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Jefferson County Rail History

Shenandoah Division Photos

E. Francis Baldwin

Valley 55 Will Run No More - B&O Magazine - December 1949

N&W passenger service to Charles Town ended in 1963.

Charlestown (after 1912 Charles TOWN, two words). There was never a wye or TT for either the B&O (and earlier Winchester & Potomac RR) or the N&W (and earlier Shenandoah Valley RR that became part of the N&W in 1890.) The Belt Line that was created about 1915 was simply a connection for joint serving of industries of the B&O and N&W. It wasn't regularly used for interchange but could and did on occasion serve that purpose. There were plenty of other choices not far away for such things. After the Staggers Act, lightly used such interchanges disappeared as rules, regs. and rate calculations caused many changes. As for turning the Race Track trains in steam days, after the passengers were discharged behind the stands for the ponies, the power would reverse (you are reading correctly) and go back LIGHT without their passenger cars and get coal, water and whatever else was needed back at BRUNSWICK, before once again reversing back to Charles Town to bring all the winners, losers and wannabe millionaires back to the Met and Washington-Baltimore regions. This was a 16 mile each way trip for the motive power and crews and because of the many hours from drop-off before the horse races and afterwards, this was how the crews did it. I recall reading this and even seeing a photo somewhere, East End perhaps but I am unsure. Once diesels started bring bettors to the ponies, the motive power ceased returning to Brunswick and did whatever their orders of the day were. Being bi-directional made things easier that way.

Fire Destroys Old B&O Station, Historic Landmark
Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Thursday, October 30, 1980

Charles Town Station Fire.png

New station description from 1880

Spirit of Jefferson - November 9, 1880.png

Apple Blossom Festival Excursion - Farmers Advocate - 19460419.pngSpirit of Jefferson Farmer's Advocate - 19840517.png



Shenandoah Junction.jpg

O. Winston LinkĀ 
N&W Train No. 2 Meets B&O Train No. 5, Shenandoah Junction, Virginia