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moderated Gordonsville, Virginia

Jay Beckham
 

Two questions, did the SR run through Gordonsville, VA in the early 1900s e.g 1915-1920? Also does the society have any employee lists from that period? Thanks!
Jay Beckham

Carl Ardrey
 

The Orange and Alexandria came to the area before the Civil War.  SRHA has no employee information.

CEA

On June 5, 2019 at 8:24 AM Jay Beckham <james@...> wrote:

Two questions, did the SR run through Gordonsville, VA in the early 1900s e.g 1915-1920? Also does the society have any employee lists from that period? Thanks!
Jay Beckham

Bill Schafer
 

The correct answer is that the Orange-Gordonsville line was leased for 99 years to the C&O by the Richmond & Danville in December 1890. At the same time, C&O obtained trackage rights from Orange to Alexandria, Va. The Southern Railway, having been formed in 1894, did not operate the line between Orange and Gordonsville. Hope this answers your question.

On Jun 5, 2019, at 9:53 AM, Carl Ardrey <carlardrey2005@...> wrote:

The Orange and Alexandria came to the area before the Civil War.  SRHA has no employee information.

CEA

On June 5, 2019 at 8:24 AM Jay Beckham <james@...> wrote: 

Two questions, did the SR run through Gordonsville, VA in the early 1900s e.g 1915-1920? Also does the society have any employee lists from that period? Thanks!
Jay Beckham

Cohen Bob
 

Bill and others:

You are so right. But it gets more complicated .......... and fun, if you like digging and research.

The old Orange & Alexandria RR by the mid-1870s was then the Washington City, Virginia Midland & Great Southern RR or Virginia Midland for everyday conversation. The VM was then controlled by the B&O. By that time, the VM had very limited trackage rights and not enough trains were permitted by the C&O between Gordonsville & Charlottesville so Gordonsville was approached for a double-tracking expansion plan and they balked and refused the plan so the VM then created its own connecting link between the Charlottesville & Rapidan RR, directly connecting Orange & Charlottesville, originally a single-track line. This opened in December 1880-January 1881 and relegated the Gordonsville or Orange Branch into a lethargic jerkwater run, 9.05 miles each way. That continued for 10 years. During that time, the C&O made noises about wanting to build its own distinctly separate RR line to the growing DC region and that led to the lease Bill mentioned. The last VM jerkwater train ran on February 28, 1891 and for the next month, the C&O rebuilt the line with heavier rail and on April 1st, they commenced running into DC via the VM/R&D soon to be SR mainline.

The C&O also obtained trackage rights past AF tower in Alexandria and into the PRR's depot down at 6th & B (today's Constitution Ave), All that and much more are what led to the creation of Washington's Union Station and Potomac Yards over the next 15+ years and as they say ........ the rest is history.

Bob Cohen

sgwarner88@...
 

Regarding Mr. Beckham's question, I do not know.  However, in handling Operating Agreements for NS in the 80's, CSXT wanted to renew the 1880's Lease of the line Orange to Gordonsville (did SR operate over it to Gordonsville prior to the 1880's lease, but I doubt it as SR would then have needed trackage rights over their old RR) The agreement in my file was so old that the maps and pages cracked (I hope that other copies survive in SRHA files).  As no one at NS had any use for it nor objections, I did renew it the Lease to CSXT.  And as we all know, we later assigned the Lease to Bob Bryant of Buckingham Branch.  But CSXT's assignment application included the Amtrak Off-Corridor Trackage agreement.  When I saw that, I knew that they could not assign the Cardinal's (and any other trains that may be proposed) trackage rights on that segment.  I told Jim Paschal in NS Law and he had CSXT withdraw and rewrite the application to retain the Amtrak operation over BB.  Just a side note to history.  Related to this, C&O had TR over the O&A/SR from AF Tower via Seminary/Horn Track to Orange from sometime around the War of Succession, but I do not have data on the date now (I also still have an O&A switch key).  Also, little known to SR and NS, they also were to be billed for Passing Track maintenance along the route.  Passing Sidings on DT?  But it was also D-251 Territory until the 60's, which had ABS in only one direction on each main.  So any local or ft., C&O of SR, had to Take Siding by schedule or train order when overtaken by a faster SR/C&O passenger train.  I started billing CSXT for the Maint. work on the one or two still being used by NS and CSXT didn't like it. Fun and games based upon old history.

