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Railroad History  
Pennsylvania Railroad
Winchester & Western Railroad
Potomac, Fredericksburg
& Piedmont Railroad
Confederate Military Railroad
Other  North Central Virginia
Rail Lines

Four other railroads, listed below and shown on the Railroad Map of Northcentral Virginia, have each made their own individual contribution to railroad history in Northcentral Virginia:

A.)  Pennsylvania Railroad

The primary involvement of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in railroad development in Northcentral Virginia has already been documented in the individual histories of the N&W, O&A, B&O, and the RF&P described in previous sections of these history pages.  The PRR was also involved with two other lines in the area, namely a line to Roslyn and the line from Hagerstown, MD. to Winchester, VA.

1.)  Roslyn

In 1906, when the PRR's line from the Long Bridge through Alexandria to Fredericksburg was transferred to the Washington Richmond Company (RF&P), the PRR retained ownership of the tracks over the bridge and to a point just south of the bridge identified as RO.  A three mile long branch line had been constructed by 1896, from the south foot of the bridge extending northward to Roslyn.  In 1903 the line was sold to the Roslyn Connecting Railroad, a PRR subsidiary.  By 1975 the line had been cut back to the area of the Pentagon, and then later as the result of redevelopment in the area, the remainder of the line was cut back further such that only an outline of the roadbed remains in an industrial area at the foot of the Long Bridge.

2.)  Hagerstown, MD. to Winchester, VA.

By 1860 the Cumberland Valley (CV) Railroad, then under the financial control of the PRR, had reached as far south as Hagerstown, MD from Harrisburg, Pa.  The line was extended to Martinsburg, W.Va.. by the early 1870's and reached Winchester, VA. in 1889.  The CV was merged into the PRR in 1919, and the line became part of Penn Central in 1968, and Conrail in 1976.  The line from a point on the southern outskirts of Hagerstown southward to Winchester was sold to the Winchester & Western in the mid 1980's.

B.)  Winchester & Western Railroad

The Winchester & Western (W&W) Railroad, chartered in 1919, constructed a line westward from Winchester and reached Wardensville by 1921.  By 1944, after several reorganizations, the line had been cut back to Gore, the present western end of the line.  Most   of the line constructed by the Cumberland Valley Railroad southward from Hagerstown to Winchester was purchased from Conrail in the mid 1980's.  W&W freight trains enter the Norfolk Southern's Shomo Yard in Hagerstown on interchange rights.

C.)  Potomac, Fredericksburg & Piedmont Railroad

The Potomac, Fredericksburg, & Piedmont Railroad (PF&P RR) operated 38 miles of 3 foot gauge railroad between Fredericksburg (with a connection to the Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac Railroad) and Orange (with a connection to the Orange & Alexandria railroad).  Its predecessor was the standard gauge Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad which was started shortly after the Civil War and built 17 miles of line from Fredericksburg to Parker.  The line failed and was sold under foreclosure to become the Fredericksburg, Orange, & Charlottesville Railroad which also failed in 1874.  The line was converted to narrow gauge and completed from Parker to Orange in 1878 as the PF&P RR.

The PF&P RR operated as narrow gauge until after World War 1, was sold under foreclosure in 1925 and reorganized as the Orange & Frederick Railroad.  In 1926 the line was standard gauged and the name changed to the Virginia Central Railway (VC Rwy), the second railroad to use that name.  In 1930 the VC Rwy was projected eastward from Fredericksburg and along the south bank of the Rappahannock River to its mouth near Chesapeake Bay where a port was to be developed.  Construction of the line was never started.  In 1938 the entire line was abandoned except  for a two mile segment in Fredericksburg which lasted as late as 1973.

D.)  Confederate Military Railroad

During the Civil War in 1861, Confederate forces constructed a branch line (see Railroad Map of Northcentral Virginia) from a connection with the Orange & Alexandria in Manassas for a length of six miles toward Centreville.  The line was constructed using rails and other materials confiscated during raids on the B&O at Harper's Ferry and the O&A.  After the retreat southward of Confederate forces in 1862, the line was torn up and the materials returned to their rightful owners by the Federal forces.

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last updated October 25, 2021
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