Contains photographs of the Richmond Railroad station - History

Contains photographs of the Richmond Railroad station - History

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Richmond Main Street Station

Richmond Main Street Station, officially the Main Street Station and Trainshed, is a historic railroad station and office building in Richmond, Virginia. It was built in 1901, and is served by Amtrak. It is also an intermodal station with Richmond's city transit bus services, which are performed by Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). It is colloquially known by people from the city as The Clock Tower. It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Main Street Station serves as a secondary train station for Richmond providing limited Amtrak service directly to downtown Richmond. Several Amtrak trains serving the Richmond metropolitan area only stop at the area's primary rail station, Staples Mill Road which is located five miles to the north in Henrico County.

Since 2018, the station has also been a stop along the GRTC Pulse bus rapid transit line.

Richmond, Va., March 3 and 4

The Richmond Staples Mill Road station, located in the Henrico County suburbs north of the historic city core, is Virginia’s busiest Amtrak station and is served by a variety of long distance and corridor trains such as the Silver Star and the Carolinian. The waiting room was especially busy this weekend since many college kids were heading to or from Richmond to spend a few days with family and friends over Spring Break. Those with spare time took advantage of the opportunity to walk through the Exhibit Train displays.

Just a few years ago, Amtrak Virginia—a public-private partnership between Amtrak, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and Virginia’s freight and commuter rail operators—launched two pilot programs to expand intercity passenger rail service to a greater number of state residents. These three-year pilots are daily round-trip extensions of Amtrak’s most popular service, the Northeast Regional, to Lynchburg and Richmond, therefore allowing one-seat trips to destinations including New York City and Boston. In its first year of service, October 2009 to September 2010, the Lynchburg train handily beat its initial ridership projection by 147 percent to carry more than 126,000 passengers!

At a table staffed by Amtrak Virginia officials, visitors learned more about plans to extend the Richmond train to Norfolk by the end of this year—months ahead of schedule. In one of the display cases on the last car of the Exhibit Train, there is quite a bit of memorabilia relating to Amtrak Virginia and the initiation of the Lynchburg service. My eye is always drawn to a large advertisement that shows birds flying against a brilliant blue sky. If you look at it more closely, you notice that the birds are in a typical “V” formation, which of course plays into the Virginia theme.

Other exhibitors included Virginia Operation Lifesaver, the Virginia Association of Railway Patrons, the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Official museum mascot Seymour the Friendly Dinosaur delighted kids in the crowd by dancing and posing for photos. The museum is a not-for-profit organization that strives to create innovative learning experiences for all children and give them the tools to become creative problems solvers.

Railfans might know the Children’s Museum due to the fact that it is next to the Science Museum of Virginia, which occupies the former Broad Street Station. Designed by architect John Russell Pope—of Jefferson Memorial fame—the neoclassical train station opened in 1919 and eventually united the services of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad (RF&P), the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Norfolk and Western Railway, and the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Amtrak served the station until 1975 when the modern Staples Mill Road facility opened. The state had plans to demolish the grand old building in order to construct an office park, but luckily it was turned over to the Science Museum in 1976.

As at many other stops, members of local railroad clubs and historical societies joined with Amtrak employees to staff the Exhibit Train. Volunteers represented the Atlantic Coast Line/Seaboard Air Line Railroads Historical Society, the local RF&P Model Railroad Club, and the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. This last group also runs the Richmond Railroad Museum which is currently housed in an express car donated by the RF&P. The neighboring Hull Street depot was conveyed to the Old Dominion Chapter by the Southern Railway and will become the organization’s permanent home once renovations are complete. With their deep knowledge and interest in railroading, many volunteers were able to enthusiastically answer additional questions about Richmond-area railroad history.

Well, as they say, the railroad never stops—this week we head back south for a few weeks in North Carolina, a state that has also committed resources to expand intercity passenger rail options for its residents.

