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The Old North State No More

Known as the ‘Rip Van Winkle state’ in the 19th century, North Carolina was slower than neighboring states to embrace the emerging railroad technology that ushered in the industrial movement. The nickname was short-lived, however. The construction of the world’s largest railroad, the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, in 1840 was a defining moment for the state. Today, North Carolina is a force in the aerospace, biopharmaceutical, energy and agribusiness industries, and her 22 railroads carry commodities like coal, industrial chemicals, plastics and lumber along with stone and gravel used in construction. With the help of railroads, North Carolina is now a force to be reckoned with.