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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3

 
 
Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
1. Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3 Marker
Inscription.  
Manufacturer: H.K. Porter Company, 1944
Weight: 45 tons
Horsepower: 300

The Virginia Central Railroad was originally chartered in in 1853 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, as the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad. The railroad had a 5-foot track gauge.

In 1876, the company reorganized as the Potomac, Fredericksburg and Piedmont Railroad and the track gauge was reduced to 3 feet. The line was opened to Orange, Virginia, on February 26, 1877. The company was reorganized again in 1925 as the Orange & Fredericksburg. In 1926, the tracks were converted to the standard gauge of a 4 foot 8.5 inches, and the Virginia Central name was adopted that same year.

In 1938, the entire line was abandoned except for a one mile segment in Fredericksburg which was used until 1983.

The Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3 was built in 1944. It is a type of locomotive known as an industrial switcher. Switchers assemble trains before they leave the rail yard and disassemble trains after they come in. This process of assembling and disassembling is called switching.

The trucks on #3

Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 24, 2021
2. Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven Locomotive #3 Marker
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have two pairs of wheels. The engine has one traction motor mounted on one pair of wheels in each set of trucks. Power has to be transmitted to the non-powered wheel sets by the use of side rods.

The 3 was last used by the Virginia Central Railroad in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is believed to be one of only 28 remaining.
 
Erected by Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is February 26, 1877.
 
Location. 37° 16.401′ N, 79° 56.787′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Norfolk Avenue Southwest and 3rd Street Southwest, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 Norfolk Ave SW, Roanoke VA 24016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Depressed Center Flatcar APWX #1002 (here, next to this marker); Chesapeake Western DS-4-4-660 #662 (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western ALCO RS-3 Diesel Electric #300 (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western EMD SD45 #1776 (a few steps from this marker); Virginian GE EL-C Electric Locomotive #135 (a few steps from this marker); Trailer Train Flatcar #470534 and Sea-Land Containers (a

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few steps from this marker); Wabash E8A Diesel-Electric #1009 (a few steps from this marker); Norfolk & Western ALCO C630 Diesel-Electric #1135 (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roanoke.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 30, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 12, 2021