Collection | Photo, Print, Drawing Small lot of original contemporary photographic prints of the Civil War

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It hosted trains on north-south and east-west trajectories through eastern Indiana:

  • Amtrak:
    • National Limited - Kansas City - New York, New York
    • American - St. Louis - New York, New York
    • Buckeye - Chicago - Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Indianapolis Limited - Indianapolis - New York, New York
    • Northern Arrow - Mackinaw City - Cincinnati, Ohio, with sleeping car sections moved onto connecting trains to St. Louis
    • Penn Texas - St. Louis - New York, New York
    • Southland - Chicago - St. Petersburg, Florida/Sarasota, Florida/Miami, Florida
    • Spirit of St. Louis - St. Louis - New York, New York
    • St. Louisan - St. Louis - New York, New York
    • Union - Chicago - Cincinnati, Ohio

    The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and is also a local conservation district designated by the City of Richmond's Historic Preservation Commission. [2]

    A previous station at this same location was also a stop on the procession of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. Indiana Governor, Oliver P. Morton, boarded the train at this stop, and rode it to Indianapolis, where a procession and showing were held.

    The Richmond and Petersburg was founded in 1836 and sold in 1898. It survived a war and several financial panics. It went from a railroad that only connected trains from Richmond to Petersburg, to a part of an entire east coast system. It went from a slave economy to having fully paid employees.

    Founding Edit

    The Virginia General Assembly granted a charter of a railroad between Richmond and Petersburg in 1836 which connected other railroad lines to make profits transporting cotton and coal to market. Moncure Robinson, the engineer who designed the Reading Railroad owned by the Reading Company, designed the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. [2] The rail line was completed to Manchester, Virginia's industry on the south bank of the James River across from Richmond, Virginia. The steam engines would pass right under the terminus of the mule and gravity powered Chesterfield Railroad, which brought coal from Midlothian, Virginia to Manchester. The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Bridge across the river, connecting to Richmond, would be built after the rail line was completed. The Panic of 1837 lead to a reduction in the purchase of subscriptions to ship on the rails so it was difficult to pay for construction. The Virginia Board of Public Works advanced money for their subscription and England loaned money to keep the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad company solvent. The labor for the railroad was provided by slaves, but slave holders collected fees from leasing arrangements, and the railroad company provided clothes for the slaves. The Rail line was completed in 1838. [3]

    A branch line was created to Port Walthall which connected to Norfolk, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia by Steamboat in 1845. In 1846 passengers began to travel this way and freight could be shipped as well. The rail line also carried mail under contract with the U.S. Postal Service [3]

    Transporting coal Edit

    The Clover Hill Railroad Company was chartered in 1841 by the Virginia General Assembly to do business with the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad but was not allowed to charge more than 2 cents per bushel of coal shipped over the railroad. [4] The Clover Hill Railroad brought coal from the newly discovered Clover Hill Pits beginning in 1848. This coal was taken to Richmond and Petersburg Railroad and shipped north from Port Walthall. [5] Although the Clover Hill made a large profit at first, the Chesterfield Railroad could not move coal from Midlothian to Manchester as efficiently as the steam powered Richmond and Danville Railroad, which reached Midlothian in 1850. The Chesterfield Railroad was sold when the Virginia General Assembly gave the Chesterfield Railroad permission to sell off its assets in the same year. [6] The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad lost money as well. In 1948, the Virginia General Assembly allowed the Richmond and Petersburg to cut by half the total shares of stock and give each creditor one half as many shares, paying the same dividends per share because of losses and debts incurred by the railroad company. [7]

    Fares Edit

    Fares for the entire line in 1853 were $1.10 for White adults and 60 cents for African Americans, and children paid the same as African Americans. Fares for stopping at Port Walthall Junction, the Half Way stop, and Temple or Falling Creek fares were 35, 60 or 85 cents for White adults and 35 or 60 for African Americans. [8]

    1857 legal precedent set by Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Edit

    In the same year as the Panic of 1857, the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad faced a lawsuit, The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad v. Martha J. Jones, over hitting several cows in a railroad accident. The plaintiff had left her cows outside of her fence and they wandered onto the track. The railroad was found to be following their lawful practices. The railroad was found not to be liable and a precedent was set that a railway company has the same rights and protection, when doing lawful business as a person doing lawful business. To collect damages, the plaintiff must show a lack of skill or caution. [9]

    Civil War and Reconstruction Edit

    Railroads in the Southern United States were funded to boost local economies. The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad owned an Omnibus and coaches to take passengers from one line to another. [10] Goods and passengers had inefficient connections when travelling through cities and passengers would have to stay at hotels. Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate States of America predicted that the south's non-connecting railroads would cause problems for the military. He was proven correct when two locomotives had to be hauled over land around Alexandria during the American Civil War. [11]

