History Podcasts

West Virginia Railroad Stations - History

West Virginia Railroad Stations - History

Virginia Railroads In "The Old Dominion State"

Virginia railroads feature typical Appalachian operations plenty of coal moving from tipple to tidewater with stiff grades over the Blue Ridge that must be conquered to complete the journey. However, the Commonwealth also includes operations not often found in Appalachian states coastal plains.  Virginia is home to the port of Norfolk/Newport News, a large eastern seaboard facility that handles important container traffic and outbound coal shipments.  In addition, the state is home to north-to-south main lines like the former Southern, Atlantic Coast Line, and Seaboard Air Line.  From a train enthusiast's perspective at the time, it offered quite an eclectic display of operations.

The Old Dominion State may no longer be home to names like the Norfolk & Western or the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac, but today successors CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern carry on operating many of their, and other fallen flags’, lines. Additionally, Virginia is served by a handful of short lines, most of which are located in the eastern regions of the state (or directly along the coast).

Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 #382 winds its way along the fabled "Abingdon Branch" (Abingdon, Virginia-West Jefferson, North Carolina), colloquially known as the "Virginia Creeper," with a mixed train (freight/passenger) on October 1, 1956. Abandoned in 1977, today the right-of-way is the Virginia Creep Trail.

Virginia railroads date back to 1830 when the Petersburg Railroad was chartered to connect Petersburg, Virginia with Garysburg, North Carolina. A distance of about 62 miles the railroad opened its main line in 1833 and after operating for 65 years, it was merged into the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad in March of 1898 eventually becoming part of the Atlantic Coast Line system. The original Petersburg Railroad route became the Atlantic Coast Line's primary main line to Richmond and today it remains an important artery in successor CSX Transportation's system, more than 170 years since the route was constructed.  In the succeeding years following the opening of the Petersburg, Virginia would come to know many of the South’s most celebrated railroads.


The Washington, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad (WC&StL) was chartered in 1871 in Virginia as a narrow-gauge railway that would operate from Washington, D.C. west to Elkton, Harrisonburg, and Bridgewater, Virginia, through central West Virginia, before terminating in Cincinnati, Ohio. 2 Some right-of-way was purchased and some grading began before funding for the WC&StL ran dry in 1874.

In 1892, several promoters incorporated the Chesapeake, Shendun & Western Railroad to haul coal from West Virginia to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) at Gloucester Point, Virginia. 2 The railroad was quickly renamed the Chesapeake & Western Railroad (C&W). The C&W was projected to cross the Allegheny Mountains via North River Gap west of Harrisonburg, 1 utilizing a part of the WC&StL right-of-way. 2

Construction of the C&W began in 1895 in Harrisonburg, 2 and on March 23, 1896, a 26-mile segment between Bridgewater and the Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) at Elkton opened. 1 It included the erection of railroad shops in Elkton. The route included a five-mile, 2% grade over Massanutten Mountain west of Elkton and a 1.8% grade at Keezletown Hill.

The C&W reorganized as the Chesapeake Western Railway (CW) in 1901, and began construction of an extension into West Virginia and another through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Powell’s Gap, financed by New York investor Thomas Stokes who wanted to develop coal mines in western Rockingham County. 2 But after he became mired in financial technicalities, his brother purchased control of the C&W in 1900 and renamed it Tidewater & West Virginia Railroad, although the name reverted to the CW in 1901.

A section of the CW extension was completed to Stokesville at North River Gap to serve several logging railroads in 1902. Unfortunately, western Virginia’s coal proved to be of little value and there was not enough financing to construct the CW further west or east. Despite the lack of coal revenue and because of its exclusion a joint Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) and N&W “Union Station” in Harrisonburg, the company constructed a larger, more elaborate station in the city in 1913.

The CW between Stokesville and Mt. Solon was dismantled in 1930 after the logging railroads it depended upon ceased to operate, and the remainder to Bridgewater was abandoned in 1933. 2

Stokes continued to operate the CW until his death in 1926. 2 The company then fell into the hands of his estate who mismanaged the railroad. After Japanese interests offered to buy the line for scrap value in 1938, the CW was acquired by general manager Don Thomas. The purchase was underwritten by the N&W who saw the line as an important connector for its railroad.

The CW expanded in 1942 when it acquired the B&O between Harrisonburg and Lexington. 1 The company then dismantled the segment from Lexington to Staunton as it was redundant. The N&W assumed direct control of the CW in 1954.

The original CW line between Bridgewater and Pleasant Hill to the north was dismantled in 1987 because of a lack of traffic and in 1989, the railroad shops at Elkton were demolished. 1 The former B&O south of Pleasant Valley was mothballed in 1985 and in 1993, was sold to the Buckingham Branch Railroad which became the Shenandoah Valley Railroad.

Although the CW never reached its lofty expectations, a significant portion of the line remains active today as the Norfolk Southern Chesapeake Western Branch.

West Virginia Railroad Stations - History

The Parkersburg B&O train station in 1897.
Courtesy of Dan Kemper.

Looking west toward Green Street, the train station and Sixth Street in the 1930s. St. Xavier is on the right.

The station as it looked in the 1890s.

Men stand in front of the station in 1907.

Looking southeast from the corner of Sixth and Avery, around 1915.

Looking west on Sixth Street across the street from the train station in the early 1900s, you
can see where the tracks become elevated at Avery Street. The tall building was the
Van Winkle Hotel at the corner of Avery. It is now a beauty college
(Photo courtesy of Artcraft Studio, 519-521 Market Street, Parkersburg, WV 26101 (304) 485-5771.)

In this photo looking east, Parkersburgers gather at the station and on Sixth Street, possibly in 1917.

The Van Winkle Hotel stood at the northwest corner of Sixth and Avery.
It is now an office building and beauty college.
(Photo courtesy of Artcraft Studio, 519-521 Market Street, Parkersburg, WV 26101 (304) 485-5771.)

Shriners gather in front of the B&O station in the 1930s.

Looking east toward the station and Sixth Street from the top of the Avery Street Park-O-Loft in the 1950s.
The small brick building in the middle of the shot was the Amvets (American Veterana) Club at Sixth and Green.

Looking east on Sixth Street toward the corner of Avery: a train pulls out of the
station and enters the long approach to the bridge across the Ohio River.

The B&O Railroad line from Baltimore arrived in Parkersburg in 1857, and until the railroad bridge--spanning from the corner of 6th & Avery Streets to the town of Belpre--was built over the Ohio River, the city was a terminal from which all supplies and passengers had to be taken across by ferry or steamboat to connect with the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad. The 6th Street Station was built in 1883 and razed in 1973. The photo above, looking west in the 1950s, shows the station on the left, Avery Street in the near distance, and the tower of St. Francis Xavier on Market Street in the middle.

Looking eastward in 1967 from the B&O Railroad bridge, Garfield Avenue is in the foreground, and Sixth Street runs east below the elevated tracks. The red building at the southwest corner of Ann Street is the Henry Logan Methodist Church. Prominent in the background are the Chancellor Hotel and the Union Trust Building at Seventh and Market, and the white spire of the First Baptist Church at Market and Ninth.

The overhead tracks on Sixth Street, 1940s. between Ann and Juliana.
(Photo courtesy of Ben Barnett.)

Standing east of Sixth and Green, you're looking west toward the last passenger train that stopped at Parkersburg, on the morning of May 5, 1973. On the left is the back of the first house in the 500 block of Sixth Street. Under construction is the United Bank Building at Fifth and Avery. You can also see the top of St. X.

A train sits at the station in 1940. The tower of Washington Junior High School at Seventh and Green is in the background.


We are looking for new volunteers for our Front Desk/Docent position. As a non -profit we rely solely on volunteers to keep the museum open on a regular basis.

