College Special Train and Special Car

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Jan 18 08:03:41 EST 2023

I rode on on of these trains when a cadet at VPI.  It was 1963 and train 
took us to a football game in Richmond (played University of Richmond).  
I believe this was the last special train from Blacksburg.  Not sure 
when schools common name went from VPI to Virginia Tech.

Paul Mirick

On 1/17/2023 11:15 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> 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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