The Atlantic & East Carolina Railway
The Atlantic and East Carolina Railway (reporting mark AEC) was a regional Class II railroad with origins in the 1850s, lasting until 1957 when its stock was purchased by the Southern Railway.

The Atlantic & North Carolina Railway (A&NC) was organized at New Bern, North Carolina, in 1854. It was to be the eastern portion of a state-owned system of three railroads that would cross North Carolina from west to east, tapping the commerce and agriculture of the state for the port of Morehead City — trade that the rivers of the area were taking to Norfolk, Virginia, and Charlestown, South Carolina. Morehead City never became the rival of New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk that its boosters predicted, and the three railroads continued as separate entities. The North Carolina Railroad and the Western North Carolina Railroad both wound up in the Southern Railway family, and in 1904 the Atlantic & North Carolina was leased to the Norfolk & Southern.

Atlantic and East Carolina Railway EMD F2 locomotive No. 400 in 1946. - NFL Jerseys and Gear
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A new EMD F2 locomotive acquired by the Atlantic and East Carolina Railway, circa July 23, 1946.

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The lease was forfeited in 1934 for nonpayment of rent and the A&NC began operating on its own in November 1935. On April 20, 1939, the stockholders voted to lease the railroad to H. P. Edwards, who organized the Atlantic & East Carolina Railway (A&EC) to operate the railroad. Within two years the A&EC was making a profit. The railroad dieselized in 1946 with two Electric-Motive (EMD) F2s, an SW1, and a General Electric 44-ton switcher.

In February 1957 the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the Southern Railway to purchase all the capital stock of the A&EC. By January 1958 the A&EC was listed under the Southern and currently exists as a subsidiary of the Southern.

The Morehead & South Fork Railroad, an independent short line, is essentially an extension of the A&EC from Morehead City to Beaufort, North Carolina.

See also:

Southern Railway

Railroads of the U.S.A.