Front Desk/docent Volunteer:

Full day (9am-5pm) / Half Day AM (9am-1pm) / Half Day PM (1pm-5pm)

This position includes taking Admission, gift shop sales, answering the phone, light cleaning (dusting as needed), and answering visitor questions about the exhibit and museum.

Interested in becoming a Volunteer? please contact us


The purpose of the West Virginia Railroad Museum, Inc. is to be a cultural resource dedicated to educating visitors and the community about West Virginia’s railroad history.

This mission will be accomplished through the collection, preservation and interpretation of significant locomotives, rolling stock, artifacts, photographs and memorabilia directly related to railroads and railroading in West Virginia. In addition to static exhibits, select pieces of equipment in the collection are restored and operated throughout the year to demonstrate steam, gasoline, and diesel technology and provide visitors with a first-hand experience of our railroad history through the sights, sounds, and sensations of a train ride.

The West Virginia Railroad Museum will stimulate economic tourism development by promoting the essence and spirit of West Virginia’s railroad heritage through educational programs including operations, safety and interpretation of historic railroad equipment, structures, engineering and trackage.

**We are not affiliated with the Durbin & Greenbrier Scenic Railroad**

West Virginia Railroad Stations - History

A Brief History of Grafton

A postcard shows the Tygart River winding through Grafton and the steep hills of the cup-shaped valley in which it is nestled.

An aerial photo from 1931 shows an S-curve on U.S. Route 50 at Laurel Mountain.

And another postcard gives an indication of the Grafton mountainous terrain, also on U.S. Route 50 east of Grafton.

Surrounded by grazing country and scattered coal mines, Grafton is built on the steep hills of a cup-shaped valley located on the Tygart River, as shown by the postcard at right.

In 1773, by preemption, William Robinson acquired approximately 400 acres in the area that is now Grafton, but he never farmed or developed it. When the Irish construction crews for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad arrived in 1852, "the entire countryside was still a tangle of grapevines and wild berry briars," according to "West Virginia, A Guide to the Mountain State." Because Grafton was the end of the rail line for four divisions of the B&O, when the railroad was completed a community sprang to life there.

The town was incorporated in 1856 stories differ as to how Grafton got its name.

Some historians think that it was named for John Grafton, who worked for the B&O as a civil engineer during the railroad's construction.

Others think that it received its name from the railroad construction crews. Not that it makes this version any more true, but in his remarks at Grafton on Oct. 16, 1948, as part of his "Rear Platform" visit to West Virginia, President Harry Truman said, "I have always liked the story I read once about how Grafton got its name. As I remember it, it seems that the railroad construction crews that came in here about 100 years ago called this place on the railroad the 'grafting on' point because so many branch lines were hooked onto the main line here."

Because of its rail yards and shops, Grafton was of strategic importance during the Civil War, and over time was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops. Both sides realized the urgency to control the region, and as a result Grafton and the Taylor County area became a launching site for what is recognized as the first organized land battle of the Civil War, which took place at Philippi. Click here to see the Centennial Plate of the Philippi Covered Bridge a postcard of the bridge is below, right.

This postcard shows the B&O Roundhouse that was built between the town of Grafton and the Tygart River.

The first land battle of the Civil War took place at Philippi, which is south of Grafton.

The cemetery contains the remains of Thornsberry Bailey Brown, who is believed to be the first Union casualty of the Civil War when he was killed by a Confederate sentry on May 21, 1861.

After the war, which resulted in the creation of West Virginia as a Union state when it seceded from the rest of Virginia in 1863, the City of Grafton continued to grow, spurred on by the railroad, timber and manufacturing industries.

In 1867, Major R. C. Bates, under the direction of the U.S. War Department, selected a small, three-acre site adjacent to the Maple Avenue Cemetery in Grafton as a National Cemetery for the Union casualties throughout West Virginia.

In 1868, West Virginia's first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, dedicated the cemetery, which he had been instrumental in getting located in the state.

Although some Confederate soldiers were eventually buried at the Grafton National Cemetery, the vast majority of graves hold Union soldiers and the cemetery is now closed for new interments.

After the war, as the B&O extended branch lines into the surrounding regions to transport timber and coal, Grafton became the trade and transportation center for nearby coal and lumber towns. Around 1870, a large sawmill was constructed in the area to cut logs, which were floated down the Tygart River to be processed into lumber.

According to "West Virginia, a Guide to the Mountain State, "In 1872 Grafton aspired to become the State's capital. Delegates from near-by counties, presided over by Joseph Johnson, convened here and drafted resolutions instructing their delegates to the Constitutional Convention at Charleston to seek the removal of the capital from Charleston. Although it failed in this, [Grafton] succeeded in becoming the county seat in 1878."

The U.S. Census of 1880 showed that the population of Grafton was 3,030 and that Taylor County as a whole was 11,453. Twenty years later, in 1900, the City of Grafton had almost 12,000 residents it continued to grow, but at a slower pace, until the 1920's.

Above left, on May 15, 1962, the historic Andrews Church, built in 1873, became the International Mother's Day Shrine and in 1967 the congregation vacated the building to a new church building location. Above right, a postcard show the First National Bank of Grafton.

In 1911, the B&O Railroad opened an impressive new station that served Grafton until the mid-1970s. It is shown above, next to the Willard Hotel, which is also closed.

In 1908, Miss Anna Jarvis requested that a service be held at the Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton to honor her Mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, and other mothers throughout the world. This first Mother's Day service was held on May 10 of that year, and in 1914 Congress authorized the president to designate the second Sunday of each May as Mother's Day. Click here to see a Mother's Day plate.

Before the construction of interstate highways, getting to Grafton by automobile or truck was a challenge. The main highways into Grafton, U.S. 50 and U.S. 119, were famous for their hairpin turns and mountainous terrain with some of the deepest highway cuts in the country.

As noted earlier, the B&O Railroad played a major role in the City of Grafton's growth and provided employment for generations of families. In August 1911, the railroad dedicated an impressive new station that served the city until the mid 1970s. The B&O Station was built adjacent to the six-story Willard Hotel that was named for Daniel Willard, president of the B&O Railroad at the time of its construction. When it opened, The Willard was considered to be one of West Virginia's most elegant hotels, and the station matched its elegance with its marbled columns in the passenger lobby.

Most of current day Grafton was built between 1890 and 1930, and the city continued to prosper through the first half of the 20th century. However, in 1952 when the Carr China Company shut down it left hundreds of residents without jobs, as did the Hazel-Atlas Glass plant when it closed later in the decade. In 1958, the women of Grafton organized a parade through downtown Grafton as part of "Operation Survival" and carried a banner proclaiming that 1,500 jobs were needed. Their efforts received national attention and helped Grafton encourage a manufacturer of plastic baby toys to move to the area. Grafton was named an All-American City in 1962.

However, in the early 1980s the railroad relocated hundreds of jobs to Jacksonville, Fla., and as a result the city received yet another major economic setback. The population has dropped to slightly less than 5,000. Although Grafton has certainly seen better days, it seems to be turning the corner and is now headed in a more positive direction. New businesses are beginning to open along Main Street, and Grafton is experiencing new residential and commercial development for the first time in many decades.

Most of the preceding information was gleaned from the following sources:
"West Virginia, a Guide to the Mountain State," compiled by workers of the Writer's Program of the Work Projects Administration, 1941, Tour 22
"Images of America, Taylor County," prepared for the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society, Arcadia Publishing, 2000
City of Grafton West Virginia website, the History of Grafton section and
West Virginia National Cemetery website, the historical information section.