George Eichelberger
 

This conversation is another opportunity to introduce the group to the various contracts in the SRHA archives. The list I posted a couple of weeks ago will soon be replaced by newer version that includes around 100 new contracts and attachments. If you have not looked at the list, take a few minutes to do that…you will be surprised at how many trackage rights, union stations, etc agreements are included. I expect the “Richmond” contracts will provide data for some interesting presentations at next year’s SRHA convention there.

The next SRHA archives work session will be on June 21 and 22. Everyone is welcome to join us.

This past weekend's dedication of the archives was well attended. All of the comments I heard were very positive. Aside from the (superb) appearance of the building, the universal comment was “I had no idea there was this much in the SRHA archives." 

Here is the cover and attachment showing Orange, VA from Contract No. 897. There are only six pages in contract 897 so I can post it if anyone is interested.

Ike


William Pratt
 

Ike,
The diagram is great, and I would like to see the other pages if it is convenient.
Thanks,

Bill Pratt

On Jun 6, 2019, at 11:37 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

This conversation is another opportunity to introduce the group to the various contracts in the SRHA archives. The list I posted a couple of weeks ago will soon be replaced by newer version that includes around 100 new contracts and attachments. If you have not looked at the list, take a few minutes to do that…you will be surprised at how many trackage rights, union stations, etc agreements are included. I expect the “Richmond” contracts will provide data for some interesting presentations at next year’s SRHA convention there.

The next SRHA archives work session will be on June 21 and 22. Everyone is welcome to join us.

This past weekend's dedication of the archives was well attended. All of the comments I heard were very positive. Aside from the (superb) appearance of the building, the universal comment was “I had no idea there was this much in the SRHA archives." 

Here is the cover and attachment showing Orange, VA from Contract No. 897. There are only six pages in contract 897 so I can post it if anyone is interested.

Ike

<897 Cover.jpg>

<897 Orange, VA.jpg>

George Eichelberger
 

William:

Here are the pages from contract number 897:

Ike



William Pratt
 

Ike,
Thanks.

Bill Pratt

On Jun 6, 2019, at 1:10 PM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

William:

Here are the pages from contract number 897:

Ike

<897 Pg 1.jpg>
<897 Pg 2-3.jpg>

<897 Pg 4-5.jpg>

<897 Pg 6.jpg>

Cohen Bob
 

Following up on several things here from Bill, Ike and our resident counselor at law:

1) The C&O did NOT have trackage rights past Gordonsville until the December 1890 lease with the Richmond & Danville, owner and successor of the Virginia Midland. Those rights commenced with that lease effective 90 days later if I recall. I have a copy of the lease agreement around here somewhere. It was only after the threat of construction of a new and separate line that the Richmond & Danville decided it was better to make such a deal. That deal lasted until CSX acquired the RF&P and did not renew the Orange-AF (near Alexandria) section, as they then had their own way into and thru DC, Pot Yard and points north.

2) The Virginia Central 1927 lease is a whole horse of another color, a totally different railroad. It had started out life in the 1850s and by the Civil War, only some grading, no tracks had been laid and it had gone thru a number of name changes. Essentially it was to connect Fredericksburg on the RF&P and either Gordonsville or Orange and had names incorporating those towns. After the way, money was still short and in the early 1870s, it got partially completed from Fredericksburg west for about half-way to where it was going by then. Then new management came in and financed it as a narrow gauge line between Fredericksburg & Orange and when it finally opened in 1876 or 1877 it was 37 or 38 miles long and had the name Potomac, Frederickburg & Piedmont or Piedmont, Fredericksburg & Potomac RR. It even had an rather affectionate nickname: Poor Folks & Preachers.

It remained a NG until it shut down in 1926 and was sold to new interests which standard gauged it and then we see the agreement which Ike has been so kind to reference. At this time, it was renamed the Virginia Central and lasted until the end of 1937 when all but a mile and a half in Fredericksburg plus the wye in Orange remained. The Fredericksburg switching an industry or two continued until the 1980s or 1990s when that, too ended. Part of the wye still exists in Orange but I don't think it is used by BB in Orange anymore.

