Dates of opening various line segments

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Sun Oct 8 19:54:39 EDT 2017

On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 9:13 AM,

> A gap I see in this timeline is the connection from Lynchburg to Roanoke.

​See if these newspaper articles from that time period help.

The first article indicates that Salem (the county seat, Big Lick was just
a wide spot along the river) would be reached by the end of 1850. Given
that the call for contractors to work on the line from Salem to New River
would indicate that the prediction was correct (I'll see if I can find a
more exact date). Based on the third report, the V&T reached Central Depot
(now Radford) on the New River in May of 1854, after reaching
Christiansburg in late April or early May, 1854.

Bruce in Blacksburg

*Richmond Enquirer*, Volume 47, Number 95, 28 March 1851, pg 4


We yesterday published an interesting letter from Governor Floyd, detailing
the difficulties of preparation and construction, and the present condition
of that mighty work, the Blue Ridge Tunnel. A friend who has recently paid
a short visit to Lynchburg, has given us a few items in regard to the
tunnel just out of Lynchburg, which, being the commencement of the great
Railroad in Virginia, may not be without interest.

We are glad to hear of the energy shown by the excellent President,
officers, engineers and contractors on this important Railroad to the West.
Some 2,000 hands are now employed a long the whole line, and the work is
being prosecuted with great vigor. On the first division, from Lynchburg to
Salem, (60 miles,) the grade is neatly all completed, and it is expected
that the cars will be running at the close of this year.

The 2d division, from Salem to Wytheville, is now nearly all under
contract, and it will be in operation by the close of 1852.

The 3d division, from Wytheville to the Tennessee line, will be put under
contract in the latter part of this year, and is expected to be in
operation by the end of 1853.

Full article is at
*Richmond Enquirer*, Volume 47, Number 62, 3 December 1850, pg. 3

PROPOSALS will be received at the Rail Road Office in Lynchburg, on the 4th
day of December, 1850, for the gradation and masonry of twenty-seven and a
half miles of the road lying between Salem and New River, making about
$420,000 worth of work.

Also, at the same time and place, about 35 miles more, extending to
Wytheville, will be put under contract, if the amount of stock taken before
that time should warrant it.

Other things being equal, preference will be given to those taking the
largest per centage of their work in stock.

By order of the Board. CHAS. F. M GARNETT,
Nov 28-ctd Chief Engineer


*Richmond Mail*, Volume 2, Number 37, 15 May 1854, pg. 2

[note at bottom of column 2]
The cars on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad are expected to reach New
River during the present week.
Virginia and Tennesee Railroad.

The editor of the Lynchburg Express, in company with the President and
Directors of this Road, and a number of invited guests, made a trip to
Christiansburg, over the Railroad, on Wednesday last. From an article in
the Express, descriptive of the trip, we make the following extract:

The review of the road was eminently satisfactory to the Directors, who,
after having seen the vast dilficultiea to be surmounted, readily
exonerated the engineers and contractors from the charge of dilatoriness
which has been brought against them.

By far the most difficult portion of the road is between the Big Spring and
Christiansburg. It is one unending series of tunnels, tremendous cuts and
huge embankments. The approaches to the tunnels are such as to preclude
rapidity of excavation, and the rock through which the deepest cuts have
been made, are of such a nature as to necessitate a number of slides which
have greatly retarded the work.

The worst is now happily over, and our road will progress rapidly to its
completion. New river will be reached by June, and every nerve will be
strained to reach Wytheville by the first of September, so as to secure the
fall trade. Double forces have been placed at all the most difficult
points, and hands are already at work bedding the ties through Wythe
county; so that in all human probability, we shall have the pleasure of
chronicling a September trip to Wytheville.
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