Railroad History & Preservation - Northeast

Abandoned Railroad Tunnels - Photos and histories of more than 130 abandoned railroad tunnels including Sand Patch Tunnel, Crozet Tunnel, East Broad Top tunnels, Manunka Chunk Tunnel, Oxford Tunnel, Haskell Pass Tunnel, Alpine Tunnel, Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, B&O Parkersburg Branch tunnels, and more

Addison Railroad - History of a 15-mile branch of the Rutland Railroad in Vermont

Age of Steam Roundhouse - Roundhouse built in 2010 to house Jerry Joe Jacobson's (former Ohio Central) steam locomotives Sugarcreek, Ohio

Akron Barberton Belt Railroad - History and photos of this Ohio railroad, now owned by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad

AltoonaWorks.info - History of the Altoona Works complex and the locomotives built, rebuilt, and completed in Altoona, Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail, and Norfolk Southern

Amazon.com Railroad History Books - Thousands of new, used, and out-of-print railroad history books

Ann Arbor Railroad Technical & Historical Association - Preserves the history of Michigan's Ann Arbor Railroad

Anthracite Railroads Historical Society - Authors, historians, railroad employees, photographers, model railroaders, and railfans interested in the railroads that served the anthracite coal mining region of eastern Pennsylvania

aRRts aRRchives - History and photos of the Long Island Rail Road

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (Cobble Hill Tunnel) - History of the world's oldest subway tunnel built in 1844 in Brooklyn, New York

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Photos - Photos of an abandoned railroad tunnel in Brooklyn, New York

Auctions on eBay - 100,000+ collectibles and railroadiana items including vintage ads, maps, timetables, tickets, stock certificates, watches, clocks, signs, lanterns, utensils, locks, apparel, and more

B&O Parkersburg Branch Tunnels - History and photos of 13 abandoned railroad tunnels in West Virginia

B&O RR Photo Tours - Photo tours of the Baltimore & Ohio's original mainline from Baltimore to Point of Rocks, Maryland, and the Washington Branch to Washington DC

Baldwin Locomotive Works - History and photos of the factory in Eddystone, Pennsylvania

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the history of the B&O Baltimore, Maryland

Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Club - Facilitates the restoration of the former Maine Central Railroad roundhouse in Bartlett, New Hampshire

Beaver-Lawrence Railway Historical Society - Owners of 100 year old B&O "UN" Tower in Conway, Pennsylvania (formerly the Beaver Valley Junction Chapter, NRHS)

Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad - History of the B&MLRR, established 1867 in Waldo County, Maine

Black Diamonds to Tidewater - History, photos, and maps of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh & New England Railroad, and Lehigh & Hudson River Railway

Black River Railroad Historical Trust - Preserves the heritage and history of railroading in Central New Jersey, and operates seasonal passenger excursions on the Black River & Western Railroad between Ringoes and Flemington

Blair, Bedford, and Broad Top Railroads - Documents the history of the railroads which operated in the Blair, Bedford, and Broad Top Region of West-Central Pennsylvania, including the Everett RR, Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain RR, and many Pennsylvania Railroad branchlines

Bluewater Michigan Chapter, NRHS - Dedicated to the preservation of railroad history, offering diesel-powered excursions with a restored passenger car fleet Royal Oak, Michigan

Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society - Preserves history and artifacts of the Boston & Maine, including steam locomotive 410 and its combine

Boston Street Railway Association - Devoted to the preservation of Boston's transit history through meetings, publications, projects, fantrips, and a bimonthly news magazine

Brian Carter's Web Pages - Information about the Maine two-foot railroads, garden railroading, and steam technology

Bridge Line Historical Society - Historical society of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad

Bridges & Tunnels of Allegheny County - History of railroads around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including Baltimore & Ohio, Bessemer & Lake Erie, Erie Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, Pittsburgh & Western, Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal, West Side Belt, and others

Bridges, Stations & Tunnels - Guide to the earliest, longest, highest, and largest railroad structures

Bridgton & Saco River Narrow Gauge Railroad - History of the railroad that linked Hiram and Bridgton, Maine until 1941

Brockville Railway Tunnel - Aims to restore and reopen Canada's first railway tunnel (built 1860) in Brockville, Ontario

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal (BEDT) - Documents, photos, and maps from a rail-marine terminal in Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn Historic Railway Association - Museum and trolley barn in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York with a fleet of 16 trolleys and a fully functional trolley line along the historic Red Hook waterfront

Brooks Preservation Society - Restores and maintains the former Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad station located in Brooks, Maine, plus B&ML motive power and rolling stock

Buck Mountain Coal Company Gravity Railroad - Brief history of the coal company and its 4-mile gravity railroad to the Lehigh River in Eastern Pennsylvania, plus photos of a remaining railroad tunnel

Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration - History from 1929 to the present Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway - History of the coal hauling railroad which ran from the coal fields of central Pennsylvania to the ports of Rochester and Buffalo, New York

Bytown Railway Society - Restoration and operation of a number of pieces of historic railway equipment located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

C&O New River Subdivision - Resources for modeling or learning about the C&O Railroad in the New River, particularly during the steam to diesel transition era

C&O's Piedmont Subdivision - Chronicles the history and development of the Piedmont Subdivision of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in Central Virginia, with photos, maps, and modeling information

C. Robert Craig Memorial Library - Materials that document the history of rail transportation in Canada, with an emphasis on eastern Ontario

Cambria and Indiana Railroad - History and pictures of the C&I, known primarily as a coal road in western Pennsylvania

Canada Atlantic Railway Research Site - History and rosters of this Ontario, Canada railway

Canton Viaduct - Second oldest multiple stone arch bridge still in active mainline use in the US Canton, Massachusetts

Cape Cod Chapter, NRHS - Preserves the history of Cape Cod railroading West Barnstable, Massachusetts

Central New York Chapter, NRHS - Dedicated to the preservation and restoration of unique railway depots and equipment Marcellus, New York

Central Railroad of New Jersey Project 113 - Restoration of a CNJ 0-6-0 steam locomotive in Minersville, Pennsylvania

Central Terminal Restoration Corporation - Founded in 1997 to oversee the stabilization and restoration of Central Terminal in Buffalo, New York

Central Vermont Railway Historical Society - Documents and preserves the history of the Central Vermont Railway and its successors, and publishes a quarterly magazine, The Ambassador

Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society - Devoted to the history of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, its predecessors, and successors

Chessie System Historical Society - Preserving the history of the Chessie System Railroad

Chignecto Ship Railway - History of a 17-mile railway built to transport ships between the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, abandoned in 1892 prior to completion

Cincinnati Railroad Club - Hobbyists interested in railroads ranging from the early iron horse of the 1800s through the present and into the future Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Traction History - Maps, photos, and history of the Cincinnati, Ohio area's streetcar, interurban, and railroad lines

Cincinnati's Abandoned Subway - Detailed history, news, and photo tour of Cincinnati, Ohio's subway, started in 1920 and never completed

Cincinnati, Lebanon and Northern Railroad - Southwestern Ohio railway acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad and later abandoned in the 1970s

Cleveland & Eastern Interurban Historical Society & Museum - Preserves artifacts and materials relating to Northeast Ohio's interurban railways

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway History - Historical information from the 1913 annual report of the New York Central Railroad

CNR in Ontario - Aids researchers and modelers looking for information on Canadian National Railway's stations in Ontario, Canada

Coal Towers - Photographs of coaling towers from the early 1900s

Coast Cities Railway Co. Historical Pictures - Pictures of the Coast Cities trolley line from Long Branch to Sea Girt, New Jersey between 1888 and 1931

Colin Churcher's Railway Pages - History of railways in Ottawa and throughout Canada

Collis P. Huntington Chapter, NRHS - Sponsors the New River Train excursions from Huntington to Hinton, West Virginia, and operates the Huntington Railroad Museum

Columbus Ohio Union Station - History and photos of the three Union Stations that occupied essentially the same site from 1850 to 1976 in Columbus, Ohio

