Rural Retreat, VA station update
NW Mailing List
nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Jul 17 11:42:53 EDT 2011
I guess this mean I really need to hurry up and get off my butt and go
railfanning down there in the next couple weeks to get a shot of a train at
the station before it moves.
On Sun, Jul 17, 2011 at 1:00 AM, NW Mailing List
<nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>wrote:
> RR depot move in the works
> By Staff
> Published: July 15, 2011
> By AMANDA EVANS/Staff
> The whole process has been like a slow-moving train, long and black.
> And Jack Weaver has decided to leave the station, figuratively speaking.
> He’s finally pulling up his stake in trying to preserve the train depot in
> Rural Retreat.
> “My love for it is the only reason it’s still here,” Weaver said.
> This isn’t the first time Weaver’s threatened to demolish or move the
> depot. This struggle over ownership, property rights and historic
> designation has been going on for years.
> It appears, though, he’s as serious as he’s ever been.
> He’s already paid more than $30,000 in advance to have the depot moved, he
> said. Within the past week or so, crews have begun digging earth from under
> the decrepit building, supporting the structure with steel beams.
> The only hang-up now, Weaver said, is waiting to meet at the end of next
> week with engineers to discuss the feasibility of moving electrical and
> telephone lines along West Lee Highway so the tall building can be moved to
> the property he owns just a few miles away.
> Once he can get the details from the engineers, the move will begin
> promptly, hopefully in August.
> It will be moved in two parts, Weaver explained, the long narrow part and
> then the square front section.
> “If, for whatever reason, it can’t be moved,” Weaver vowed, “it will be
> destroyed.” Salvage crews will take any usable pieces from the depot and
> reuse them in historical restoration projects.
> Even if the town were to acquire the land before Weaver finished moving it,
> he isn’t sure he’d consider selling it to them at this point. The legal
> battle for ownership in 2009 and 2010 left a sour taste in his mouth.
> After a heated public hearing in 2009, the town decided to condemn the
> depot in an effort to try and restore it, which is what many
> people—including Weaver and council members—ultimately wanted to see happen.
> The action of the government seizing land under the guise of eminent domain
> was ruled illegal by Judge Josiah Showalter in Wythe County Circuit Court a
> year later.
> “The Town of Rural Retreat cannot condemn this property for historical
> purposes,” Showalter wrote in his ruling. He deemed the building Weaver’s
> personal property that “can be removed/transported anywhere or relocated to
> another place.”
> Weaver, who has owned the building since the late 1980s said he might
> consider selling the depot if the town agreed to pay him for everything he
> has invested in the building, which Weaver said totals about $135,000. It
> was appraised at $6,000 at the time, according to Wythe County tax records.
> Weaver declined the town’s offer of $30,000 for the depot in March 2009.
> What it really comes down to, Weaver said, is being sick and tired of
> bureaucracy. For years, he said, he’s been trying to determine if the depot
> is eligible for an official historic designation since he doesn’t own the
> land it sits on. Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation owns the 0.3 acres of
> land the depot sits on, leased on a year-to-year basis at $660 per year.
> He’s also trying to get a guaranteed mortgage to restore the depot.
> Letters, e-mails and phone calls to state officials, elected leaders and
> department heads requesting guidance and clarification have largely gone
> without answer.
> And he’d love for the town to get historical tax credit for the building,
> he said, but he’s not going to just give them the building.
> “The red tape is entirely around the depot,” Weaver said.
> So that’s why Weaver said he’s finally come to these measures—move the
> building onto his personal land to begin an herbal winery business or
> demolish the building and take his herbal winery business plan elsewhere.
> “After two decades, I’m ready for [the depot] to go out or down.”
> Amanda Evans can be reached at 228-6611 or aevans at wythenews.com
> As of: July 17, 2011
> NW-Mailing-List at nwhs.org
> To change your subscription go to
> Browse the NW-Mailing-List archives at
trainman51 at gmail.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the NW-Mailing-List