    Towards the end of the war, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant tried to cut off the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, which was the supply line to Richmond, in the Siege of Petersburg. The Confederacy eventually destroyed the bridge across James River as they retreated. The U.S. Federal Government rebuilt the bridge over the James River, a 400-foot long (120 m), 12-foot high (3.7 m) trestle bridge on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad in the last year of the Civil War. [12]

    After the War, railroads were held by owners outside of the southern cities during the Reconstruction Era. These non-residents were happy to have rail lines that passed through cities efficiently. Union stations were built to connect different rail lines. [11] A company, owned by both railroads, was founded in 1867 to connect the Richmond and Petersburg with the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac. [13] Investments in the railroad also paid for the rebuilding of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Bridge over the James River.

    The train took about an hour end to end in 1884, with a fast route with no stops that took 45 minutes. Three passenger runs and a mail run went in each direction with connections to the Brighthope Railway, the Petersburg Railroad, the Norfolk and Western Railroad and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. [14]

    Railroads used wood to power the steam engines before the civil war. During the Civil War, the Richmond and Petersburg wood choppers, who were slaves, provided fuel for the steam engines. After 1870, as the eastern forests were cleared, coal gradually became more important. [15] The Richmond and Petersburg hired firemen that shovel coal in 1893 and did not list any wood purchased in their account of fuel. [16]

    Belt Line Edit

    By the late 1880s, passenger and freight traffic was heavy enough that it was causing significant congestion in downtown Richmond as much of the track connecting to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad ran down the middle of Belvedere and Broad Streets. To combat this, an additional line bypassing downtown Richmond was built jointly by the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. This line, known as the Belt Line, connected with the Richmond and Petersburg main line at Coffer Road near Clopton and ran northwest, crossed the James River, and headed north along the west side of Richmond to a junction with the RF&P main line (which would be known as AY Interlocking). The Belt Line opened in 1891 and had a single track and was used as a freight bypass while passenger trains continued to use the original route. [17]

    Merger into the Atlantic Coast Line and later years Edit

    Already in 1882, passengers could travel seamlessly in sleeper cars from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. or from New York, New York to Jacksonville, Florida along the Atlantic Coast. [18] William T. Walters of Baltimore, Maryland formed a holding company, in 1889, later called the Atlantic Coast Line of five consecutive railroads starting with the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad and connecting all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. In 1898, the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad merged with the Petersburg Railroad to form the Atlantic Coast Line of Virginia. In 1900, all five railroads were merged to form the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from Richmond all the way to Augusta, Georgia.

    After merging with the Atlantic Coast Line, the Richmond and Petersburg line became the northernmost segment of the Atlantic Coast Line's main line (which would extend as far south as Tampa, Florida). The Atlantic Coast Line and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad jointly built Broad Street Station in 1916 and consolidated their passenger operations there. With passenger service relocated to Broad Street Station, passenger trains began using the Belt Line (which then became the main line) to access the station from the south. To accommodate the additional traffic, the Belt Line was double tracked and realigned at the south end to join the original main line at what is now FA Junction. The current double-tracked arch bridge over the James River was complete in 1919. Though, some foundations of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad's original bridge for the Belt Line remain beside the current bridge. [17]

    In 1967, the Atlantic Coast Line merged with its rival, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The merged company was named the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad, and the Atlantic Coast Line's main line was then known as the A Line. In 1980, the Seaboard Coast Line's parent company merged with the Chessie System (successor of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway), creating the CSX Corporation. The CSX Corporation initially operated the Chessie and Seaboard Systems separately until 1986, when they were merged into CSX Transportation.

    The A Line is still used today by Amtrak and CSX. It is CSX's North End Subdivision. Part of the original route of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad north of FA Junction is still in place and it is now CSX's Clopton Lead. [19] [20]

    • W. H. McFarland
    • Wirt Robinson (May 27, 1851 or before – ?)
    • Holden Rhodes
    • Charles Ellis (1860 or before – November 29, 1870) [21][22]
    • Thomas H. Wynne (November 29, 1870 – ) [23][24]
    • Frederick R. Scott (1874 – 1898), President Pro Tempore in 1874 [25]

    The Richmond and Petersburg had 10 locomotives, 7 passenger cars, 3 baggage cars, 71 freight cars and 6 other cars, including cabooses in 1893. It had Janney couplers, semi-automatic couplers, on the locomotive and passenger cars and automatic links on the others Westinghouse automatic brakes automatic brakes on the locomotives, Westinghouse air brakes on the passenger cars and hand brakes on the other cars. [16]

