Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Company

"The Road of Personal Service"

acwr_state These days the Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad Company operates a series of shortline railroads in central North Carolina and South Carolina, including the Pee Dee River Railway and the Dunn-Erwin Railway. But the orginial AR is the Aberdeen to Fayetteville route -- 47 miles of shortline operation. Incorporated in 1892, the road operated local passenger service as late as 1951. Today the road hauls chemicals, coal, lumber, and paper.

The A&R has always been a classic southern shortline, sporting many instersting types of motive power over the years. They were one of the first southern short roads to dieselize, choosing as their first steam replacements some EMD cab units. A GP7 would come to the line in 1951 as #205 -- a notable unit in that it is one of only a few non-rebuilt Geep in shortline service still owned and operated by its purchasing railroad.

1988 Official Guide listing

ar_inset1 In the south central part of North Carolina, the Aberdeen & Rockfish railroad has done something remarkable for over 100 years: It's trains have been fighting an uphill battle with the undulating profiles of the Sandhills country and winning freight traffic and profitability in the process. That alone is just cause for a Centennial Celebration for a 45-mile line that started as a logging road in the late 1800s, then recast itself into a mini-bridge route carrier and today serves as the healthy parent of a second profitable shortline. But what makes the A&R even more noteworthy is the kind of endearing features which inspired legendary rail author Lucius Beebe to devote five pages to the A&R in his classic 1947 short line tribute "Mixed Train Daily".

AR company website


Official Guide ad / collection

HawkinsRails thanks railfan friends Ben Wells and Warren Calloway for use of their AR photographs

Motive Power

Aberdeen & Rockfish #205

  • builder:Electro Motive Divison
  • model:GP7
  • type:B-B road switcher
  • built:Oct 1951, EMD #14572
  • series:210 produced 1949-54
  • engine:EMD 567B (16 cyls. 1500 hp)
  • notes:
  • a rare shortline Geep still on roster of orginial owner
  • builder

    Aberdeen & Rockfish #300

  • builder:Electro Motive Division
  • model:GP18
  • type:B-B road switcher
  • built:Aug 1963, EMD #28357
  • series:350 produced 1959-63
  • engine:EMD 567D1 (16 cyl. 1800 hp)
  • notes:
  • AR traded in F3A #200 to EMD for #300
  • builder

    Aberdeen & Rockfish #405

  • builder:Electro Motive Division
  • model:GP38
  • type:B-B road switcher
  • built:Jan 1967, EMD #31949
  • series:466 produced 1966-71
  • engine:EMD 645E (16 cyl. 2000 hp)
  • notes:
  • ex Edgmoor & Manetta #7200
    to Erie Mining #4215
    to LTV Steel Company #4215
    to Northern Illinois & Wisconsin #405
    to Aberdeen & Rockfish #405
  • builder

    Rolling Stock



    AR system map

    AR route map / web


    Aberdeen, NC, is well attested as a railfan paradise. Two independent shortlines -- one of them the classic A&R -- interchange with the CSX on a longstanding mainline stretch leaving Hamlet, to the south. As such, there is plenty of action to see ... such as the day my dad and I found the AC&W working the CSX interchange. Anyone who follows southern shortline action knows of the Aberdeen & Rockfish, with its history of EMD covered wagons and its classic little offices in Aberdeen, just off the CSX mainline. I hope to return to the line one day to photograph more of its equipment. Until then, I'm grateful to Ben Wells and Warren Calloway for the use of their AR photography.

    Links / Sources