Richmond and Lynchburg Railway

September 26, 1870


There is potential for a railroad to be constructed that would run through Richmond. This railroad looks to open up trade to the west and southwest regions of the country, making it something that all citizens are urged to put there full support into.


We consider tho one concerning this road a settled question. It must be built. It will force itself just as water breaks away obstructions and flows along its bed. The plain demand is for the straightest line, be- cause it is the shortest, and Richmond must secure to herself all the advantages of distance to which she is entitled, and it is only by the straightest possible line that the can get the benefit of these advantages. Some few friends, involved in some sort of doubts or complications which cannot be well understood, suggest a variation of this plain and indispensable line. A road to Farmville is suggested as a substitute, and another to cut across to the north side is spoken of. Now, these substitutes would be of no value. They would not accomplish the ob- ject Richmond has in building the road to Lynchburg. We must carry our road di- rect to that town: First. Because we cannot increase travel by Richmond, and cannot diminish the dis- tance in transportation from the Southwest to tide-water unless we do. Secondly. Unless the terminus of the straight road is at Lynchburg, when the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad is completed down James river to that town its freights will have to take the Southside, and jump off that again to any road Richmond may have built to Farmville or some other point, or follow the Southside consolidation to the sea. Does anybody in Richmond want any such half-way impolicy and abortion as that? Thirdly. The Danville and Lynchburg railroad will contribute largely to Rich- mond if we have a straight road to Lynch- burg, ready to meet it and run on friendly terms with it. What shall we got from that cross line if our road, vigorously and actively managed, does not terminate at Lynchburg? Nothing, or possibly enough to make It worse than nothing - a mere mockery. These reasons are quite sufficient to set- tle the question, It has been remarked that capitalists won't invest their money in the straight road to Lynchburg. If not, will they invest in any of the abortive lat- eral lines proposed by those who say this? It would be well for hesitating friends to think of these points. We have no idea that the merchants of Richmond are at any loss on the subject. They know That Richmond must have the shortest and most expeditious communication with the Southwest ; That we must take our road to Lynch- burg to meet there the Danville and Lynch- burg railroad to take from it all the pro- duce that is adapted to this market, to our trade and our manufacturers. These things our citizens know, and there will be no hesitation about routes, no doubt as to the absolute necessity of the straight road from Richmond to Lynchburg
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Travis Terry




“Richmond and Lynchburg Railway,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,