In 1857 the Sterling and Rock Island Railroad was incorporated. It got its charter in 1854, but the panic of 1857 slowed down the progress of railroads. Belcher became a director in 1858. It was said to have built track from Rock Island to Port Byron Junction located near what is now Seventh St. East Moline and then quit. Many in Port Byron lost money. Belcher was said to have lost $1,600.