Virginian Research

Kentucky Extension

There was much speculation and various plans for the extension of the Virginian Railway to the coal fields of Kentucky. This information from late 1915 includes a map marked up by an Norfolk & Western Railway employee.

Car Diagrams

The Virginian published booklets that had side views of the equipment and a list of specifications. They were issued to employees and updated on a regular basis as cars were added and removed. The Passenger Car Diagrams booklet is a 20MB PDF from the early ’40s with diagrams of coaches, business cars, and baggage cars. The Coal Car Equipment booklet is an 18MB PDF from 1946 that shows several gondolas and hopper cars for coal loading.

Sea to Lake

This article is from the August 24, 1905, edition of the Manufacturers’ Record and details the early days of the Deepwater-Tidewater Railway, including mention of extension of the line to the Great Lakes.

This article is from the November 2, 1905, edition of the Manufacturers’ Record and details an interview with Major W. N. Page, president of the Tidewaterand chief engineer of the Deepwater, where the extension of the line to the Great Lakes was discussed and confirmed.

Gould Involvement

The first article is from the August 31, 1905, edition of the Manufacturers’ Record and details the machinations of George Jay Gould I to build a transcontinental railroad. It mentions the Deepwater-Tidewater Railway as a possible part in that, or at least an ally.

The second article is from the September 11, 1905, edition of the Manufacturers’ Record further details the issues surrounding Gould, the Wabash, Coal & Coke, possible Vanderbilt connections, and the impact on West Virginia railroads.

Tunnel Lining On The Virginian Railway.

Details of the Methods Used In Placing Concrete Linings In Eighteen Main-Line Tunnels without Interruption to Traffic.

Article from Railway Age Gazette, Vol. 54, No. 25, June 20, 1913, pp. 1557-59.)

Lumber Railroad and Polk Gap

Selected portions of topo maps show the tracks in this section of West Virginia.

Railroad Gazette, March 13, 1908

This article talks about station standards on the new railroad and includes plans for the Brookneal station, shows the yard layout for Roanoke, describes the construction of the freight station in Roanoke, and has a map of Norfolk.

Longest Curve and Pepper/Price/Prices Station

A thread on the Virginian discussion list from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph about a long curve in Montgomery County and info about Pepper and Price Station.

VGN Spur into Radford Arsenal

There was a branch from the Virginian just west of the VGN’s New River Tunnel that ran into Radford Arsenal to serve that plant.

Steamship H. H. Rogers

Henry Huddleston Rogers, in addtion to building the Virginian Railway, was an officer and director of Standard Oil. In 1916, that company honored the late Rogers by naming a new tanker ship for him. The steel twin-screw steamship was built at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News, Virginia. The ship saw service in WWII, until it was torpedoed by a German U-boat on February 21, 1943, while returning from England.

An account of the incident is related in Ships of the Esso fleet in World War II, published by the Standard Oil Company.


NEWPORT NEWS, VA., April 21.-- The Standard Oil tank steamer H. H. Rogers was sucessfully launched here at 4:50 this afternoon. The Rogers was the fourth steamer launched this year by the local yard, which plans to launch an average of one steamer a month for the next twenty months. The Rogers was christened by Mrs. William E. Benjamin, of New York, daughter of the late H. H. Rogers, official of the Standard Oil Company. The steamer is 517 feet long, 68 feet wide and 38 feet deep to the shelter deck. She has a cargo-carrying capacity of 5,000,000 gallons.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 28 April 1916, pg. 3