Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

February 3, 1871


The Ohio and Chesapeake Railroads are expanding lines near Richmond. This will not increase influx of people and resources to Richmond because there is not a direct line. The Dispatch is pleading for a direct line, for the city is most deserving of one out of any city in the state, and a direct line will lead to an increase in wealth and prosperity in the city.


It will be seen that a bill was introduced into the State innate yesterday granting to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company privileges tor establishing railroad lines or branches of their road to three distinct purposes, viz: by way of James river from near Covington to or near Richmond; from some point on its road not west of I Staunton to some point on the Potomac above Washington; and one or more branches from "points at or near the city of Richmond to points upon the James or York river, or upon the waters of the Chesapeake Bay." The bill authorizes the company to select its routes. We see no good ground of objection to this bill. Touching the branch to Washington, we have to say that the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company is entitled to all the passengers-nay, and freight*, that arc defined tor Washington or anywhere else north of it, and which the road brings from the West through the Alleghanies in Virginia to any point to which it may build a branch road. It would be manifestly unjust that any of the roads which now tap it, or which may be permitted to tap it., shall draw off from it the business, or even a considerable part of that business, which its great enterprise ind heavy expenditures have enabled it to bring through the grand Virginia mountain passes. We are clear for giving it the right to build its own branch and carry its own passengers to their northern destiny, and let the tappers 'Map the hollow beech tree." Richmond cannot be hurt by this. Passengers for Washington and north of it will never come by Richmond. Let the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad provide for them and secure its own business, It will only strengthen the main line and increase its efficiency and its ability to assess low charges upon freight. The proposed road down James river is to enable the company to establish easy grades on its entire line in order to be able to carry the heavy freights from the West with greatest ease and upon a scale of economy superior to that on any of the great roads which unite the eastern cities with the West. Probably with the proposed extension from, we suppose Clifton Forge to Richmond, there will be no grade coming east from the Ohio river to Richmond that will exceed thirty feet to the mile. The third proposition for a continuation of the line from Richmond to some point on James river, or York river, or on the Chesapeake bay, is also one to which we make no objection. When the road is brought by the most favorable grades to this city, here it will permanently end, unless the company find that some other terminus is necessary for the purpose of quick and easy shipment. When that is so we can neither object nor complain. The company will never incur the cost of building a road to such new terminus if it is not indispensable. if with the road brought to this city we cannot accommodate it and move with success and dispatch all Its freights, then we could have no ground to complain that additional facilities of shipment were secured by the company. All that we have a right to demand is that we shall have equal chances with other commercial communities. We want direct lines, and are more entitled to them than any other city in the State if one must be preferred over another. Give us these direct lines, moved with greatest speed and managed upon liberal terms, and we can neither ask nor hope for more. If with these advantages the physical resources and natural blessings of this locality cannot secure to us steady growth and great wealth, then we shall be greatly disappointed. We certainly can ask nothing more.
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Megan Wiora




“Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,