It’s another blast from the distant past this week, with this C&O freight working the yard at Richmond. I’m standing someplace I shouldn’t be to get this shot looking in the opposite direction from WDYS -7.


My memory of when this was taken is fuzzy at best and completely gone at worst. I can’t even recall when the line was abandoned. However, the GP40 on the point dates it anytime from the mid 1960s onward. My best guess is that it was taken in the 1980s or perhaps even the late 1970s. The Conrail lines began their serious decline in the early ’80s, with the line through my hometown of Centerville gone by 1983-4.

Looking in the distance, you can just make out the C&O Richmond depot (derelict, but still standing today) in the far distance between the bridge pier and the brick building on the left. The interchange track climbs uphill on the left of the train, past brick office building of the Purina Company. This photo contains something seldom seen today, but once common to the railroad scene. Hint? Nah, not going to make it that easy.





  1. peter trisonic

    Lemme see. That “gallows” type structure, a “loading gauge”? (Short) Telegraph poles?
    Nice shot by the way!


  2. mike

    Hi Pete,
    Not certain what you mean by loading gauge? I think you’re on the right track though. I’ll post my answer later.


  3. Matt


    I think Peter means the long gone “tell-tale”. Interestingly, first boxcar looks like it once had a roofwalk.


  4. mike

    Matt and Pete,

    Yes, the tell tale is what I was referring to. The PRR bridge I’m standing on had very little clearance overhead. Modern equipment like that in the photo barely squeezed under it, although, early TOFC equipment did manage to clear. There was simply no room at all for a man who might be riding on top of a boxcar for whatever reason.

    Funny how these older images remind us of all the texture (tell tales, lighted switch lanterns, crossing shanties, etc.) along the tracks that has just vanished over the years.