Was Richmond Union Station Stub end or pasthrough?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

A friend in England asked if the ACL Richmond Union Station was stub-end or pass-through facility. I've only seen the building from the street and always assumed it was pass-through but can find no evidence one way or the other in my resources. Also what is the status of the building today? Thanks for the enlightenment. Arnold Eaves Woodstock, Georgia

-- Arnold W. Eaves (aseaves@mindspring.com), February 08, 2001


Page 92 of William E Griffin Jr's "Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad - The Capital Cities Route" has a great aerial photo and map of Broadstreet Station. Page 58 & 59 of his new book, "RF&P passenger Service 1935-1975" has other good aerial photos. Enjoy.

-- Jim Coviello (jcovi60516@aol.com), February 17, 2001.

Further on Broad Street Station. There was a reason why all trains using the station had their locomotives pointing south-toward the curved portion of the loop. The RF&P had cab signalling and the cab signal test circuits were located at the south end of the platforms. All RF&P trains performed a cab signal test at Broad Street station before they left for Washington. When SAL still used the old Main Street station, RF&P had a cab signal test loop installed at Main Street.

These cab signal test loops were required for both generations of RF&P cab signals-the pre war three indication, two speed system and the 1950's four indication coded system.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), February 16, 2001.

Arnold-please send me an E-mail with your address and I will try to make copies of the photos I have, etc. My E-mail address is Savchak@MNR.org

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), February 13, 2001.

I would like to thank everyone who answered my query about Richmond Broad Steet Station. I have a much better picture of the operation now but will have to locate a map or diagram to help me bisualize the procedures. I know my acquaintace in England is very happy to have your input also. You are a very gracious and helpful society. Thank you all.

-- Arnold Eaves (aseaves@mindspring.com), February 12, 2001.

The Richmond Facility was as others have stated, Broad Street Station. This facility was under the ownership of the Richmond Terminal company, which was originally jointly owned by RF&P and ACL. Until 1959, SAL trains used Main Street station, owned by C&O. This station was on the SAL elevated line through Richmond. In 1959, the original agreement forming the Richmond Terminal Co. was modified to permit SAL to use the station.

The terminal was designed to permit one way operation only. Trains entered the north end of the terminal and then looped around. All trains faced the same way, whether they were going north or south. This was permissible since the ACL's main line branched off north of the station. A southbound ACL train would proceed past the junction with the RF&P, enter Broad street station, make its stop, and then proceed around the loop-it would then be northbound and it would proceed to the ACL junction, where it would proceed on to the ACL. Northbound, this was reversed. When SAL trains began using the station, they required back up moves to either enter or leave the station, as the SAL main line was parallel to the station.

A better description of the station, its operations and some excellent photos, including aerials, are in Griffin's books on the RF&P-"Capital Cities route" and "RF&P Passenger service". Both books are probably available from the society.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak @MNR.org), February 12, 2001.

Actually, there are FOUR stub end tracks at the [now] Science Museum of Virginia nee Broad Street Station. They break from the single main [Thoroughfare] track stretch of what was once a four track main line at RF&P MP 1 (called Peek-a-boo). There are two CSX commercial shippers on the lead to old Broad Street Station: one is the former Southern Biscuit Company and the other is a cardboard box recycling business. The High Speed Rail Expo was held there last year and the Orient Express American tours will park there a couple of times this year. Amtrak crews are qualified into the facility, operate the trains into town, and spot them at the platforms.

-- Doug Riddell (railroaddoug@erols.com), February 09, 2001.

Broad Street station opened to rail traffic on Jan 6, 1919. (First train departed at 1:07 PM) An early aerial photo of this magnificent edifice and surrounding track network, plus other photos, can be found in Donald Traser's "Virginia Railway Depots". Today the restored structure is the Science Museum of Virginia, visited by thousands yearly. A single stub track leads to a restored loading platform at the rear of the building. But prior to Broad St. Station (1919), the ACL used Byrd St Station, several blocks south of Broad St. , nearer to the James River. (R,F,&P also once used this 'union' station.) This building was opened in 1887. The station, located at 7th & Canal St, had been used by ACL predecessor Richmond & Petersburg RR. Apparently,ACL freight service remained at Byrd after passenger service moved to Broad St Station in 1919. Althought altered, portions of Byrd St Station remained until the early 1970s, until finally demolished for a freeway.

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), February 09, 2001.

Hi Arnold, The "ACL Union Station" your friend mentioned is known as Borad Street Station. It served ACL, N&W, RF&P, SAL (although SAL also used Main Street Station with C&O, which was located near SAL's BRown Street YArd and C&O's 17th Street Yard in the Shockoe Mills area of downtown Richmond). Broad Street featured a unique loop and wye track configuration which allowd trains to come from either direction on the Richmond Terminal RR (which paralleled the SAL and SAL's Hermitage Yard) and depart in either direction as well. Part of the facility included a large coach yard. I've seen an aerial photo of it somewhere but I just finished poking through five or six of the most popular SAL books and can't find it. Maybe somebody else on the list has can find one. Good luck! JG

-- John Golden (Golden1014@yahoo.com), February 08, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