Dates of opening various line segments

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Oct 9 17:13:17 EDT 2017

According to Raymond Barnes' "A History of Roanoke," 1968, p.44, The 
Virginia & Tennessee RR was completed to Big Lick (now Roanoke) from 
Lynchburg on November 1, 1852.

Gordon Hamilton

On 10/8/2017 7:54 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 9:13 AM,
> Bob
>  wrote:
>     Gordon
>     A gap I see in this timeline is the connection from Lynchburg to
>     Roanoke.
> ​See if these newspaper articles from that time period help.
> The first article indicates that Salem (the county seat, Big Lick was 
> just a wide spot along the river) would be reached by the end of 1850. 
> Given that the call for contractors to work on the line from Salem to 
> New River would indicate that the prediction was correct (I'll see if 
> I can find a more exact date). Based on the third report, the V&T 
> reached Central Depot (now Radford) on the New River in May of 1854, 
> after reaching Christiansburg in late April or early May, 1854.
> Bruce in Blacksburg
> --------
> /Richmond Enquirer/, Volume 47, Number 95, 28 March 1851, pg 4
> We yesterday published an interesting letter from Governor Floyd, 
> detailing the difficulties of preparation and construction, and the 
> present condition of that mighty work, the Blue Ridge Tunnel. A friend 
> who has recently paid a short visit to Lynchburg, has given us a few 
> items in regard to the tunnel just out of Lynchburg, which, being the 
> commencement of the great Railroad in Virginia, may not be without 
> interest.
> [snip]
> We are glad to hear of the energy shown by the excellent President, 
> officers, engineers and contractors on this important Railroad to the 
> West. Some 2,000 hands are now employed a long the whole line, and the 
> work is being prosecuted with great vigor. On the first division, from 
> Lynchburg to Salem, (60 miles,) the grade is neatly all completed, and 
> it is expected that the cars will be running at the close of this year.
> The 2d division, from Salem to Wytheville, is now nearly all under 
> contract, and it will be in operation by the close of 1852.
> The 3d division, from Wytheville to the Tennessee line, will be put 
> under contract in the latter part of this year, and is expected to be 
> in operation by the end of 1853.
> Full article is at 
> --------
> /Richmond Enquirer/, Volume 47, Number 62, 3 December 1850, pg. 3
> PROPOSALS will be received at the Rail Road Office in Lynchburg, on 
> the 4th day of December, 1850, for the gradation and masonry of 
> twenty-seven and a half miles of the road lying between Salem and New 
> River, making about $420,000 worth of work.
> Also, at the same time and place, about 35 miles more, extending to 
> Wytheville, will be put under contract, if the amount of stock taken 
> before that time should warrant it.
> Other things being equal, preference will be given to those taking the 
> largest per centage of their work in stock.
> By order of the Board. CHAS. F. M GARNETT,
> Nov 28-ctd Chief Engineer
> --------
> /Richmond Mail/, Volume 2, Number 37, 15 May 1854, pg. 2
> [note at bottom of column 2]
> The cars on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad are expected to reach 
> New River during the present week.
> ----
> Virginia and Tennesee Railroad.
> The editor of the Lynchburg Express, in company with the President and 
> Directors of this Road, and a number of invited guests, made a trip to 
> Christiansburg, over the Railroad, on Wednesday last. From an article 
> in the Express, descriptive of the trip, we make the following extract:
> The review of the road was eminently satisfactory to the Directors, 
> who, after having seen the vast dilficultiea to be surmounted, readily 
> exonerated the engineers and contractors from the charge of 
> dilatoriness which has been brought against them.
> By far the most difficult portion of the road is between the Big 
> Spring and Christiansburg. It is one unending series of tunnels, 
> tremendous cuts and huge embankments. The approaches to the tunnels 
> are such as to preclude rapidity of excavation, and the rock through 
> which the deepest cuts have been made, are of such a nature as to 
> necessitate a number of slides which have greatly retarded the work.
> The worst is now happily over, and our road will progress rapidly to 
> its completion. New river will be reached by June, and every nerve 
> will be strained to reach Wytheville by the first of September, so as 
> to secure the fall trade. Double forces have been placed at all the 
> most difficult points, and hands are already at work bedding the ties 
> through Wythe county; so that in all human probability, we shall have 
> the pleasure of chronicling a September trip to Wytheville.
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