Connecticut Eastern Chapter, NRHS - Operates the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum Willimantic, Connecticut

Conrail Historical Society - Encourages the writing, collection, and preservation of historical and contemporary material associated with Conrail

Crestline PRR Engine Facility - Chronicles the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad engine facilities at Crestline, Ohio

Crestline Roundhouse Preservation Society - Preserving the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Crestline, Ohio

Crozet Tunnel - History and photos of the famous 4273-foot railroad tunnel through the Blue Ridge Mountains, completed under the direction of Claudius Crozet in 1858

CSX History - History and photos of railroads that make up CSX, specifically those that still had engines in original paint at the time of the merger

Delaware & Hudson Railroad History - History of the D&H by the The Bridge Line Historical Society

Delaware and Hudson Virtual Museum - Photos, histories, and rosters collected by D&H fans worldwide

Delaware Valley Chapter, NRHS - Meets monthly in Morrisville, Pennsylvania

Detroit & Mackinac Railway Historical Society - Preserves the history of the D&M which operated in Michigan from 1894 until 1992

Dominion Atlantic Railway Digital Preservation Initiative (DARDPI) - History and photos of a western Nova Scotia fallen flag railway

Dunderberg Spiral Railway - History and photos of a pleasure railroad partially constructed in 1890-1891 on a mountain near Jones Point, New York

Dunderberg Spiral Railway Photos - Photos show the remains of an incomplete gravity railroad north of New York City

Durand Railroad Days - Annual celebration of railroad heritage in Durand, Michigan

Early Railroads - Records and firsts for railroad construction and operation in the U.S. and worldwide

East Broad Top Railroad Tunnels - History and photos of the EBT's two abandoned railroad tunnels

Electric Lines in Southern Ontario - History and photos of trolleys and streetcars in Southern Ontario, Canada

Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society - Preserves the history of Erie Lackawanna's passenger operations, and restores original dining cars to full operating condition

Erie Lackawanna Historical & Technical Society - Disseminates the history and information of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, the Erie Railroad, the Erie Lackawanna Railway, and their constituent and affiliated lines

Erie Lackawanna Historical Society - Preserving the history of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western, Erie, and Erie Lackawanna railroads for the fan, historian, and modeler

Erie Railroad - History and photos of the Erie, Lackawanna, and Erie Lackawanna Railroads, by Fred Stratton

Essex Railway Station - Restored stone railway station built in 1887 in Essex, Ontario, Canada

Fallen Flag Railroads of New Jersey - Retrospective look at New Jersey's railroads through maps, track and physical characteristics profiles, operating rules, and timetables in the pre Conrail and New Jersey Transit era

Flying Yankee Restoration Group - Partnership with the State of New Hampshire to restore and preserve historic rail equipment

Forgotten NY Subways & Trains - Extensive collection of photo essays from New York City including abandoned stations, former routes, the High Line, unique signage, freight operations, and more

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society - Operates Nickel Plate Road Berkshire-class steam locomotive No. 765 from New Haven, Indiana

Friends of Kingston Station - Advocates for the historic Kingston Station in southern Rhode Island

Friends of the East Broad Top - Educational and historical society dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the East Broad Top Railroad National Historic Landmark in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Friends of the NYW&B Highbrook Highline - Proposes to convert a section of former New York, Westchester & Boston Railway railbed into a two-acre greenway in Pelham, New York

Friends of The QueensWay - Plans to convert the former Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach Branch into a 3.5-mile recreation path and park in Queens, New York

Friends of the Steam Train - Supports the return of service on the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Friends of the Stewartstown Railroad - Preserving the Stewartstown Railroad in southern York County, Pennsylvania

Friends of the Valley Railroad - Preserves vintage rolling stock and structures at Connecticut's Valley Railroad Company, home of the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the railroad history of Crawford County with a variety of railcars on display Meadville, Pennsylvania

GG1 Homepage - History, specifications, and survivor list for the Pennsylvania Railroad's GG1 electric locomotive

Gorham Historical Society & Railroad Museum - Historic 1907 Grand Trunk Railroad depot houses an extensive collection of railroad equipment and railroadiana, plus a model railroad Gorham, New Hampshire

Grand Central Terminal - Diagrams of tracks, signals, and interlockings at NYC's GCT from 1931 into the 1960s

Grand Trunk Western Historical Society - Rosters, photos, newsletter, and society information Durand, Michigan

Grand Trunk Western Railroad - History and photos of the GTW in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

Griffith Historical Park & Depot Museum - Railroad history exhibits in a 1911 Grand Trunk Railroad depot Griffith, Indiana

Guelph Historical Railway Association - Dedicated to preserving the railway history of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, including the Guelph Junction Railway, Toronto-Guelph Radial Railway, Great Western Railway, Grand Trunk, Galt and Guelph Railway, Wellington Grey and Bruce Railway, CP, CN, and Guelph Street Railway

Haley Tower Historical & Technical Society - Operates the Wabash Valley Railroader's Museum museum with working interlocking tower in Terre Haute, Indiana

Halifax & Southwestern Railway Digital Preservation Initiative (HSWDPI) - History and photos of a western Nova Scotia fallen flag railway

Harrisburg Chapter, NRHS - Operates the Harris Tower Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Hespeler Heritage Railway Station Association - Dedicated to the purchase and restoration of the CN (ex GTR) railway station in Hespeler, Ontario, Canada

High Line Virtual Tour - Photos of New York City's High Line prior to its conversion to a greenway

High Line, Friends of the - Non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line, a 1.5 mile elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan, New York

Historic Bridges of Michigan and Elsewhere - Photos, maps, histories, and technical information about railroad and highway bridges in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and neighboring states

Historical USGS Topographic Maps - Free historical USGS topographic map collection by railroad historian Chris Marshall, including New England and Mid Atlantic states

Hoboken Shore Railroad - Photos and historical information about this abandoned railroad in Hoboken, New Jersey

Hocking Valley Railway Information Center - Brings together fans of the HV and its successors (C&O, CSXT, I&O) and affiliates (T&OC, K&M, Z&W) in Ohio site includes photos, building diagrams, route guides, roster, and more

Hoosac Tunnel Then and Now - Photos and information about the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel in northwest Massachusetts

Horseshoe Curve Chapter, NRHS - Preserves and maintains historical equipment and information relating to railroads in Blair County, Pennsylvania

How Things Worked On The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad - A former railroad electrician explains in words and pictures how to hump boxcars, how ice air conditioners worked on passenger equipment, how the Genny Motors work, a diagram of trucks, and how to pull the pin

Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse of Jersey City - History, photos, and preservation strategies for a 1908 subway powerhouse

Industrial & Offline Terminal Railroads of New York - Extensive histories, maps, and photos of former industrial railroads and locomotives in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Manhattan

Jersey Central Chapter, NRHS - Preserves and restores railroad equipment and sponsors fan trips Westfield, New Jersey

Keystone Crossings - Extensive history of The Pennsylvania Railroad, by Jerry Britton

Kinzua Bridge - Petition for the restoration of Kinzua Bridge in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania, struck by a tornado on July 21, 2003 Kinzua was constructed in 1882, 301 feet high and 2053 feet long

Kodtrak - History of the Ontario & Western, New York Central, Rail City, and other New York railroads

Lackawanna Cutoff Then & Now - History and photos of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad's 28.5-mile New Jersey Cutoff between Port Morris and Slateford Junction

Lake Odessa Michigan Depot - Photos and history of the Queen Anne style depot, built around 1888 by the Detroit, Lansing & Northern Railroad

Lake Shore Railway Historical Society, NRHS - Operates a museum in a restored 1899 New York Central passenger station North East, Pennsylvania

Lancaster Chapter, NRHS - Railroad historical society in Christiana, Pennsylvania

Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society - Operates the 16-mile Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad between Milford and Cooperstown, New York

