Railroad Timetables

Travel by railroad was much faster than other options available in the 1850s. Adults typically walk at 3 to 4 miles per hour -- a bit less on hilly ground. A horse can travel 8 to 10 miles per hour at a trot -- a reasonable speed for a horse carrying a rider over a distance or for a team of horses pulling a carriage, though the speed of a carriage would depend on the condition of the roads as well.

Below are two railroad schedules from the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad which was completed in 1840. One railroad schedule is for the North route -- beginning in Wilmington and ending in Weldon -- while the other is for the south, which began in Weldon and ended in Wilmington.


Night Express Train -- North 

To go into operation 31st of October, 1859.

No. of Stations Distance from Wilmington Dis. bet'w Stat'ns Names of Stations Arrives Leaves Time between St's Time at Stations. Remarks
1     Wilmington, a m   1:30     Terminus
2 9 9 North East, 1:54 1:54 24 0 N. S.
3 11 2 Marlboro', 2:00 2:01 6 1 R. S.
4 14 3 Rocky Point, 2:10 2:11 9 1 Flag.
5 22 8 Burgaw, 2:32 2:36 21 4 W.&W.
6 29 7 So. Washington 2:54 2:55 18 1 Flag.
7 33 4 Leesburg, 3:06 3:06 11 0 N. S.
8 38 5 Teachey, 3:20 3:21 14 1 P.No.4.
8 ½ 43 5 Rose Hill, 3:33 3:33 12 0 W.&W.
9 48 5 Magnolia, 3:44 3:45 11 1 R. S.
10 55 7 Warsaw, 4:01 4:02 16 1 R. S.
10 ½ 59 4 Bowden, 4:12 4:12 10 0 N. S.
11 63 4 Faison, 4:22 4:23 10 1 Flag.
12 70 7 Mt. Olive, 4:40 4:41 17 1 Flag.
13 75 5 Dudley, 4:54 4:56 13 2 Flag.
14 78 3 Everettsville,         Flag.
15 84 6 Goldsboro',* 5:16 5:46 20 30 Chan Eng
16 92 8 Pikeville, 6:07 6:08 21 1 Flag.
17 95 3 Nahunta, 6:16 6:18 8 2 Flag.
18 102 7 Black Creek, 6:38 6:39 20 1 Flag.
19 108 6 Wilson, 6:56 6:58 17 2 R. S.
20 116 8 Joyner 7:18 7:22 20 4 Flag.
21 125 9 Rocky Mount, 7:44 7:46 22 2 W.&W.
22 133 8 Battleboro', 8:06 8:08 20 2 Flag.
22 ½ 137 4 Whitaker, 8:21 8:39 14 3 W.&W.
23 143 6 Enfield,† 8:36 8:39 14 3 W.&W.
24 154 11 Halifax, 9:06 9:08 27 2 R. S.
25 162 8 Weldon, 9:30   22   Terminus
  *Breakfast. †Wood and Water.

Night Express Train -- South

To go into operation 31st of October, 1859.

No. of Stations Distance from Weldon Dis. bet'w Stns NAMES OF STATIONS Arrives Leaves Time between Sta Time at Stations. Remarks
25     Weldon, P. M.   8:45     Terminus
24 8 8 Halifax, 9:08 9:10 23 2 R. S.
23 ½ 12 4 Ruggles, 9:22 9:23 12 1  
23 19 7 Enfield, 9:42 9:46 19 4 P.No.3.
22 ½ 25 6 Whitaker, 10:04 10:05 18 1 Flag.
22 29 4 Battleboro', 10:17 10:18 12 1 R. S.
21 37 8 Rocky Mount, 10:39 10:41 21 2 R. S.
20 46 9 Joyner, 11:05 11:06 24 1 W.&W.
19 54 8 Wilson, 11:29 11:31 23 2 R. S.
18 60 6 Black Creek, 11:48 11:49 17 1 Flag.
17 67 7 Nahunta, A. M. 12:08 12:09 19 1 Flag.
16 70 3 Pikeville, 12:18 12:19 9 1 Flag.
15 78 8 Goldsboro', 12:43 12:48 24 5 Ch. Eng.
14 83 6 Everittsville, 1:06 1:07 18 1 Flag.
13 86 3 Dudley, 1:16 1:18 9 2 Flag.
      Milton,         Flag.
12 91 5 Mount Olive, 1:33 1:34 15 1 Flag.
11 98 7 Faison, 1:55 1:56 21 1 Flag.
10 ½ 102 4 Bowden, 2:08 2:12 12 4 W.&W.
10 106 4 Warsaw, 2:24 2:25 12 1 R. S.
9 113 7 Magnolia, 2:46 2:47 21 1 R. S.
8 ½ 120 5 Rose Hill, 3:02 3:03 15 1 W.&W.
8 123 5 Teachey, 3:18 3:20 15 2 P. No.1
7 128 5 Leesburg, 3:34 3:35 14 1 Flag.
6 132 4 So. Washington, 3:46 3:47 11 1 Flag.
5 139 7 Burgaw, 4:06 4:10 19 4 W.&W.
      Asheton,         Flag.*
4 147 8 Rocky Point, 4:30 4:31 20 1 Flag.
3 150 3 Marlboro', 4:40 4:41 9 1 Flag.
2 152 2 North East, 4:47 4:48 6 1 Flag.
1 162 9 Wilmington,† 5:10   22 1 Terminus
  *16½ mile Station.
  →Wood and Water to be taken only at the places marked, if it can be avoided.
  †Take Breakfast.

Primary Source Citation: 

Wilmington & Weldon Rail Road Company Time Table Number 5 from and after Monday, October 31st, 1859. Wilmington, NC: Fulton & Price, Steam Power Press Printers, 1859.
Published online by Documenting the American South. University Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. https://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/wwrr1859/wwrr1859.html

 

Credit text

Timetable for the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, 1859.