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 Post subject: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Okay, this has nothing to do with either the C&O predecessor or the Showalter excursions in the 1990s.

Feb. 1967 "Steam Locomotive & Railroad Tradition":
Quote:
The 1-mile Virginia Central Railway, which was given to the City of Fredericksburg last June, began tourist operations Sept. 23rd, using one of its Plymouth gas locomotives and a coach donated by the connecting RF&P. Fredericksburg's tourist office is looking for an old-time station and various railroad antiques.


Never heard of this, and I've been following tourist railroading for thirty years. Does anyone here have further info?

FYI the Baltimore Chapter uncovered a series of photos of this Va. Central train at some point in the past; we can't find any information on this loco in any roster, even those of the "authoritative" sources like Extra 2200 South, etc. Ideas? [Photo believed to be from Leonard Rice, collected by Lee Rogers, Md. Rail Heritage Library collection]
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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 324
It was certainly a friendly line. As a youngster I lived in the Fredericksburg area for a while, and in late 1959 or 1960 my mother was down by the line with me (about 4) and my younger brother Tom (newborn in a stroller) and she said to the engine crew, "My son Timmy likes trains. Can he ride in yours?" (This was in an age when asking such a question was not considered an act of terrorism that needed to be immediately called in to the police.) The crew said, "Sure!" and all of us went up in the cab. One of my earliest memories is riding over the wooden trestle the line had near the business park, and how scary it was because there were no railings, just a drop-off to what seemed to be a long way down from the cab.

I was hooked, though, and I've remained a train buff ever since, thanks in part to the Virginia Central.


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 636
Location: Scottsboro, AL
There was an RF&P heavyweight coach still sitting on the VC tracks in Fredericksburg along with a caboose and other derelict equipment when I stopped by in 1977. It all disappeared not long after.

Photo cropped from a poorly exposed slide.

Alan Maples


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File comment: Fredericksburg, VA, 1977
Virginia Central caboose and coach 1977 Alan Maples photo.jpg
Virginia Central caboose and coach 1977 Alan Maples photo.jpg [ 234.85 KiB | Viewed 5246 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 636
Location: Scottsboro, AL
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
FYI the Baltimore Chapter uncovered a series of photos of this Va. Central train at some point in the past; we can't find any information on this loco in any roster, even those of the "authoritative" sources like Extra 2200 South, etc. Ideas? [Photo believed to be from Leonard Rice, collected by Lee Rogers, Md. Rail Heritage Library collection]


Two photographs of the same train appear in Mallory Hope Ferrell's "Slow Trains Down South, Vol. 1". They are credited to Bobby Flournoy.

A history of the Virginia Central by Ames Williams appeared in Vol. 50, No. 1, of the National Railway Bulletin. No reference is made to the proposed excursion train, but the Whitcomb locomotive is reported to have perished in a 1949 fire at the railroad's enginehouse.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Was there a 2-6-0 or similiar steam locomotive with this railway? I have a poster whose location I have been trying to figure out for years; a string of this road's equipment appears to be the answer.

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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:48 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 636
Location: Scottsboro, AL
survivingworldsteam wrote:
Was there a 2-6-0 or similiar steam locomotive with this railway? I have a poster whose location I have been trying to figure out for years; a string of this road's equipment appears to be the answer.


All of the Virginia Central's steam locomotives were retired in 1937 when the Fredericksburg to Orange line was cut back to a one-mile switching operation. The only engine that survived was a very light Cooke "Cuban" 2-6-0 which enjoyed subsequent life on the Arkansas Railroad and which I believe still exists on display in Arkansas.

In further reading of Ames William's history of the VC in the NRHS Bulletin, he notes the scrapping of various "passenger cars and cabooses that had been given to the VC by the RF&P for hauling school children on excursions."

I don't believe there was any steam locomotive associated with the VC after 1937.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:17 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 2081
The Virginia Central engine engine has made its way from Arkansas to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1510

Is the branch line still operating in Fredericksburg?

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:03 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 9:19 am
Posts: 636
Location: Scottsboro, AL
wesp wrote:
The Virginia Central engine engine has made its way from Arkansas to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Is the branch line still operating in Fredericksburg?

Wesley


Thank you Wesley; I couldn't recall for sure where the engine was displayed.

The Virginia Central Railway in Fredericksburg was abandoned in 1984 and no track remains. Some of the former yard property is undergoing redevelopment as the "Cobblestone Square" aparatment complex.

Alan Maples


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:52 pm
Posts: 5
My Dad attended a Mid Eastern Region; NMRA convention in Fredericksburg sometime in the very early '60's. I still have some 8 mm movies of the fantrip to the Virginia Central. It has been years since I viewed the footage, but I do remember the 4 wheel diesel switcher demonstrating switching a car with a push pole.

Dave J.


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 Post subject: Re: The OTHER Va. Central Ry., Fredericksburg 1967?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:56 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Roanoke Va.
One piece of Virginia Central motive power is preserved in Roanoke at VMT, ex-USN Porter 50-Tonner # 3. She was repainted last year and is under cover most of the time now. Around the museum she's aquired the nickname "Green Weenie"

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1250066

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3107685

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