Lehigh Valley Railroad - Maps, timetables, and photos of the LV in Pennsylvania and New York

Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the memory of the LVRR and its employees in upstate New York

Lehigh Valley Railroad Survivors - Database of surviving LVRR locomotives, rolling stock, structures, and routes

Lenawee County Railroad - Map, photos, and history of the shortline LCRC which operated in Adrian, Michigan from 1977 to 1990

Ligonier Valley Rail Road Association - Preserves the legacy of the Ligonier Valley Rail Road that ran between Ligonier and Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Little River Railroad and Lumber Company - History of life on the Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains

Locomotive Records - Guide to the earliest, fastest, heaviest, largest, and most powerful steam locomotives

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) History - History of the LIRR since its inception in 1834

Lowline - Aims to convert the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal beneath Delancey Street into New York City's first subterranean park

MACK Locomotive Restoration - Preserving the last locomotive built by the Mack Truck Company in 1939

Manheim Historical Society - Preservation of some of the landmarks that have characterized the Borough of Manheim, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, including Birney Trolley Car #236 and the Manheim Railway Station (built in 1881)

Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society - Preserves the heritage of the historic Ma & Pa Railroad with train rides in Muddy Creek Forks, Pennsylvania

Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts - Organizes specially-chartered excursion trains in cooperation with Amtrak, Boston's MBTA, and many other railroads in the Northeast

Merwinsville Hotel Restoration - The last trackside railroad hotel east of the Mississippi, built in 1842 as a meal stop for travelers on the Housatonic Railroad Gaylordsville, Connecticut

Metropolitan Union Terminal - Historical information about the New York Ontario & Western (NYO&W)

Michigan Central Station Preservation Society - Dedicated to the restoration of the 1913 train station in Detroit, Michigan

Michigan Passenger Stations - Photos and histories of several stations in Michigan, by Louis Van Winkle

Michigan Railroad History Conference - Bi-yearly conference with scholarly papers on railroad history presented at various locations in Michigan

Mid-Michigan Railway Historical Society - Sponsors railfanning trips to visit railroad facilities and model railroads, displays and operates a modular HO layout, and meets for railfan slide/video shows Flint, Michigan

Middletown & New Jersey Railway Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Middletown Unionville & Water Gap, Middletown & Unionville, Middletown & New Jersey, and other area railroads

Midwest Railway Preservation Society - Owns more than 20 pieces of vintage rolling stock including Mikado steam locomotive #4070 at the former B&O Roundhouse in Cleveland, Ohio

Military Railroads & Locomotives of the New York Metropolitan Area - History of railroads and locomotives that were located on military bases and installations throughout the New York area

Monongahela & Duquesne Inclines - History of the two remaining incline railways in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Montour Railroad Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving the history of the Montour Railroad, a coal-hauling shortline that operated in the areas south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania between 1879 and 1985

Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association - Collects, preserves, and interprets the history of shortline and industrial railroads and the forest and mining industries of West Virginia, and sponsors the annual railfan weekend at the Cass Scenic Railroad

Mt. Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society - Working to restore the incline railway at Beacon, New York

Muskegon Railroad Historical Society - Preserves Michigan railroad history and operates O, HO, and N scale model railroad layouts Muskegon, Michigan

Nashua City Station - Resource about the railroads and electric railways in and around the city of Nashua, New Hampshire

New England Railroad History and Modeling Page - Historical, roster, and modeling information on the Boston & Maine Railroad and other New England Railroads

New England Steam Corporation - Aims to restore and operate Maine Central 4-6-2 steam locomotive #470

New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association - Dedicated to the preservation of the history of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company

New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving the history of the railroads that have operated in New Jersey, with special emphasis on the New Jersey Midland, successor NYS&W, and connecting and affiliated lines

New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center - Preserving the history of railroads and other transportation in New Jersey

New York Central System Historical Society - History, photos, books, and membership information

New York City Abandoned Subway & Elevated Stations - History, diagrams, and photos of abandoned stations

New York Railroad Enthusiasts - Group of railfans, photographers, historians, and modelers in the New York City area

New York State Railroads - Articles cover a variety of rail history topics in New York State, including the New York Central Railroad

New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society - Preserves the rich railroad history of New Jersey, most specifically the NYS&W

New York's Capital District - History of New York's Capital Region railroads, industries, and inventions

New York, Westchester & Boston Railway - History, maps, rosters, and photos of a electric commuter railroad that operated from 1912 to 1937 in the Bronx and Westchester County, New York

Newfoundland Railway - History of the 906 mile narrow gauge railway that operated from 1898 to 1988 on the island of Newfoundland, Canada

Newtown Branch Preservation Foundation - Seeks to preserve the Reading Railroad's Newtown Branch northeast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Niagara Frontier Chapter, NRHS - Dedicated to the preservation and education of railroad history in western New York, the province of Ontario, and neighboring regions

Nicholson Online - Photos and history of the Nicholson Bridge (Tunkhannock Viaduct) in Nicholson, Pennsylvania, built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1915

Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society - Dedicated to preserving and disseminating information concerning the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad and its predecessor railroads

Norfolk and Western Historical Society - Preserves the history of the Norfolk & Western and Virginian railroads

North Central Pennsylvania Railroads - Historic maps, photos, and articles about railroads and stations

North Jersey Chapter, NRHS - Meets monthly in Bloomfield, New Jersey

North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society - Specializing in the history of northern New Jersey's electric railways

Northeast Pennsylvania Railroads - Photos of abandoned railroads in northeast Pennsylvania

Northern New England Railroads - Extensive illustrated guide to the historical and present day operations of railroads in New England, including Central Vermont, Vermont Railway, Green Mountain, Boston & Maine, Maine Central, Grand Trunk, Bangor & Aroostook, and more

Northern Ohio Association of Railroad Societies - Blanket organization with a desire to help all area rail groups communicate with each other and to promote their common interests in the community

Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. - 15" gauge live-steam train rides with Engine 901 from Israelite House of David, plus displays of railroad artifacts Findlay, Ohio

Nova Scotia Railway Hall of Fame - Honoring the builders of Nova Scotia's Iron Roads

Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society - Information about many railway heritage sites and museums in Nova Scotia, Canada

Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present - Photos and information about train stations throughout the state

OldNYC.com - Explores some of the many facets of New York City's transportation infrastructure, including virtual tours of abandoned and little used railroad lines

Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society - Chapter of the NRHS dedicated to preserving the heritage of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway Middletown, New York

Ottawa Railway History Circle - Members interested in researching railway subjects in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Penn Central - Historical information about the Penn Central Railroad

Penn Central Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the history of the Penn Central Transportation Company, including its people and equipment, its heritage before its formation in 1968, its all-too-brief life, and its slow fade into Conrail

Penn Central Railroad Online - FAQ, photos, maps, rosters, clipart, and more, by Jerry Jordak

Pennsylvania Coal Company Gravity Railroad - Brief history of the PCC's coal-hauling gravity railroad, plus photos of its abandoned tunnel near Scranton, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Railroad Erie County Branches - Documents the PRR branches that served Erie County, Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia & Erie, Erie & Pittsburgh, and Chautauqua branches

Pennsylvania Railroad Stations Past & Present - Photos and information about train stations throughout the state

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society - Preserving the heritage of "The Standard Railroad of the World" for future generations, with 11 local chapters throughout the US

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society New England Chapter - Dedicated to the study and preservation of the Pennsylvania Railroad (1846-1968)

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society Philadelphia Chapter - Preserves the history and memory of the Pennsylvania Railroad operations in the greater Philadelphia area

Pere Marquette Historical Society - Collects and disseminates information regarding the Pere Marquette Railroad, a Class One road which served Michigan, Ontario, Indiana, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad History - Owns 16.3 miles of track along the Philadelphia waterfront, operated by Conrail Shared Assets, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Canadian Pacific

