Manassas Gap RR/Valley RR : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

I'm looking for information on the Manassas Gap Railroad (Southern line from Manassas to Harrisonburg VA) for 1850's through 1870's, and the Valley Railroad (B&O line from Harrisonburg to Lexington VA) for the 1870's-1880's. Does anyone have any information on operating schedules, depots, locomotive, freight and passenger equipment during this time period?

-- Bill Nelson (, January 27, 2000


Regarding the Manassas Gap R.R.: There was one passenger train a day each way, leaving each end of the line about 7am and arriving at the opposite end about 2pm. The westbound schedule was somewhat longer due to the climb up to the Gap (1860-1868). The MGRR also sold through tickets to stage coach connections to Middleburg and Winchester. The MGRR was chartered March 9, 1850 and opened the first segment of its line, Tudor Hall(Manassas) to White Plains(The Plains) in May 1852. There after it was opened in increments, to Linden (Nov.1853), Woodstock(Oct.1858) and Mount Jackson, 85miles, March 2, 1859. This is as far as they had gotten when the War of Southern Independence came. The MGRR had grand plans. Construction was underway on extending the line at both ends, to Harrisonburg and a line from Gainesville to Alexandria to relieve them of running over the Orange & Alexandria RR from Tudor Hall(Manassas) to Alexandria. There was also a proposed branch to Purcellville which, had it been completed, would have beaten the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire(W&OD) to that site. Because of the ravages of war, the line being essentially unoperable by the owners after 1862, the MGRR merged into the Orange & Alexandria R.R. February 14, 1867. The initial 27 miles from Manassas were reopened in 1866. The MGRR had a loco shed and repair shop at Woodstock. The line was built to the "northern" 4ft8 1/2in gauge to allow running over the O&A into Alexandria. A roster of equipment in October 1858 shows: 9 locos(2 in for repairs), 8 passenger cars, 107 boxcars, 61 flatcars, 8 stockcars(5 purchased in 1858) and 15 ballast(m-of-w) cars. A roster in 1868 generly shows the same totals, but much of what was then running would have been ex-U.S. Military RR's cast-offs, which most southern started with after the war. All locos were built at Smith & Perkins factory on the Potomac River in Alexandria, and all were 4-4-0 except No.4 "Manassas", a 4-6-0. Delivery of the locos came at two or three a year from 1852 to 1855 with No.9, "Warren" being delivered in 1859. For further information check the Spring 1970 issue of VIRGINIA CAVALCADE magazine(pub. bu Va. State Library) and the book VIRGINIA RAILROADS IN THE CIVIL WAR by Angus James Jhonston III(Univ. of N.C. Press, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1961)

-- Tom Underwood (, January 28, 2000.

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