Friday, May 23, 2008

Fauquier's railroading history discussed

A free lecture on the history of railroading in Warrenton and Fauquier County will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at the John Barton Payne Building, Old Town Warrenton.

One of the presenters, Ken Wilson, who describes himself as a life-long railroad fanatic and collector of artifacts and historic railroad facts, will focus on the history of the two 19th century rail lines that cross Fauquier County and how they evolved into the present lines of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. He has been involved with the Warrenton caboose project since 2000. The photo at left was taken by Bill Lee.

Warrenton's caboose was retired from active service in 1994 by the Norfolk Southern Railway and donated to the Town of Warrenton, Va., in 1995. It was moved to the head of the Warrenton Branch Greenway hiking and biking trail, which is located behind the former Southern Railway passenger depot at the end of South 4th Street.

The Piedmont Railroaders club prepared the site for the caboose and completed the restoration of the interior and exterior of the car in 1998. It is opened for public tours on select weekends during the warmer months.

Ron Scullin, the second presenter, has been the project coordinator of the Warrenton caboose project since 1996. He will talk about the history of the Warrenton branch railway and the town's caboose project.

Both speakers will show artifacts that show the progress of railroad technology.

The lecture is part of a year-long series on American history sponsored by the library and the newly formed Fauquier Heritage Institute.
Railroad enthusiasts may be interested in the library's Bernard S. Logan Collection, housed at the Bealeton Library and available to all Fauquier County Public Library patrons. It contains more than 60 books focusing on the history of steam, diesel and electric locomotives. Major lines such as the B&O, the C&O, N&W, and the Southern Railway are included.
The library also subscribe to the magazines Model Railroader and Piedmont Local. Back issues of most magazines may be checked out of the library.