The Parkersburg Branch
This line was formerly part of the B&O main line from Washington to St. Louis. This section and most of the line from Clarksburg to Cincinnati was abandoned in 1985, with rails being removed on this section in 1989.
Towns on this line from Parkersburg east are Nicholette, Davisville, Kanawha, Walker, Eaton, Petroleum (Volcano Jct), Silver Run, Cairo, Cornwallis, Ellenboro, Lamberton, Pennsboro, Toll Gate, Greenwood, Duckworth, Central, West Union, Smithburg, Castlebrook Siding, Morganville, Long Run, Industrial School, Salem, Bristol, Maken, Wolf Summit, Reynoldsville, Wilsonburg and into Clarksburg at Short Line Jct.
Thanks to Adam Burns for contributing information.
Would love to see more photos of this area of the old B&O. It would be great if someone wrote a book about this section of the railroad, everything is about the line to Chicago, not much about this end past Grafton. My favorite end of the railroad. Thanks for these pictures, would love to see some from when it was an operating road.
I believe this is the branch that is now rails to trails from the Parkersburg area East. When I was a young teenager, I spent my spring break with my aunt who lived in that area. She had a four wheel drive and a full tank so we headed out for an adventure. We drove these tracks for maybe 15 miles. It was at the time they were creating the trail system, there were no rails but still ties. There was some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, tunnels, bridges, ravines with lush greens and rock faces. Pretty neat experience.
The Parkersburg Branch has been converted into the North Bend Trail. The seventy mile trail that spans Parkersburg to Wolf Summit in West Virginia. The highlights includes a few restored depots and about half dozen tunnels. A must ride for any railroad fan.
I received my Civil Service training in Clarksburg WV, 12/22/77-03/13/78. This line was quite active then, and I took Amtrak to Clarksburg from DC R/T twice. Wish I had taken photos, but that was a particulary harsh winter to go out in without a car.
now i heard tha decided to abandon this line because of tunnel and bridge maintance but i woud like to know if this iz part of the original line built in 1857?????? oh p s great granddad was a mail sorter on the old b&o
I am interested in building a model railroad modeling portions of this route and would appreciate any information about the line including pictures, engines in the steam to diesel transition. All information and references would be helpful.
This branch started as the North Western VA RR. The B&O got stuck with building to Wheeling in 1838 when VA demanded the terminus be Wheeling, not Parkersbg or Pittsbg. In 1839 PA put so many restrictions on the B&O that they refused to build thru the SW corner of PA. So the NW VA RR got started independently in 1851 and finished in 1857. It got bought out as soon as the B&O got to Wheeling in 1853. The goal was to capture the OH river traffic by linking St Louis with Parkersbg (as the head of year-round navigation). Excellent book is: The Great Road by James Dilts.