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Nostalgia & History > Petersburg, VA Questions

Date: 09/25/08 11:31
Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: dharris

Went down to Petersburg yesterday after receiving some advice from some TO members and, of course, came up with a few more questions.

(1) What was this building in the old section of Petersburg? It's across from the old station.

(2) While heading over to Ettrick, where the Amtrak station sits next to the old SCL station I saw these supports. Was this an old SCL line from Petersburg to Ettrick?

(3) Sigh. They don't build them like this anymore.


Date: 09/25/08 15:11
Re: Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: GPutz


I was in Petersburg and Etrick, VA, on Monday afternoon and spoke with a knowledgeable local. He said the bridge piers supported the Seaboard Air Line mainline. The stations in Etrick were both built by Atlantic Coast Line in '42 and '55. The original ACL mainline went through downtown Petersburg, and there is a station still there as part of a beer distributor's warehouse. The current CSXT mainline was built as a by-pass for freight and non-stop passenger trains. By '55 ACL moved all trains to it and abandoned the tracks through downtown Petersburg.


Date: 09/25/08 18:05
Re: Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: ctillnc

I believe the ex-ACL "old main line" through downtown Petersburg wasn't pulled up until the late 1970s or early 1980s, even though it carried very little traffic. The bridge piers for the old main line are still in the middle of the river.

The ex-SAL bridge over the river was pulled up in the mid-1970s after the Burgess Cutoff went into use, so that northbound trains from the S-line could get over to Collier Yard and continue north on the A-line.

By the way, SEHSR has considered restoring one bridge or the other, as well as adding a second bridge adjacent to the remaining one.

Date: 09/25/08 18:32
Re: Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: emd_mrs1

I believe that building beside the highway bridge is the old Richmond and Petersburg Electric Interurban line station. There should be a platform and "pull-off" on the bridge. From this angle it is hard to tell which building is which.

The line departed Richmond station (facility still standing as of a few years ago near the 'spaghetti warehouse' south of the river) and followed 1/301 south to Petersburg.

I would have to look up specifics in the outstanding book "Rails in Richmond". Worth its weight in gold if you can find it.


Date: 09/25/08 19:31
Re: Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: SCLFan

Yes, the building is the terminus of the Richmond-Petersburg Electric. Before the new US1/301 bridge was built over the Appomattox River, you could still see remnants of the tracks running beside the building. Petersburg is an anomoly as it once had 3 main passenger stations: N&W station (pic 3), ex-ACL station in Ettrick, and the ex-SAL station on Commerce St (not far from the bridge piers). The current CSX line thru Ettrick is single track over the Appomattox just south of the station. I beleive this is one of the bridges that the SEHSR wants to double track.

Date: 09/27/08 08:06
Re: Petersburg, VA Questions
Author: ctillnc

I believe SEHSR has looked at four ways to cross the Appomattox:

1. The simplest way is to double-track the existing A-line bridge by building a new bridge immediately adjacent to it. Then restore the Burgess Cutoff to get to the S-line. It's a roundabout plan that exposes SEHSR to congestion at Collier Yard, and it perpetuates the Ettrick station.

2. Build an entirely new segment of railroad -- new ROW, in other words -- and a new bridge well upstream of the A-line bridge, to connect with the old S-line alignment on the west side of Petersburg beyond Battersea. This wouldn't require the Burgess Cutoff to be re-installed and would probably offer the fastest running times of all the options, but it poses a number of other problems.

3. Restore the original S-line through downtown Petersburg, with a bridge where the old one was. Significant ROW problems.

4. Restore the old ACL main line through downtown Petersburg, with a bridge where the old one was. Significant ROW problems.

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