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Short Career of the \"Willing But Slow\"

Since its incorporation in 1888, the town of Southport's residents had hoped for rail service to aid in the establishment of their town as a coaling station and shipping terminal at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. In 1905, a charter that eventually failed was granted to the South Atlantic Terminal Company. By 1911, a new company, the Wilmington, Brunswick, and Southport Railroad had begun daily rail service between Wilmington and Southport, including a spur line with a trestle extension that allowed coal burning steamers to fill their bunkers with coal directly from the railroad cars. During World War I, soldiers returning on leave dubbed the W.B.&S. the \"Willing But Slow\" due to its slow progress in returning them to their homes in Wilmington.
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