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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Piney River in Nelson County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway

The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail

 
 
The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 8, 2016
1. The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Marker
Inscription. The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway was formed in 1914 to haul American Chestnut timber for local lumber companies. As a short-line railroad of 16 miles, the Railway was intended to connect to larger rail systems with national reach. By the 1920s, the Railway fell on hard times due to World War I, the Chestnut blight, and the Great Depression—all of which greatly reduced the amount of freight available for hauling.

In the early 1930s, mining and ore processing plants began operating in the Piney River area and used the Railway to haul titanium dioxide, aplite, and other products. Beginning in 1944, American Cyanamid Company was for 20 years the Railways’s largest customer.

The Railway began to decline in the l970s when American Cyanamid closed its local plant. A general loss of freight customers led the Railway to stop functioning in 1981 and the tracks were abandoned in 1984, thus ending the Railway’s 70-year history as the longest continuously running profitable shortline railroad in the United States.

(captions)
(top right) The original route of the Railway ran from Massie’s Mill to Tye River. When timbering halted and mining and ore production began, the Railway condensed to run between Piney River and Tye River.

(bottom right) The original purpose for the
Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 8, 2016
2. Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail
Railway was to haul timber no local sawmills for processing into lumber. Above is the Leftwich Timber Company Mill in Woodson, VA in 1916. Courtesy of Carl Lathrop.
 
Erected by Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail.
 
Location. 37° 42.483′ N, 79° 1.333′ W. Marker is in Piney River, Virginia, in Nelson County. Marker can be reached from Patrick Henry Highway (Virginia Route 151) 0.4 miles south of Firehouse Road (Virginia Route 675), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located along the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3124 Patrick Henry Hwy, Piney River VA 22964, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. American Cyanamid (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hurricane Camille (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Rivers (approx. 2.7 miles away); Cabellsville (approx. 4.6 miles away); a different marker also named Hurricane Camille (approx. 4.7 miles away); Thomas Massie (approx. 4.7 miles away); Action at Tye River (approx. 5 miles away); Grave of Patrick Henry’s Mother (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piney River.
 
Also see . . .  Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail.
Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 8, 2016
3. Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail
(Submitted on March 9, 2016.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 9, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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