3) If Gordonsville had been progressive thinking in the 1870s when the Virginia Midland and/or C&O approached the town fathers about the desired C&O railroad expansion, we might never have had the Charlottesville & Rapidan RR under direct ownership and control of Southern. The C&R was officially absorbed into SR in 1913 or 1914. As a result Gordonsville slumbered and a couple of towns and stations on the C&R blossomed with business over the years; Somerset and Barboursville.

4) Also as an unintended yummy, the Montpelier station was built adjacent to or as part of the the former President James Madison property and today it is administered under the Madison Foundation I think. The station was restored a number of years ago and stands a real beauty right along Route 20, 4 miles south of Orange. You should visit it sometime. It is a wonderful artifact to the days long ago which we write and read about in these pages and elsewhere.

Bob Cohen

George Eichelberger
 

Not all we have are in this good condition but here is a scan from microfilm of one of two Montpelier station drawings in the SRHA archives. I would like to see us organize a “depot” project using our drawings, photos and ICC records. If anyone is serious about the subject, contact me off list…

Ike

William Pratt
 

Ike,

Photos of Montpelier Station from my collection.

Bill Pratt

William Pratt
 

Ike, Bob,

A few items from my research on the PF&P, from 1931 Sanborn and the 1937 Dept. of Agriculture aerial survey photos of Orange County.


Coal trestle off C&O mainline from Gordonsville approaching that connected to PF&P.



1931 Sanborn Map depiction of C&O spur serving Orange and connecting to PF&P (next image)


C&O spur connection to PF&P. Building labeled Gas Station above switch was original PF&P station prior to 1936 construction of new station.


1937 aerial view shows spur, and C&O freight cars near bottom of photo, and 1936 Virginia Central station, Orange freight House, and mainline connection at top. Photo from Orange Historical Society archives.

Bill Pratt


Cohen Bob
 

Ike , Bill and all others:

Thanks for sharing these images and maps. Yes, a station project would be neat to do and have. Geez, how many thousands of drawings and images would such a monumental task take to do and what percentage of those which once existed do you/the archives still have?

From my Washington & Danville division knowledge, I know that just Washington division alone must have had about 150 depots in total, multiply times how many different drawings per depot, then multiply that again by how many divisions of all the various sizes. Washington must have maybe a thousand images give or take a few. Danville because it encompassed a larger region was more still.

That adds up to how many tens of thousands of files.

Okay, journey of thousand miles begins with single step but Wow and double wow!

Bob

George Eichelberger
 

Bob:

Re: Depot Drawings…..

The number of drawings will not be nearly as high as we might think. There are many examples where a drawing was simply reused, sometime the original name is simply scratched out. Other times, I suspect there was no drawing at all.

The Southern had a formula for depot and combination depot designs that was based on the expected revenue from both white and “colored” passengers and express. The revenue from each resulted in the number of square feet of each to be built. Expansions used the same formula. (This applies only to depots on the Southern proper, no data has been found on how the CNO&TP, AGS, etc. buildings were designed.)

The materials for a depot were loaded into a box car and sent to the site to be built by local B&B forces. The Bill of Materials included enough framing lumber, roofing material, doors and windows, to build the square footage of each part indicated by the formula. If the design was the same as another depot, that drawing was used as the reference. Different drawings usually show different designs even if the changes were minor.

Even though the Southern did not have a series of “standard” depot designs, most wood building designs were modular. Note the attached partial drawing for Hurt, VA. Both the passenger and freight sections show vertical posts where the roof overhang brackets are mounted. The two leftmost windows on the track side of the building are the white waiting room. The posts are on 8 ft centers giving a 16’ wide waiting room. If the formula yielded a 24 foot wide waiting room, the B&B forces would know the materials needed to build the larger size.

Of course, this is a simple example and one that changed over the years so many variations are apparent in photos.

Another “unknown” appears in the ICC valuation descriptions. Depots are described as “Type 1”, "Type 2”, etc. with no explanation of what the types indicate; construction, brick or wood, roof types, etc.

Not a huge number of drawings but still much that needs to be researched!

Ike 



On Jun 8, 2019, at 9:57 AM, Cohen Bob via Groups.Io <orl96782@...> wrote:

Ike , Bill and all others:

Thanks for sharing these images and maps. Yes, a station project would be neat to do and have. Geez, how many thousands of drawings and images would such a monumental task take to do and what percentage of those which once existed do you/the archives still have?