    Before the end of the Civil War, enslaved Africans did much of the work on the Railroad. In 1864 118 slaves worked on the railroad and only 78 paid employees. Slaves drove the passenger carrying Omnibus and the wagons, worked in the maintenance shops as mechanics and shopmen, worked in the Depots and office, worked at the Clover Hill and other stations, worked as firemen and train hands on the train, worked as section men and repaired tracks, worked on the gravel train shoveling gravel and bringing materials and chopped wood to provide the fuel for the trains. Paid employees managed the slave workers and included copper smiths, carpenters and painters, acted as inspectors worked as ticket agents and clerks and were the officers of the company. [10] The railroad company owned one slave in 1858 and leased the other slaves. [26]

    After the war there were only paid employees. By 1893, the Richmond and Petersburg employed ten general officers and 32 men at the stations. Ten enginemen ran the engines on the locomotives, 13 Firemen shoveled coal, six conductors kept the trains on schedule and 19 other men worked on the trains. Five machinists and five carpenters worked in the shop with six other shopmen. Four section foreman, eight other trackmen and 44 flagmen, watchers and switchers worked on the rails. Telegraph operators ran telegraphs that went up and down the rails and to other lines. Nearly one hundred other laborers were employed.

    Working on the trains was dangerous, eight men working on the train were killed in 1893 and two were injured. Two other employees, three passengers and two unrelated people off of the train were also injured. [16]

    The trains carried several hundred thousand passengers a year. The freight cars shipped lumber, fruits and vegetables, tobacco, grain and flour, hay, iron, cement and brick, lime, coal, meat, poultry, game, fish, cotton, wool, leather, wine, liquor and beer, wagons and carriages, farm tools, other tools, iron rails and boat parts.

    Richmond Railroad Depot Historic District

    The Railroad Station Historic District comprises four city blocks. The district has also been called the "Hoosier Bowery." It is an architecturally significant group of 19th and early 20th century commercial and industrial buildings. These structures housed businesses that were important to the economic development of the city and in some cases, to the county and southeastern Indiana.

    Where Richmond was settled in 1806 this land was owned by Jeremiah Cox. In 1826 Cox sold his land to Charles and Elizabeth Starr, who were Quakers from Philadelphia. The Starr's then developed the area for commerce and industry. Charles Starr was instrumental in bringing the railroad to Richmond by donating the land for a train station. The Starr family also developed the Starr addition, Richmond's first subdivision.

    The land was laid out along the former Quaker Trace, now Ft. Wayne Avenue. This road opened trade to Fort Wayne and was used in the underground railroad. Commerce was established with Cincinnati and became a chief market for goods produced in Richmond. Until the coming of the railroad, goods were transported by wagon.

    The district is the only 19th century commercial area of its size existing outside of Main Street. A few of the buildings date back to the mid-1860's but the majority of the structures range from 1875 to 1910. The district is rich in architectural details with a concentration of Italianate motifs.

    The Pennsylvania Railroad Station is the focal point of the district. It was designed in the office of Daniel Burnham, a famous architect from Chicago. The building was built in 1902 and is Neo-Classical in style.It was saved through the efforts of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Historic Richmond, Neighborhood Preservation Services, the Indiana National Road Association and the Urban Enterprise Zone Association.

    The railroad station is the third such building on this site. Richmond was an important rail center with the southwestern line of the Pennsylvania Railroad headquartered here. With the coming of the railroad, a large number of buildings went up in the neighborhood. Along with the commercial interests, many of Richmond's industries were located here. Companies like Gaar, Scott and Company, and Dille-McGuire were international manufacturers.

    This information provided by:

    Wayne County Historical Society
    1150 North A Street
    Richmond, IN 47374
    (765) 962-5756

    File:Richmond PRR station, May 31, 1970.jpg

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    Trainspotting in Richmond

    Dina Weinstein

    From children who are enamored with the idea of an adventurous journey, or the powerful whistle sound to adults who love the history of trains, and the sense of connection trains bring trains are fascinating. And Richmond is a paradise for trainiacs.

    Home to the first electrically-powered street car in the country, Richmond is known for its train history. The city’s incredible train history includes the first railway in Virginia, the first electrically-powered street car in the country, and the Triple Crossing.

