The new railroad was 161 \u00bd miles long The longest railroad in the world at the

The new railroad was 161 ½ miles long the longest

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The new railroad was 161 ½ miles long. The longest railroad in theworld at the time.The conditions of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad: it wasuncomfortable, dusty, expensive, and slow, although it was a greatimprovement over previous forms of transportation.The first interstate railroadRaleigh’s citizens worked with officials of the Petersburg, Virginia,railroad to construct the first interstate railroad.To do this the state granted Raleigh two charters. One was for ashort line from Greensville County, Virginia to the Roanoke River inNorthampton County. Known as the Greenville & Roanoke Railroad.This line was soon completed and its southern terminal took thename of Gaston.The other was for a line from Raleigh to the Roanoke River at Gaston.This one was called the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad. Except for abreak at the river, which had to be crossed by ferry, this lineconnected the state capitals of North Carolina and Virginia.Connections by railIn 1840, farmers in the eastern part of the state began to ship theircotton, corn, tobacco, and other produce to market by rail.People in western NC realized the advantages to be gained from suchservices. As a result, they wanted railroads in their part of the state.The General Assembly passed a bill in 1849 that chartered the NorthCarolina Railroad Company. This line was to run from Goldsboro toCharlotte, passing through Raleigh. The state agreed to pay 2 millionof the 3 million dollar project.
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The first rails were laid in a ceremony on July 11, 1851, and nearlyfive years later, on January 29,1856, the railroad was officiallyopened. It arced across NC covering a distance of 223 miles.In less than 25 years, rail transportation connected almost all theregions of NC. Trade grew and the economy improved.
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