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Freight House at Fork Union Station

the station and the freight house are all that remains of the Virginia Air Line Railway(VAL).It was a short-line in Central Virginia built in the early 20th century. It was built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad to connect the C&O’s Piedmont Subdivision to the Rivanna Subdivision of the James River Line at Strathmore.

The Virginia Air Line Railroad was completed on September 29, 1909, and was merged into C&O in 1912.

The purpose for which the VAL was built was to move loads that were too high or too wide to pass through the tunnels of the Blue Ridge Mountain complex between Charlottesville and Waynesboro. In addition, coal for Washington, D.C and Northern Virginia came down the James River Line to Strathmore, then up the VAL and on through Gordonsville.

On August 1, 1973, the last round trip train ran on the VAL, and in 1975, the VAL was officially abandoned. By 1978, track removal was completed.

Photographed by Win Goodier, December 18, 2006.
Added to the photo archive by Winslow Goodier, December 21, 2006.
Railroad: Chesapeake & Ohio.

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