The ruins of downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. Nearly an entire block of historic buildings – some of them very recently occupied, has been cleared for parking and grassy lots. Across the street, more historic building stock was cleared in the summer for more open space.
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While exploring Virginia’s back roads, I came upon the former New River, Holston and Western Railroad (NH&W) that once extended from the Norfolk & Western (N&W) at Narrows on the New River in Giles County to the village of Suiter in Bland County, Virginia. The 43-mile line followed Wolf Creek or its tributaries for its entire length.
On a recent business excursion to Virginia, I discovered the oft-forgotten Chesapeake Western Railway which was once proposed from Washington, D.C. to Cicninnati, Ohio. Only a segment from Elkton, Virginia westward to Stokesville was ever completed in its original intention. Although some of the railroad has been dismantled, portions remain active for the Norfolk Southern and for a short line.
While spending a rainy day at a library, I managed to find some information on the now closed American Car and Foundry Company manufacturing company in Huntington, West Virginia, that dated back to November 1, 1872 when it was issued a charter as the Ensign Manufacturing Company. It is nearly as old as the city itself!
It was a slightly chilly morning in downtown Cumberland, Maryland when I awoke to my alarm and the passing locomotives chugging along the former Western Maryland rail line through the heart of the city. I enjoyed listening to the trains throughout the night as it had a calming effect upon me, something that I recalled during my tenure at my parents house which was next to the massive Russell, Kentucky railyards. Feeling refreshed, I packed my gear and headed to my car and pointed my compass westward to Frostburg and then south to Lonaconing.