From my Washington & Danville division knowledge, I know that just Washington division alone must have had about 150 depots in total, multiply times how many different drawings per depot, then multiply that again by how many divisions of all the various sizes. Washington must have maybe a thousand images give or take a few. Danville because it encompassed a larger region was more still.

That adds up to how many tens of thousands of files.

Okay, journey of thousand miles begins with single step but Wow and double wow!

Bob

A&Y Dave in MD
 

Bob,

For the A&Y at least, there were several "standard" designs.  Some from the CF&YV, some from the Southern.  The ICC engineer's drawing notebook indicated when a depot was similar to another, often skipping the drawing and referring back to another depot drawing.  See the Walnut Cove page excerpt I attached where it refers to Comb. Sta. Type #3.   Belews Creek, the original Mt. Airy station (then the freight depot after the granite version was constructed) and quite a few others were type #3.  So that reduces the count considerably.



There are still a lot of drawings and files to cover all the types, and it is quite the monumental task, but maybe a bit smaller than you suggest.

Dave

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 9:57:33 AM, you wrote:


Ike , Bill and all others:

Thanks for sharing these images and maps. Yes, a station project would be neat to do and have. Geez, how many thousands of drawings and images would such a monumental task take to do and what percentage of those which once existed do you/the archives still have?

From my Washington & Danville division knowledge, I know that just Washington division alone must have had about 150 depots in total, multiply times how many different drawings per depot, then multiply that again by how many divisions of all the various sizes. Washington must have maybe a thousand images give or take a few. Danville because it encompassed a larger region was more still.

That adds up to how many tens of thousands of files.

Okay, journey of thousand miles begins with single step but Wow and double wow!

Bob



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC

A&Y Dave in MD
 

Ike,

As you point out (and the image I sent previously confirms) there are "Types" designated by ICC valuation engineers (from reading the notes I photographed during my visits to NARA in 2000-2002 the types were shorthand for the valuation teams and probably do not reflect railroad categories).  If you dig deep enough into the notebooks, you can find pencil sketches for a Type and then each additional depot (at least for the Val 27 and A & B branch line supplements) was documented by type and any variations (especially with respect to footprint and foundation materials which often varied by setting).

I am planning to go back with a new book scanner and grab better quality images of those notebooks for Section 27 and grab ALL the pages of all the annual reports, not just key pages from a report every 5 years, as I did during the first visits.

If you have anything on Val section 27 that you can share with me, I'd appreciate it.  I want to write a book on the A&Y and I'm getting closer to realizing that dream.

Dave

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 11:09:27 AM, you wrote:


Another “unknown” appears in the ICC valuation descriptions. Depots are described as “Type 1”, "Type 2”, etc. with no explanation of what the types indicate; construction, brick or wood, roof types, etc.

Not a huge number of drawings but still much that needs to be researched!

Ike




--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC

Cohen Bob
 

All:

Absolutely correct of various types of a basically same depot for expected revenue. Then you also had to add in the land setup. gradient/s, etc. to the mix but I doubt there would have been too much differences since stations were mostly constructed on flat lands or flattened lands for a more uniform way of things.

Neat stuff.

Bob

George Eichelberger
 

Most wood depots were built on pilings with wooden framework. In addition to being easier and faster to build, land prep was simpler. Another benefit of that construction method, many were sold, sometimes cut into sections to be moved off railroad property. Typical price was around $100.

Brick buildings are another completely different construction style, many survive to this day. In some cases, the brick structures were built because an earlier frame building burned. In a few instances, the entire business district of a town burned and an ordinance was passed that required brick construction. For “important” towns, it was not uncommon for the original wood depot to be converted to a freight house and replaced by a brick version.

Note that none of the wood depot plans include “indoor plumbing”. The Southern had “standard” designs for one, two and four “seat” (?) versions. No documentation has been found that provides a formula for which was to be built at a particular location. There is at least one photo in the SRHA archives that shows the privy directly in front of the depot but across the track…..an unusual excuse for missing a train.

Ike

On Jun 9, 2019, at 9:31 AM, Cohen Bob via Groups.Io <orl96782@...> wrote:

All:

Absolutely correct of various types of a basically same depot for expected revenue. Then you also had to add in the land setup. gradient/s, etc. to the mix but I doubt there would have been too much differences since stations were mostly constructed on flat lands or flattened lands for a more uniform way of things.

Neat stuff.

Bob