Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thurmond in Fayette County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Thurmondís Decline

New River Gorge National River

 
 
Thurmondís Decline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
1. Thurmondís Decline Marker
Inscription. Look down the railroad tracks. You might see a train coming. But if you do, you wonít see an engine fueled by coal, belching smoke and steam, as you would have during Thurmondís heyday. Instead, you will see an engine powered with diesel fuel.

Thurmond was a rail center, with a steam engine repair shop that employed up to 175 workers. But when the C&O Railway switched to diesel in the mid-1950s, the need for Thurmondís repair shop lessened. Combined with the decline of coal mining, the arrival of diesel brought Thurmondís golden era to an end.

Diesel Versus Steam
Why did rail lines switch from steam to diesel? Money, of course. In 1955 alone, diesels saved the C&O Railway 28 percent in operating costs, or $25 million. Diesels could start at the flip of a switch, travel long distances without costly repairs, and were more fuel efficient. They required fewer workers, too. Two men working a diesel replaced six on a heavy steam engine. Gone were machinists, boilermakers, and pipefitters. Gone, too, were repair centers like Thurmond.

(Inscription in the top of the image on the lower left)
A diesel-powered passenger train rolls through Thurmond in 1984.

(Inscription below the image in the lower right)
In a scene from busier days (above, 1946), steam engines await their turn at Thurmondís engine house.

Inside the Train Depot visitor center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
2. Inside the Train Depot visitor center

 
Erected by National Park Service US Department of Interior.
 
Location. 37° 57.534′ N, 81° 4.824′ W. Marker is in Thurmond, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Thurmond Road. Touch for map. The marker is in old town. Marker is in this post office area: Thurmond WV 25936, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Heart of Town (here, next to this marker); The Railroad Was the Town (here, next to this marker); Thurmond, West Virginia (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thurmond Depot (about 800 feet away); Glen Jean Athletic Club (approx. 4.6 miles away); Indirect Firing (approx. 6 miles away); Oakwood Mine Complex (approx. 6 miles away); Marquis de Lafayette (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thurmond.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Inside the Train Depot visitor center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
3. Inside the Train Depot visitor center
Inside the Train Depot visitor center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
4. Inside the Train Depot visitor center
Inside the Train Depot visitor center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
5. Inside the Train Depot visitor center
Inside the Train Depot visitor center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 4, 2012
6. Inside the Train Depot visitor center
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 116 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement