The Farmville and Powhatan Railroad went bankrupt in 1905 and became the Tidewater and Western Railroad. The line survived until 1917 when it was pulled up and sent to France for the World War I effort. The Tidewater and Western Railroad carried freight and passengers along a route from Farmville, Virginia to Bermuda Hundred. The Tidewater and Western Railroad continued to have Western Union Telegraphs run along the rails. These connected to telegraphs on the Atlantic Coast Line along the East Coast of the US and to Europe.
|Dates of operation||1905-06-07–1917-05-07|
|Track gauge||3 ft (914 mm)|
|Length||1 routes 3 spurs: 96 miles (150 km)|
Rail Transport from Cumberland County helped Cumberland farmers sell fruits, vegetables and timber to Farmville markets.A magazine notice for renting the Turkey Island Plantation advertised that the farm is near the Tobaccoville station of the Tidewater and Western Railroad which would help the farmer get dairy products to market. From 1884 to 1917, the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad, later named the Tidewater and Western Railroad, was important to Cumberland County residents for markets and transportation and the telegraph. The owners hoped that the line would ship products all the way to Chester, Virginia and docks at Bermuda Hundred to make the railroad profitable. However, the line had trouble competing with the Standard gauge Southern railway.
The Farmville Coal and Iron Company built a one and a half mile spur rail line from the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad to the mine. This railroad provided transport from the mine to the docks at Bermuda Hundred in the Tidewater region. On Jan. 24, 1891, an editor of “The Financial Mining Record” suggested that the Farmville Coal & Iron Company did not have enough coal production to justify a fraction of its stock price. The Norfolk and Western Railway, since 1883, had been bringing in coal from a new coal mine, the Pocahontas Coalfield, which could provide coal more cheaply and ship the coal on a larger standard gauge, class one railroad. This decreased to the economic viability of mining coal in the Richmond and Farmville Basins.The Farmville Coal and Iron Company went bankrupt a few years later, possibly before any coal was mined.
The Tidewater and Western Railroad was losing money each year, the lawyers reported. If the railroad increased rates, they would lose customers to the Southern Railway. The State Corporation resisted letting investors close railroads if there was an alternative investor who was willing to run them. Wealthy investors in Cumberland, where much of the tracks lay, were unwilling to purchase all shares at less that the value of all of the property owned by the company because the Tidewater and Western Railroad had not been able to pay a dividend after taxes.
In 1917, two attempts at stating industries were made which could have saved the Tidewater and Western Railroad by giving it something to haul.
Thomas A. Bolling tried brickmaking from clay in the Farmville Basin in 1917. He used a pug mill to make bricks from the clay. He had a plant on High Street. Ries and Somers tested his clay and clay from another pit and found that some of it could even be used for hollow bricks which must be stronger as well as drain tile.
Also in 1917, the Tidewater Oil and Gas Company drilled an exploratory hole over 1500 feet deep in the Fork Swamp area in the Willis River. Oil was found about 1000 ft down but the company eventually closed 1921.
The Tidewater and Western, eventually had to be sold. George M. Wilson, who had been treasurer of this railroad and two predecessors operated the railroad until he died in April 1917. The French Government then bought the railroad's portable assets from the receiver for the World War I effort. The rails, ties and cars other than a few engines were driven up the docks at Bermuda Hundred and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the engines were sold to be used in the U.S. A piece of the rail was left at the Railroad Museum in Richmond. The rails were never used for replacing bombed rails as had been planned.
Virginia State Route 10 was built from Bermuda Hundred on the north side of the Appomattox River east almost to Chesterfield Court House on or near the old railroad tracks in 1918, after the railroad was sold. Beach road was built from near the Chesterfield Courthouse, to Winterpock on or near the old railbed. There a gas station still operates which was built to serve Winterpock in 1926. Near the old Nash stop, near Nash road, is the old granite Swift Creek Rail Bridge hidden in the woods behind a landfill and housing complex. Coalboro Road is built on or near the spur from Colboro to Epps Falls.
The Tidewater and Western track bed in Cumberland County was replaced with Virginia State Route 13 in 1918, following the sale of the tracks. A road for automobiles. Virginia State Route 45, which was also built on the track bed of the Tidewater & Western Railroad, was built from Cumberland to Farmville in 1928.
The Tidewater and Western Railroad was a ninety three mile line, plus spurs, after the merger. The rails had a bridge over the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Swift Creek Rail Bridge and three other bridges. Two were iron and three were wooden.
The Tidewater and Western Locomotive had from seven to eight engines. There were nine passenger cars and 2 baggage cars. The train hauled mostly freight and there were 143 freight cars.
The Tidewater and Western extended from Farmville to Mosley, where it crossed the Southern, to Chester, where it crossed the Atlantic Coast Line and the Richmond Trolley, all the way to Bermuda Hundred where goods could be shipped or received by boat to and from New York, Boston or across the Atlantic to Europe. Only the link to Chester was drawn in the first map. The second map, shown in the references section, shows more detail around Chester, including the tracks to Bermuda Hundred.
Chesterfield County is located just south of Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The county's borders are primarily defined by the James River to the north and the Appomattox River to the south. Its county seat is Chesterfield Court House.
Chester is a census-designated place (CDP) in Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States. Per the 2020 census, the population was 23,414.
Farmville is a town in Prince Edward and Cumberland counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 8,216 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Prince Edward County.
Midlothian is an unincorporated area in Chesterfield County, Virginia, U.S. Settled as a coal town, Midlothian village experienced suburbanization effects and is now part of the western suburbs of Richmond, Virginia south of the James River in the Greater Richmond Region. Because of its unincorporated status, Midlothian has no formal government, and the name is used to represent the original small Village of Midlothian and a vast expanse of Chesterfield County in the northwest portion of Southside Richmond served by the Midlothian post office.
The Southside Railroad was formed in Virginia in 1846. Construction was begun in 1849 and completed in 1854. The 5 ft gauge railroad connected City Point, a port on the James River with the farm country south and west of Petersburg, Virginia, to Lynchburg, Virginia, a distance of about 132 miles (212 km).
The Southside of Richmond is an area of the Metropolitan Statistical Area surrounding Richmond, Virginia. It generally includes all portions of the City of Richmond which lie south of the James River, and includes all of the former city of Manchester. Depending on context, the term "Southside of Richmond" can include some northern areas of adjacent Chesterfield County, Virginia in the Richmond-Petersburg region. With minor exceptions near Bon Air, VA, the Chippenham Parkway forms the border between Chesterfield County and the City of Richmond portions of Southside, with some news agencies using the term "South Richmond" to refer to the locations in Southside located in the city proper.
Moseley is an unincorporated area in Powhatan and Chesterfield counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The United States Post Office for the community is located at 21431 Hull Street Road, with a ZIP code of 23120. Many upper-middle class communities have been built in the area in previous years such as Foxcreek, Magnolia Green, Summer Lake, Westerleigh and FoxFire. It is bordered to the east by the census-designated place of Woodlake.
The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad moved passengers and goods between Richmond and Petersburg from 1838 to 1898. It survived the American Civil War and eventually merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1900.
Ballsville is an unincorporated community in Powhatan County, Virginia. The community is located approximately forty miles due west of Richmond. It is on Virginia State Route 13 between Powhatan, Virginia and Cumberland, Virginia.
Bermuda Hundred was the first administrative division in the English colony of Virginia. It was founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1613, six years after Jamestown. At the southwestern edge of the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers opposite City Point, annexed to Hopewell, Virginia in 1923, Bermuda Hundred was a port town for many years. The terminology "Bermuda Hundred" also included a large area adjacent to the town. In the colonial era, "hundreds" were large developments of many acres, arising from the English term to define an area which would support 100 homesteads. The port at the town of Bermuda Hundred was intended to serve other "hundreds" in addition to Bermuda Hundred.
Skinquarter is an unincorporated town located off U.S. Route 360 in the western part of Chesterfield County in Virginia. It is located on the headwaters off Goode's Creek and Skinquarter Creek which flow to different places on the Appomattox River.
Tobaccoville is an unincorporated community in Powhatan County, Virginia. Tobaccoville was a stop on the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad from 1884 to 1905 and then on the Tidewater and Western Railroad from 1905 to 1917. A magazine notice for renting the "Indian Camp" farm advertised that the farm was near the Tobaccoville station of the Tidewater and Western Railroad. This would help the tenant farmer get dairy products to market.
Raines Tavern is an unincorporated community in Cumberland County on Virginia State Route 45 just north of Farmville, Virginia, in the U.S. state of Virginia. It was a stop on the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad from 1884 to 1905, and on the Tidewater and Western Railroad from 1905 to 1917.
Sunny Side is an unincorporated community in Buckingham and Cumberland counties, in the U.S. state of Virginia. Sunny Side was a stop on the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad from 1884 to 1905 and then on the Tidewater and Western Railroad from 1905 to 1917. It is on the new Virginia State Route 13 between Powhatan, Virginia and Cumberland, Virginia from 1918 to today.
Beach Station a national historic district located near Chesterfield, in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The district includes six contributing buildings and one contributing site in the Village of Beach. They were all constructed about 1890 and are two single-family dwellings, a post office, a railway depot, an outbuilding, two railroad shanties, and the ruins of the former general store. Beach Station was accessible from the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad later named the Tidewater and Western Railroad. Leasing arrangements had been made with the Brighthope Railway company which was sold to become the Farmville and Powhatan. The district represents an unusual collection of late-nineteenth-century buildings in their historic surroundings. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
In 1886, Randolph Harrison, of the Virginia department of Agriculture, cited Cumberland Mining Company, stating that the United States had purchased stock in the Brighthope Railway. He continued by citing their assertion that extending the railway into Cumberland would increase the value of farms there because they could sell consumer agricultural products such as fruit, dairy and vegetables to all markets of Virginia. The Brighthope Railway was founded in 1877 by the creditors of the Clover Hill Railroad who bought that railroad when the Clover Hill Railroad went bankrupt. The Brighthope Railway continued in the role of the Clover Hill Railroad, hauling coal from the Clover Hill Pits at Winterpock, Virginia. In addition to coal, the Bright Hope Railway transported timber and agricultural products and had passenger service. The Bright Hope Railway was narrowed from standard gauge to narrow gauge and rerouted in 1881. In 1886, much of the southern rails were changed to standard gauge. The Brighthope Railway was not changed back.
The Clover Hill Railroad was a railroad company that operated for 36 years in central Virginia near Richmond. The railroad was created to carry coal most efficiently from the Clover Hill Pits in Winterpock, Virginia, to further transportation points in Chester, Virginia, where it could be sold for a better price than on the Appomattox River in the Piedmont region. This made the railroad important to the Confederacy in the Civil War to ensure a supply of coal for munitions and iron working. The mines were dangerous for the miners, and many accidents occurred. The railroad had to be sold when coal mining declined so that new owners could find other uses for the railroad.
In 1886, Randolph Harrison, of the Virginia department of Agriculture, cited Cumberland Mining Company, stating that businessmen would soon open a hotel at Lithia Springs, Farmville, VA for people seeking the healing waters. The Brighthope railway would be extended to bring them there. But instead, the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad Company built the narrow gauge rails through Cumberland County and the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad Company bought the Brighthope Railway, so the Farmville and Powhatan Railroad made the connection. In 1890, Beach Station was built with a railroad depot, some railroad shanties, a general store and an owner's house, the George Perdue House as a stop on the line.
The Clover Hill Pits are a number of coal shafts and mines that operated in the Southside area of Richmond, Virginia from 1837 until around 1883.
The Swift Creek Rail Bridge was a granite and iron truss bridge over Swift Creek in Virginia. The Tidewater and Western Railroad included a bridge over Swift Creek that had been built by an earlier railroad company, the Clover Hill Railroad. The bridge was used during the whole time the four railroad companies operated rails over the bridge. The metal on the bridge was sold as part of foreclosure of the final company in 1917.