The WV Central Railroad (WVCR) is a short-line railroad, which is 140 miles long, and was established on May 16, 1998.
It was formed due to a legal battle that allowed the acquirement of CSX tracks, which were already in the process of being abandoned due to the lack of coal in the area. The formation of the WVCR marked a new chapter in the history of rail transportation in West Virginia.
History And Formation
In the 1990s, the coal industry in West Virginia was in decline, and many companies were abandoning their lines in the state. However, the WVSRA saw potential in these abandoned tracks and began a legal battle to acquire them.
The ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) eventually permitted CSX to abandon the tracks in 1997, but with one condition: the rail system would be left untouched so that the WVSRA could purchase the area between Elkins and Bergoo, as well as a service station, for $6 million.
The management of the tracks was handed over to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad, a well-established railroad company with a proven track record of success.
The WVCR’s terminal was located in Belington and was built on the site of the old yard. In 1998, the terminal consisted of a single-stall engine house but has since expanded to be a modern facility.
Growth In Recent Years
Over the last 20 years, the WVCR has grown significantly. The WVCR also provides an important transportation link for local businesses and communities.
The track’s new headquarters has been built in Western Maryland, showcasing its expansion and success since its creation. This terminal also acts as a staging location for coal, lumber, and other cargo items. They are then sent to either Durbin in the South or Cumberland in the North.
The WVCR is a great example of how short-line railroads can play a vital role in the economy and transportation infrastructure of a region, even in the face of economic and industrial changes.
Through its expansion and modernization, the WVCR demonstrates the potential for a sustainable future for short-line railroads. It’s a prime example of how it’s possible to create a viable and thriving rail transportation company even in the midst of a challenging industry.
In conclusion, WV Central Railroad’s history is a story of perseverance and adaptability. The track’s success in expanding its operations on abandoned tracks is a testament to its determination to provide essential services to the community.
With its dedication to modernization and growth, the WVCR is poised to continue playing a vital role in West Virginia’s transportation infrastructure for many years to come.