New Hope Valley Railway

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The New Hope Valley Railway is an operating tourist line railroad in Bonsal, North Carolina. The line operates for passengers on the first Sunday of each month from May to November and both Saturday and Sunday the first two weekends in December. Special trains are operated for Halloween on the evening of the last Saturday in October, and with other themes throughout the year. The operating line includes a total of six miles of trackage between the communities of Bonsal and New Hill, North Carolina. The personnel of the organization are all volunteers with no paid staff whatsoever. The organization is a member of the Association of Railway Museums and the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.



The railroad line operated as the New Hope Valley Railway was originally constructed as the Durham and South Carolina Railroad (D&SC) in 1905-1906 to tap the timber resources of the valley of New Hope Creek, and served the communities of Bonsal, where it had a junction with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (now part of CSX), Beaver Creek, Seaforth, Farrington, Blands, Penny and Durham, North Carolina. The line was extended south between 1911 and 1913 from Bonsal to Duncan where it joined the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The D&SC line was leased by the Norfolk Southern Railroad in 1917 to provide the larger railroad with access to the City of Durham. In 1925 a spur was built at Durham to serve the new plant of the American Tobacco Company in that city. The line was rebuilt on a new alignment in the 1970s by the US Army Corps of Engineers when the B. Everet Jordan Dam was constructed, impounding the valley of New Hope Creek to form Jordan Lake. The line eventually became (briefly) part of the Southern Railway, and was sold to the East Carolina Chapter, NRHS in 1983.

The northern portion of the original railroad, from the community of New Hill, North Carolina north to Durham has been converted into the American Tobacco Trail.


  • 4 GE diesel locomotives, obtained from the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps
  • 2 Whitcomb diesel locomotives
  • 1 0-4-0T steam locomovive built by Vulcan Iron Works in 1941 for New York Shipbuilding of Camden, New Jersey, and is in operation on most excursion trains.

Rolling stock

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