Alexandria Library -- Special Collections

Document of the Month

March 2004

Virginia Midland Railway Company, Local Freight Tariff, 1882

VMRC Tariff Cover VMRC Terms and Conditions  VMRC Estimated Weights

This document describes the terms and conditions for transporting freight with the Virginia Midland Railway Company. Pages are devoted to "Rates for Storage," "Freight To and From Stations Having No Agent," and "Rates Between Alexandria and All Stations." Stops included -- but were not limited to -- Strasburg, Lynchburg, and Danville, Virginia. The last page is a chart, "Estimated Weights To Be Used When Actual Weight Or Measurement Cannot Be Ascertained." This document is located in the collection in Vertical File: Railroads, Box 240.

Timebooks for the railway (see Related Resources) show departure and arrival schedules for mail, freight, and passengers. Other topics covered in the booklets include "Signals," "Rules for Meeting and Passing Trains," "Rules for Running Trains by Telegraph," and "Rules for Train Men."

Plaintiff Sarah G. Smith (see Related Resources) complained that railroads operating on the "Wilkes Street tracks" were destroying her property and disturbing her neighborhood at all hours. Testimony describes the area through which the train passes -- St. Asaph, Wolfe, Pitt, and Wilkes Streets. There are references to the Wilkes Street tunnel and local businesses (a dairy and a fertilizer company). It includes testimony about the location of African-American residences, paved or unpaved streets, and quality of buildings. Railroad workers living in Alexandria are interviewed.

Here is a sample of the testimony: "Q. What is the character of the trains that go over that road? A. Freight trains. Q. What are the sizes of the trains? A. Well, I have counted ten; I have counted thirteen, I have counted eight; I have counted less than that; but as a general thing, those that come off the B&O barge trains made out of ten cars...."


Related Resources
  • Manuscript Collection Box 73, Folder 16: Virginia Midland Railway Timebooks, 1881-82
  • Manuscript Collection Box 239: Sarah G Smith v The Richmond & Danville Railroad Company and the Virginia Midland Railway Company, Alexandria Circuit Court Testimony, 1892
  • "Commerce on the Potomac," The Alexandrian, February 1977, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 26-27
  • Al Cox. An Analysis of the Alexandria Union Station, 1994-95
  • Donn M. Brechenser. Railroads of Northern Virginia
  • Donald R. Traser. Virginia Railway Depots


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