Southern Railway

the Southern Railroad offered passenger service from Norfolk to Danville in 1899, over the leased Atlantic and Danville Railroad tracks
the Southern Railroad offered passenger service from Norfolk to Danville in 1899, over the leased Atlantic and Danville Railroad tracks
Source: Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Virginian-Pilot (p.9, December 23, 1899)

The Southern Railway was created by J. P. Morgan in 1894. After the financial "panic" (recession) a year earlier, he acquired control of multiple separate railroads and assembled them into a rationalized network of track. The Southern was the dominant railroad in its region.

The Wreck of the Old 97 occurred on the way into Danville, when the train's engineer drove it too fast to make the curve and crashed at Stillhouse Trestle on September 27, 1903. The trestle was removed in 1938, but the country music lyrics have immortalized the site:1

It's a mighty rough road from Lynchburg to Danville
In a line on a three-mile grade
It was on that grade that he lost his airbrakes
Oh, you see what a jump he made
He was goin' down grade making 90 miles an hour
When his whistle broke into a scream
He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle
And was scalded to death by the steam

the Wreck of the Old 97 occurred on the Southern Railway, at Stillhouse Trestle in Danville in 1903
the Wreck of the Old 97 occurred on the Southern Railway, at Stillhouse Trestle in Danville in 1903
Source: US Geological Survey (USGS), Danville 1:62,500 topographic quadrangle (1925)

Links

References

1. "Wreck of the Old 97" (Hank Snow), Genius, https://genius.com/Hank-snow-the-wreck-of-the-old-97-lyrics; Danny Ricketts, "Dan Jones Third Man at the Wreck of the Old 97 Danville, VA 1903," rdricketts.com blog, https://rdricketts.com/blog/2008/08/27/dan-jones-third-man-at-the-wreck-of-the-old-97-danville-va-1903/ (last checked December 1, 2018)

the Southern Railway maintained its line to West Point, after establishing access to wharves on the Elizabeth River
the Southern Railway maintained its line to West Point, after establishing access to wharves on the Elizabeth River
Source: US Geological Survey (USGS), King William 1:62,500 scale topographic quadrangle (1920)


Historic and Modern Railroads in Virginia
Railroads of Virginia
Virginia Places