College Special Train and Special Car

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jan 17 23:15:20 EST 2023

Good evening,

My name is Tyler Herod and I am doing research on the Huckleberry
(officially the Blacksburg Branch) and its historical connection to
Virginia Tech. While researching, I found a source that makes constant
reference to “special trains” and “special cars.”

These trains and cars were always used to carry people for sporting events,
often football games. The size of the people carried seemed to vary. For
example, one section states “The Varsity departed Blacksburg by special
railway car on Friday morning.” This implies that it was just one car on
the train that was reserved.

However, the source also states “The special Train from Lexington pulled
into the station at Lynchburg at 12:30, and disgorged its mass of W. & L.
students and supporters. The University Band of thirty-five pieces was with
the group.” To me, this implies the entire train was reserved.

Does anyone know what the source may be referring to by “Special cars” and
“Special Trains”? Were these just normally scheduled N&W trains where the
colleges had reserved a car or the entire train, were these special
services provided by Norfolk & Western due to the sporting events, or were
these privately owned trains or cars operated on N&W rails? The time period
for these events is roughly between 1902 to 1958.

Thank you for your time,

Tyler Herod
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