    Whether young or old, Richmonders have several opportunities to experience trains in a variety of ways. Here are a few to check out nearby:

    Richmond Railroad Museum: (102 Hull Street Rd., Richmond, VA, 23224) is ideal of train enthusiasts who specifically enjoy learning the history of trains in Virginia. The past 150 years of Virginia’s train history is told through photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, maps and more. There is an entire room filled with a model railroad. Richmonders will easily pick out places around our city, like what is now the Science Museum of Virginia, formerly Broad Street Station. Outside, visitors will see railroad cars, including a steam locomotive. Saturdays 11-4, Sundays 1-4.

    Artifacts at Richmond Railroad Museum. Photo credit: Lindsay Garrison

    Main Street Station: (1500 E Main St., Richmond, VA, 23219) is home to the beautiful clocktower and striking architecture drivers see from I-95. Thanks to the vaulted ceilings and elegant banquet hall, this is a popular venue for private events but, Main Street Station is also an opportunity for train fans to learn the history of the train station and catch a glimpse of trains coming and going at the station. The second floor of the station tells the story of Main Street Station’s history through various relics and photos. Having survived a hurricane and two fires, this 120 year old station is nothing short of magnificent. Train fanatics, be sure to check the Amtrak schedule before your visit to ensure seeing a train pass through. Main Street Station is free to visitors.

    View of a train from the steps on Main Street Station. Photo credit: Lindsay Garrison

    Ashland, Virginia: (112 Railroad Ave., Ashland, Virginia, 23005) is a quaint, charming town about twenty minutes from Richmond. Here, you will find the Ashland Train Depot right along the railroad tracks. Grab a treat from Homemades By Suzanne and watch for trains. In between trains, take a break to visit The Red Caboose and Ashland Museum. Inside The Red Caboose, visitors can actually sit in an authentic 1926 caboose, and imagine taking an exciting adventure in the 1920s. The Ashland Museum houses artifacts pertaining to Ashland’s history thereby, train history. Little train aficionados will be thrilled with the Thomas the Train table at the Ashland Museum. Ashland also hosts the annual Ashland Train Day, which typically includes model trains, scavenger hunts, kiddie train rides, and more. Bonus: Ashland Museum and Red Caboose are free.

    Gus Garrison enjoys the train table at the Ashland Railroad Museum. Photo credit: Lindsay Garrison

    Science Museum of Virginia: (2500 West Broad St., Richmond, VA, 23220) was originally Broad Street Station. Outside in the former loading area, there is both a business car and a steam locomotive. An annual tradition at the museum is the Model Railroad Show, typically held in November. This is an ideal event for families who love trains. Children will love taking a ride on the Teddy Bear Express and learning how trains work, while grown up train enthusiasts truly take in the intricate detail in the miniature cities and locomotives. Wednesday – Sunday 9:30-5:00

    Eloise Garrison enjoys the view from the Red Caboose in Ashland, Virginia. Photo credit: Lindsay Garrison

    Whether looking for trains to see, learn about, play with, or sit in, Richmond offers something for every train fanatic. With its rich train history, locals are fortunate to have many opportunities to visit and learn more about trains.

    />Richmond on the Cheap contributor Lindsay Garrison is a Richmond, Virginia based mom to two young children. A graduate from Chesterfield Schools and Randolph-Macon College, Lindsay is proud to call Richmond home. In the years prior to planning activities and outings with her own children, she was a French teacher. During her tenure she earned accolades for her creative teaching style and ability to connect with her students. Lindsay now applies the skills she learned when she was planning student trips to France, to her own family adventures. She can’t wait to take her own children to France one day! Follow the Garrison’s family adventures on Instagram: @thegarrisonsrva

    Be sure to subscribe to email updates, follow @rvacheap on Twitter or like RVA (Richmond) on the Cheap on Facebook to stay in the know about the latest freebies & deals.

    Appendix 1: Alphabetical list by series of photographic material

    The list below provides a quick reference, ordered by series reference, of many of the significant collections of photographs held at The National Archives but it is by no means an exhaustive list. The series listed are described in more detail in sections 4 to 13 of the guide. As the table indicates, there are some record series that are discrete photographic collections in themselves, consisting entirely of photographs, whilst other sets of photographs are scattered among files, folders and volumes.

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