Parkersburg to Clarksburg

The Parkersburg Branch


GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

This shows the two still complete CPLs at an area known as Wilsonburg, just west of Clarksburg. This portion of the line was the most recently used as there was a coal mine that CSX still served at Wolf Summit (it diverged from the main line to the north). After the coal mine shut down in the 1990s, CSX no longer needed the short section of main line and removed it in 1999. The right-of-way in this scene looks basically as it did when the rails were first taken up. While still under CSX ownership, this final remnant will sadly be transferred over to the state of West Virginia. Photo by Adam Burns.

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 about this route.

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.

martinsburg, WV


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.

Aaron Brown
Alliance, OH


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.

David Yates
Memphis, TN


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.

Toms River, NJ


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

david taylor
clarksburg , WV


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.

Reed Judy
Clarksburg, WV


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Do you have any pictures or information about The Parkersburg Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.