - The earliest predecessor of the HPT&D was the Carolina Glenanna (Glen Anna) and Pee Dee Railroad was a poorly built mining and logging railroad running from Thomasville a few miles south.
1906 - The High Point City Council authorized an extension of this line to High Point with eventual plans to connect to the Seaoard Air Line to the south and to Winston-Salem on the Northeast with the WSS.
1907 - CG&PD now the Carolina Valley Railway
1909 - CV now the Piedmont Railway.
1910 - WSS now completed to the south so new plans are to connect the Prr with WSS at High Rock.
1912 - Piedmont Rwy becomes the Carolina and Yadkin River Railway.
1913 - Bonds first issued for the C&YR.
1914 - C&YR completed High Point to High Rock.
1920 - C&YR forced into bankruptcy.
1923 - Citizens of Higjh Point and Thomasville buy all assets of C&YR.
1923 - Charter issued for High Point Thomasville and Denton Railroad on May 11.
1923-24 - HPT&D was in very poor shape and many improvements were made to put it in good operating order, including replacement of 30 pound rail with 80, 90 and 100 pound rail.
1924 - HPT&D officially opened for business on July 1, using equipment from owners ACL and N&W.
post 1924 - HPT&D successful due to cooperation with connecting lines, the WSS, N&W, ACL, SAL and original Norfolk Southern.
pre 1960 - Trucking industry cuts into former HPT&D traffic.
1960 - WSS acquires HPT&D, but HPT&D maintains separate identity and interchanges with WSS at High Rock.
2010 - HPT&D merged into WSS.
Epilogue
Dr. Jeff Miller and Jim Vaughn wrote a complete history book of the line in 1996 with color photographs, maps, and lots more. The book is out of print but can be found at RR shows.
Trains magazine March 1957, pp 25-30, has a feature story about the line by noted editor DPM and photos by Philip Hastings.

WSSmap
Winston Salem Southbound
High Point Thomasville and Denton - Map 1955


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Railway Association of North Carolina
North Carolina Railroads
Railroad Index Back to Top Contact Us

Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised December 27. 2011