April 17, 1871
The Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad will build lines from Fredericksburg to Alexandria. It will go under the name Potomac Railroad Company and also create a line to Georgetown. The Pennsylvania Central Railroad also has plans of building a similar line.
It has already been announced that the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad has purchased the charter for a railroad from Fredericksburg to Alexandria, gotten through the Legislature some rears since by the late B. F. Ficklin. A company has been organized under this charter, with the title of the "Potomac Railroad Company," and its stockholders are called to meet in Alexandria within a short time to consider the question of the immediate prosecution of the work of building their road. This road built, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac line will have an all-rail route from Richmond to Georgetown The purposes of the Pennsylvania Central were announced a week or two since. According to that statement, this company proposed to complete, during the present year, their road from Alexandria to Fredericksburg, or to Quantico (ten miles beyond Fredericksburg), whither the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company are now extending their road. It was a part of the plan to buy out the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac road to Richmond, but as that road is to be extended to Alexandria, this last-named point in the plans of the Pennsylvania company will have to be changed if that company enter Virginia at all. They have extensive investments and projects south of Richmond, and it would seem indispensable that their connection through Virginia should be perfected. If both parties are firm we shall have two railroads from Richmond to Washington, and that will be all the better for us. The prospect is now that Virginia will soon be placed upon a footing of equality with other States in the rapidity and general facility of her intercourse with outside commercial and producing communities. The enterprises that arc to ensure us this great advantage-without which the State cannot prosper-are full of life and energy. Especially is the great Chesapeake and Ohio railroad progressing with all the rapidity that the enterprising company controlling it are able to accomplish. In July, '72, It will be so far completed as to run the trains through from the Ohio to Richmond. Possibly a small part of the temporary track may be left for use a little while longer, but it is believed that, without unforeseen difficulties, the temporary track will be abandoncd at all points. At the present time the tressel-work at Jerry's Run is gone, and the train crosses that deep gorge on solid ground. At the great Millborough fills, ole of the deep ravines is spanned by the road-bed, and the other is being rapidly filled up. These tills will be completed, it is believed, by the summer of 1872 ; and then the temporary track over Lewis's tunnel will alone remain should the tunnel not be completed. It is hoped t hat it will be opened to trains in time; but the rock through which it is bored is of the hardest kind and very difficult to penetrate. Steam is now used upon it, and the contractors are doing all that men can do. It appears that there will be little or no necessity for arching, which goes far to compensate for the heavy work of boring, and, indeed, may make the tunnel as cheap as any on the road. At most this important feeder of Virginia commerce will be finished in a very short time, and the trains will be running with a speed and with a style of equipment equal to the railroad fashion of these days, gladdening the hearts of our people, and swelling the commerce and wealth of the State. South of us great changes .and improvements are near at hand which will largely increase the commerce of Richmond with the people of the southern States. These improvements will manifest themselves before long.
About this article
“Railroad Movement,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2019, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/2032.