Philadelphia Trolley Tracks - Comprehensive site with photos, maps, and rosters of trolleys in Philadelphia and Norristown, Pennsylvania, now operated by SEPTA

Phillipsburg Railroad Historians - Operates a museum and the Centerville & Southwestern miniature railroad in Phillipsburg, New Jersey

Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the history of a coal hauling railroad that has operated for nearly 100 years in Jefferson and Armstrong counties in western Pennsylvania

Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern Railroad Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving and disseminating the history of the Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern Railroad Company, a Western Pennsylvania and New York coal hauling railroad, as well as its predecessor lines

Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway Co. Hi-Line - History, photos, documents, and modeling of the P&WV and its connections

Pittsburgh Incline Railways - History and photos of the Monongahela Incline and Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Potomac Chapter, NRHS - Railfans in the Washington DC area

Pottstown & Reading Chapter, NRHS - Meets monthly in Exeter Township, Pennsylvania

Quakertown Train Station Historical Society - Preserving the 1902 Reading Railroad station in Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Quebec Central Railway - History, map, photos, and more about the QCR

Railroad History Archive - Several collections by the University of Connecticut Libraries, including the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Archives

Railroad Stations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts - Devoted to the location, history, and current uses of railroad stations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Railroads in Historic Burlington City - History of railroads since 1834 in Burlington City, New Jersey

Railway Chronicles - Video documentary series and website dedicated to chronicling the history of Canadian railways including those in Eastern Ontario

Railway Historical Society of Northern New York - Working to restore a Shay engine and Rutland Railroad combine car Croghan Depot, New York

Railways of Eastern Ontario - History and timelines of eastern Canada railways including Brockville, Westport & Sault Ste Marie Bytown & Prescott Brockville & Ottawa Irondale Bancroft & Ottawa Grand Trunk Canadian National Canadian Pacific

Railways of Ottawa - History of various Ottawa Canada railway subjects

Raritan River Railroad - Photos and history of the 12.6-mile shortline that operated between South Amboy and New Brunswick, New Jersey

Ravenna Railroad Historical Society - Preserving the history of the railroads in Ravenna, Ohio, and working to acquire two interlocking towers

Reading Company Technical & Historical Society - Operates the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Reading Railroad Online - Information on the history, equipment, and operations of the Reading Company, once a 1,300 mile railroad system in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

Reading Viaduct Project - Aims to develop an elevated linear park on the former Reading Railroad Viaduct in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Record Railroad Routes - Guide to the highest, steepest, and longest railroad grades worldwide

Remembering the Maine Central Railroad - Rosters, photos, and drawings of MC rolling stock

Remsen Depot - Replica of the original 1890's depot serves the Adirondack Scenic RR Remsen, New York

Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad Historical Society - Preserves the history of the RF&P through education, historical and technical research, preservation, and modeling

Rick's Monon Railroad Site - Photos, Train Gifs, history, maps, and rosters of the Monon in Indiana

Rob's PRR Page - Pennsylvania Railroad rosters, equipment diagrams, signal plans, photos, and other historical documents

Rochester & Eastern Rapid Railway - Pictures and information about this electric interurban railway that connected Rochester and Geneva, New York from 1903 to 1930

Rochester Chapter, NRHS - Preserves the railroad history of Rochester and Western New York

Rochester Subway - Historical information and photos from the Rochester Industrial Rapid Transit Railway in Rochester, New York

Rochester Subway Tour - Photo tour of the abandoned subway in Rochester, New York

Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad - History and photos of the former Central New York railroad

Runaway - Complete dispatcher audio, transcript, photos, and news articles of a runaway Canadian National train in 1987

Rutland Railroad Historial Society - Preserving the history of the Rutland Railroad Rutland, Vermont

Shohola Glen Switchback Gravity Railroad - History of a gravity railroad built in 1886 that served Shohola Glen Amusement Park in Northeast Pennsylvania

South Pennsylvania Railroad - History, maps, and photos of a railroad that was never completed but was to become the base for the Pennsylvania Turnpike

South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation - Owns steam-era passenger coaches, freight equipment, and locomotives, including Canadian Pacific Railway steam locomotive #136, operated at the South Simcoe Railway in Tottenham, Ontario, Canada

Southampton Railroad Station Society - Dedicated to restoring the train station on the former Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Newtown Branch in Southampton, Pennsylvania

Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society - Leads many restoration efforts including recently completed 0-6-0 Alco switcher and ETR steam locomotive No. 9 St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

Steam Operations of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway at Hinton, WV - 30 years of research, history, and drawings of the C&O yard and shops at Hinton, West Virginia

STEAM Railroad Museum - Locomotives and rolling stock undergoing restoration in Minerva, Ohio

Stewartstown Railroad - History of a shortline railroad in southern York County, Pennsylvania

Stuff That's Gone - Photos and history of abandoned railroad stations, bridges, tunnels, and other structures in Pennsylvania

Susquehanna Valley Railway Historical Society - NRHS chapter meets monthly in Vestal, New York

Sussex Branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad - History, maps, photos, and modeling information about the DL&W Sussex Branch

Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation - History, virtual ride, and trail information about the Mauch Chunk Switchback, a coal hauling railroad built in eastern Pennsylvania (Jim Thorpe to Summit Hill) in 1927

The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train - Commemorates the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's funeral train from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois

The 470 Railroad Club - Preserves the history of the Maine Central and New England railroading Portland, Maine

The Alphabet Route - Histories, rosters, maps, photos, timetables, and more about the Midwest and Northeast railroads that joined together in 1931 to compete against the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad, including the Nickel Plate, Wheeling & Lake Erie, Pittsburgh & West Virginia, Western Maryland, Reading, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh & Hudson River, and New York, New Haven & Hartford

The Broad Way: A Pennsylvania Railroad Home Page - Historical documents, photos, maps, railfan guides, and more about the PRR

The Embankment - Aims to develop a public park on the half-mile elevated stone structure that once carried the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Hudson River

The Franz Swing - History and photos by a telegraph operator who revisits this historical station in Ontario, Canada

Thurman Station Association - Dedicated to rebuilding the train station in Thurman, New York

Thurso and Nation Valley Railway - History of the last logging railway in eastern Canada

Toronto Railway Historical Association - Committed to preserving Toronto's railroad heritage by creating a museum in the John St. roundhouse Ontario, Canada

Toronto Transportation Commission - Unofficial site with history, roster, photos, modeling information, and preserved equipment listing

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway Historical Society - Prototype and modeling information about the TH&B which existed from 1892 through 1987 and served the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada area

Train Records - Guide to the fastest, longest, and heaviest trains in U.S. and world history

Train Wrecks - Guide to the earliest, deadliest, and strangest train wrecks, crashes, derailments, and accidents

TrainsAreFun - Long Island Rail Road history, maps, photos, and modeling information

Tremont Underground Theater Space (TUTS) - Proposal to convert an abandoned Boston subway tunnel into theaters, galleries, and trolley museum

Tri-State Railway Historical Society - Meets monthly in Morristown, New Jersey

Tri-States Railway Preservation Society - Maintains railroad memorabilia exhibits in Port Jervis, New York

Twin Forks Chapter, NRHS - Dedicated to the past, present, and future of railroading on Long Island, New York

UC&SV Route - Aims to restore train service on the former Lackawanna Railroad grade between Bridgewater and Richfield in central New York

Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society - Chapter of the NRHS, focused on the railroad history of the Catskills and Hudson Valley including the U&D, Delaware and Northern, Catskill Mountain, Catskill & Tannersville, and Otis Elevating Railroads

United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey - Supports the preservation of historical railroad equipment and artifacts for the proposed New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Heritage Center

