Where Did V&T Meet the Southside RR in Lynchburg ?
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Sat Jul 1 21:37:31 EDT 2017
I have been through Allen Chambers' mammoth book, *Architectural History
of Lynchburg, Va.*, which is considered the quintessential reference for
the subject of its title.
He states that a station was started for the Virginia & Tennessee in 1849
and completed by November 1852. The railroad operated its first train as
far as Forest, Va. in 1852 as well. Chambers describes the station as being
on the southeast side of Ninth Street, at the foot of the hill. Ninth
Street still exists and crosses the site of the James River & Kanawha Canal
on the same bridge as was used in 1852. This means that the V&T station was
about where the parking lot is for Depot Grill Restaurant today, which
has its own railroad history.
Continuing from Chambers's book, the V&T depot was replaced in 1875 by a
Union Station on the northwest side of Blackwater Creek, about 2/10's of a
mile to the west. This new station would serve the Virginian Midland
Railroad (nee Orange & Alexandria) as well.
In 1890 the magnification Union Station was built on the site of the V&T
shops and roundhouse. In addition to N&W, passenger trains of Chesapeake &
Ohio, Southern Railway and the street cars of Lynchburg Traction & Light
Company called there. After World War II, N&W massacred the structure in an
effort to modernize it. As a little child, I remember going there with my
parents for the grand reopening and was amazed by one feature, ........ the
mosaic tile floor in the waiting room.
I am attaching a post 1890 post card view of the Union Station and a 1959
view of the modernized station.
About the Southside Railroad (nee Petersburg & Lynchburg), Chambers states
that on March 21, 1853, "title was obtained for Percival's Island in the
James River for a yard and depot, and a temporary depot was soon erected.
The first train arrived Nov. 2, 1854...although V&T and Southside did not
"Our stories give our lives meaning." Rudyard Kipling, 1928
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