Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Washington, Alexandria, & Mt. Vernon Electric Railway

The Washington, Alexandria, & Mt. Vernon Electric Railway connected Arlington, VA at present-day Rosslyn station with Mount Vernon, about 15 miles south, with service starting in 1892. (right-of-way)

Washington, Alexandria, and Mount Vernon Electric Railway, n.d., Visual Studies Collection, Fairfax County Public Library Historical Photographs, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
The line was granted permission to connect with the District of Columbia via a barge on the Potomac, but this was never acted upon. Its location in eastern Virginia meant that there were many iconic American landmarks along its path, such as George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The line also used the present-day right-of-way of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in spots, and part of the line ran through Arlington National Cemetery and the campus of the Pentagon. The line merged with another interurban line, the Washington, Arlington & Falls Church Railway to form the Washington-Virginia Railway in 1913. But the combined company would not last long, as competition from automobiles and buses left the interurban in a position like many others across the United States. By 1932, the trolleys would make their last run along the route. History

Friday, December 20, 2019

STB Abandonment AB_1291_0_X

The Rockdale, Sandow & Southern Railroad connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Marjorie, TX, running about six miles south to a smelter at Alcoa, TX.

Photo: Wes Carr via TrainWeb.org

In November 2019, its parent company Alcoa Energy Services filed a petition to abandon the line, citing no current demand for rail service and no apparent traffic prospects.

In the filing, it leaves open the potential for part of the right of way to remain open disconnected from the rest of the US rail network, which would make the line not subject to STB regulation.

The line has been in service since 1923, with common carrier service since 1952. The only real traffic came from the metals industry, as the line hauled mostly aluminium products.

STB Website: Search for AB_1291_0_X

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway

The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway connected its namesake towns in Colorado, beginning in 1897. (right-of-way)

Image: Cathedral Park, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"The train tracks belong to the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway." Photochrom print by the Detroit Photographic Co. copyrighted 1901. From the Photochrom Prints Collection, Library of Congress.

It was built during Colorado Springs' second gold rush during the 1890's, but faced competition from many of the other railroads built to tap into the mines at Cripple Creek. Despite the rugged terrain it ran through, it was a standard gauge line.

The line changed hands a few times during the 1910's, before finally becoming part of the Cripple Creek Central Railway, who also controlled the nearby Midland Terminal Railway. By 1917, most traffic had been moved to the MTRwy, with 1919 being the last year of operations.

Almost all of the right of way today has been converted into Gold Camp Road.