United States Capitol Subway System - Three underground electric light rail systems operated by the US Government connect the Capitol Building to the House and Senate office buildings in Washington, DC

Utica & Mohawk Valley Chapter, NRHS - Meets monthly in New Hartford, New York

Vermont Historical Society - Information about railroad operations in and around Bellows Falls, Vermont

ViaductGreene - Advocates for the creation of more than two miles of linear greenspace along the former Reading Railroad Viaduct, City Branch, and Pennsylvania Avenue Tunnel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wabash Railroad and Michigan Railroads - Historical photos of the Wabash Railroad and Michigan short lines and logging railroads

Wabash Railroad Historical Society - Dedicated to the collection and preservation of historical artifacts, data, photos, and drawings on the history, operation, and equipment of the Wabash Railroad and its predecessors

Walker Transportation Collection - Photos, slides, maps, documents, artifacts, and models of most transportation methods used in New England Beverly, Massachusetts

Walkway Over The Hudson - New York's historic Poughkeepsie Highland Railroad Bridge reopened in 2009 as a pedestrian bridge and state park over the Hudson River

Washington DC Chapter, NRHS - Sponsors a series of trips, tours, events, and excursions

West Jersey Chapter, NRHS - Dedicated to preserving the rich rail heritage of a region steeped in rail history, regional folklore, and American traditions Palmyra, New Jersey

West Virginia Railroad Museum - Restoring steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, and rolling stock to be operated on 122 miles of state-owned trackage in the Elkins, West Virginia area

Western Connecticut Chapter, NRHS - Preserves railroad knowledge and history in the greater New England area, and operates the SONO Switch Tower Museum in South Norwalk, Connecticut

Western Maryland Railway Historical Society - Preserves the history of the WM, including a collection of artifacts, memorabilia, photos, and N scale layout in a former depot in Union Bridge, Maryland

Western Maryland Railway West Sub - Extensive history, photos, and maps of the Western Maryland West Subdivision between Hagerstown and Cumberland, Maryland, as well as the East, Hanover, Lurgan, Connellsville, Thomas, and George's Creek Subdivisions

Western Maryland Survivors, LLC - Supports the preservation, restoration, and operation of surviving Western Maryland Railway equipment

Western New York Railway Historical Society - Dedicated to preserving Western New York's railroad heritage through restoration projects and other events

Wheeling & Lake Erie Historical Society - Chapter of the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society dedicated to preserving and disseminating information about the Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad, past and present

Winifrede Railroad - Shortline railroad in West Virginia that closed in 1988

Wopsononock Railroad & Resort - History of a former narrow gauge railroad and resort near Altoona, Pennsylvania

We’re scouting for volunteers for our 2020 season. Are you a railroad buff with knowledge to share? Are you a “people person” who likes to meet visitors from near and far? Are you an educator who has great ideas for railroad-related programming?

Whoever you are, we’d love to bring you aboard as a West Virginia Railroad Museum Volunteer. We will officially open for the 2020 season on April 25th, and our new exhibit will be 󈧘 – 󈧘 Visions: 100 Years of West Virginia Railroading.

Please visit our Volunteer page to learn more!

Orange and Alexandria Railroad

Chartered in 1848, the O&A made Alexandria its headquarters including a yard and shop area. Construction of the railroad started southward in 1850 at a point along the Potomac River waterfront. Tudor Hall, later renamed Manassas Junction (located in the area of today's Fairview Avenue road crossing east of the Manassas Amtrak passenger station), was reached in October 1851. The rails reached Gordonsville in 1854 where a link with the Virginia Central RR (later to become the Chesapeake & Ohio RR) provided a through route to Richmond and Charlottesville. Using trackage rights on the Virginia Central to reach from Gordonsville to Charlottesville, the O&A built southward from Charlottesville to reach Lynchburg by 1860.

The O&A RR was the first railroad constructed on the south side of the Potomac River near Washington, DC. At that time a wagon road bridge across the Potomac existed at the site of today's Long Bridge, but was not able to carry the weight of rail traffic. All freight and passenger traffic across the river had to be carried by horse drawn wagon to reach the B&O in Washington. In 1854 an affiliate of the O&A RR called the Alexandria & Washington RR (A&W RR) was chartered which completed a line in 1858 from Alexandria the six miles to the foot of the bridge. To meet the need to ship supplies south during the Civil War, a new bridge was constructed in 1863 capable of carrying rail traffic. During the war the A&W RR was taken over by the US Government and the line was extended over the new bridge to a connection with the B&O RR in Washington. The US Military Railroad operated the A&W along with its connections, the Alexandria, Loudon & Hampshire, and the north end of the O&A RR as part of the Military Railroad of Northern Virginia. After the war the A&W RR, along with its extension to the B&O RR in Washington, was operated by the Washington, Alexandria and Georgetown RR.

In 1866, after the end of the Civil War, the B&O began to buy control of the O&A RR. Then, in 1870 under the control of the B&O RR, the Manassas Gap RR was merged into the O&A RR and the combined line was named the Orange, Alexandria & Manassas RR. Meanwhile the B&O suffered a serious setback in 1870 when the Baltimore & Potomac RR (B&P RR), a subsidiary of the PRR, built a line from Baltimore to Pope's Creek with a branch line from Bowie via Benning, Md to Washington and the Long Bridge. Then, through legal tactics, the B&P RR gained control of the Long Bridge. In the process the PRR severed the B&O's connection to the O&A and the south as the PRR also gained control of the line on the Virginia side of the river from the bridge to Alexandria in 1872. The B&O's response was to build a new branch line from their main line at Hyattsville, Md. to a point on the Potomac River across from Alexandria, Va. A car float operation was established to ferry freight cars across the river to connect with the tracks of the Orange, Alexandria & Manassas RR. This arrangement would remain in place until the turn of the century when the Potomac Yards were constructed.

In 1872 the OA&M RR was merged with the Lynchburg & Danville RR to form the Virginia & North Carolina RR which was renamed the following year as the Washington City, Virginia Midland & Great Southern RR which entered receivership in 1876. Also in 1876, the Charlottesville & Rapidan RR was incorporated to construct a direct line between Orange and Charlottesville. This line was eventually merged into the Southern railway and today serves as Norfolk Southern's mainline between the two cities. The original line between Orange and Gordonsville was leased to the Chesapeake & Ohio RR.

In 1881 the WC,VM&GS RR was reorganized by the B&O RR and the name was shortened to Virginia Midland RR (VM RR). The VM RR was leased to the Richmond & Danville RR in 1886. The R&D RR along with the VM RR became part of the Southern Railway in 1894.

Southern Railway is the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined since the 1830s. The nine-mile South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Co., Southern's earliest predecessor line, was chartered in December 1827 and ran the nation's first regularly scheduled passenger train - the wood-burning "Best Friend of Charleston" - out of Charleston, S.C., on Christmas Day 1830. By 1833, its 136-mile line to Hamburg, S.C., was the longest in the world. As railroad fever struck other Southern states, networks gradually spread across the South and even across the Allegheny Mountains. Charleston and Memphis, Tenn., were linked by 1857, although rail expansion halted with the start of the Civil War. Known as the "first railroad war," the Civil War left the South's railroads and economy devastated. Most of the railroads, however, were repaired, reorganized and operated again. In the area along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, construction of new railroads continued throughout Reconstruction.

Southern Railway, as it came into existence in 1894, was combination of the Richmond & Danville system and the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad. The company owned two-thirds of the 4,400 miles of line it operated, and the rest was held through leases, operating agreements and stock ownership. S outhern also controlled the Alabama Great Southern and the Georgia Southern and Florida, which operated separately, and it had an interest in the Central of Georgia. Southern's first president, Samuel Spencer, drew more lines into Southern's core system. During his 12-year term, the railway built new shops at Knoxville, Tenn., and Atlanta, and purchased more equipment. He moved the company's service away from an agricultural dependence on tobacco and cotton and centered its efforts on diversifying traffic and industrial development. By the time the line from Meridian, Miss., to New Orleans was acquired in 1916 under Southern's president Fairfax Harrison, the railroad had attained the 8,000-mile, 13-state system that marked its territorial limits for almost half a century. The Central of Georgia became part of the system in 1963, and the former Norfolk Southern Railway Co. was acquired in 1974.

Southern and its predecessors were responsible for many firsts in the industry. Its predecessor, the South Carolina Canal & Rail Road Co., was the first to carry passengers, U.S. troops and mail on steam-powered trains, and it was the first to operate at night. In 1953, Southern Railway became the first major railroad in the United States to convert totally to diesel-powered locomotives, ending its rich history in the golden age of steam.

From dieselization and shop and yard modernization, to computers and the development of special cars and the unit coal train, Southern often was on the cutting edge of change, earning the company its catch phrase, "The Railway System that Gives a Green Light to Innovations." In 1982 the Southern Railway merged with the Norfolk & Western Railway to form Norfolk Southern.

The B&O Richwood Branch was originally built as the West Virginia & Pittsburgh Railroad (WV&P), which was incorporated on January 30, 1876. 5 It consisted of the Clarksburg, Weston & Midland Railroad (CW&M) and the Buckhannon River Railroad (BR). 11

The CW&M, incorporated on April 10, 1889, 11 comprised of the following:

  • Weston & West Fork Railroad, formed on March 4, 1875, attempted to construct 24.9 miles of track between Clarksburg and Weston.
  • Clarksburg, Weston & Glenville Railroad, incorporated on August 6, 1878, finished the work of the Weston & West Fork. By September 1879, 24.9 miles of narrow-gauge track was open between Clarksburg and Weston.
  • Buckhannon & West Fork Railroad, incorporated on April 10, 1882, built 15.8 miles of narrow-gauge track from Weston to Buckhannon.
  • Buckhannon River Lumber Company, incorporated on October 15, 1885, constructed 13.3 miles of narrow-gauge line from Buckhannon to Indian Camp Run (Calico Run) in 1886.
  • Weston & Elk River Railroad, formed on February 20, 1889, attempted to build a line from Weston south towards Charleston via the Elk River. No line was built.

The Buckhannon River Railroad, formed on August 13, 1889, was never built. 11

The WV&P fell into receivership in 1898 and on June 1, the WV&P was acquired by Johnson N. Camden and Clarence Cary. The railroad’s projected southern terminus was then modified to be the mouth of the Williams River near present-day Cowen, in Webster County, to extract the area’s virgin timber forests.

The WV&P was extended from Weston south to Sutton via Flatwoods in 1890-91, and to Camden-on-Gauley in 1891-92. 4

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad

On August 31, 1899, 5 the WV&P and its 17 locomotives, 18 passenger cars, and 530 freight cars were leased by the B&O. 4 (It was not until December 31, 1990, that the WV&P was fully merged into the B&O’s ultimate successor, CSX. 5 )

The renamed B&O Richwood Branch was completed to Richwood in 1901, providing a railroad connection between the B&O and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O). 5

At the time, Richwood was known as Cherry Tree Bottoms and had a population of 27. 6 Richwood, named so because of the area’s rich abundance of timber, incorporated in 1901 and rapidly developed. By 1930, the town had blossomed to a population of nearly 7,000. 7 It boasted the Steele-Wallace Clothespin Factory, the largest in the world at the time, the Cherry River Boom & Lumber Company, the Cherry River Paper Company, the J.D. Wescott & Son broom and chair factory, and the Wm. F. Mosser Company, the largest sole leather factory. 8

Further north, Weston developed as the center of several glass manufacturing plants. 14 The companies were initially drawn to the region because of the availability and affordability of natural gas, which made glass production competitive.

The freight depot at Lost Creek became the largest shipping point for cattle on the entire B&O in the state. 12 By 1923, it became the largest cattle shipping point east of the Mississippi River with 275 cars needed to carry between 4,000 to 5,000 cattle. The depot had been built in 1892 by the WV&P and served unbroken blocks of grazing lands for cattle controlled by the Goff, Gore, Haymond, Lowndes, Lucas, Maxwell, and Reynolds families. By the 1930s, the county had become one of the biggest beef cattle producing regions in the eastern United States.

Coal mining was developed around Richwood after the Great Depression but collapsed after 500 coal mining jobs were lost in 1984 and 1985. 7


The C&O took financial control of the B&O in 1963. 2 The B&O at that point already had a controlling interest in the Western Maryland Railway (WM). In 1973, the three railroads were brought together under one identity, the Chessie System. The WM was formally merged into the B&O in 1976.

In 1980, the Chessie and the Seaboard Coast Line, which controlled the Louisville & Nashville, the Clinchfield, and Georgia railroads, merged to form the CSX Corporation. 2 Despite the consolidation, CSX never had its own identity until 1986, when all of the merged entities was renamed CSX Transportation (CSX).

In April 1987, the B&O was formally absorbed into the C&O, which merged into CSX in August. 2


The first abandonment of the B&O Richwood Branch came in the 1940s when the line between Weston and Orlando was abandoned. 15 The B&O opted to route through trains from Orlando northeast to Buckhannon via the Coal & Coke Railway, and then west to Weston via the B&O Pickens Branch (originally the Weston & Buckhannon). The Coal & Coke had been acquired by the B&O in 1916, becoming their Charleston Branch. 16

During the 1970s and 1980s, increased foreign competition caused one glass company after another to close in Weston. With little originating traffic in the city, CSX discontinued use of the Richwood Branch between Weston and McWhorter on August 25, 1989. 13

After the coal mines around Richwood never reopened, CSX abandoned the Richwood Branch between Cowen and Richwood in 1990. 9 The Cranberry Tri-Rivers Rail-Trail committee purchased the right-of-way for $189,000 after securing a $69,000 grant from the Georgia-Pacific Company, which operated a large mill in Richwood. The company retained the rights to operate the trail as a logging haul road during the off-season to move cut timbers into Richwood.

In September 1998, the state dedicated the new six-mile Cranberry Tri-Rivers Rail-Trail, which followed the Cherry and Gauley Rivers between Richwood and Enoch Branch near Allingdale. 9 The multi-use path included a long trestle over the Cranberry River and the 640-foot Sarah’s Tunnel. The trail is planned to extend from Enoch Branch to Cowen along the abandoned branch’s mainline and from Bolair to Cowen on a former spur to a coal mine.

In 1999, CSX abandoned the section of the Richwood Branch between McWhorter and the former B&O St. Louis mainline in Clarksburg. 10

The remaining active portions of the B&O Richwood Branch became the CSX Cowen Subdivision, which extended south from Grafton to Philippi, Buckhannon, Burnsville, and Cohen.


On March 25, 2005, the Appalachian & Ohio Railroad (A&O), a part of Watco Companies, took over operations of the former Cowen Subdivision. 1 (The sale also included the former Pickens Subdivision, from Hampton Junction to Alexander.) The A&O had connections to the WVC at Tygart Junction, the BEEM at Alexander, and the Elk River Railroad at Burnsville.

The A&O was expected to move 90,000 carloads in the first year, 1 with coal comprising 95% of the route’s traffic. Coal was expected to be shipped from the mines to power plants in the North and Mid-Atlantic states. The A&O held onto the line for just a short time before turning it over to Four Rivers Transportation, now P&L Transportation, on May 15, 2006. 3 P&L Transportation is jointly owned by the P&L Railway and CSX.

List of site sources >>>

Watch the video: Παλιοί Σιδηροδρομικοί Σταθμοί (January 2022).