WV: White Oak Railway / Oak Hill Depot

The Oak Hill Railroad Depot is a historic depot in Oak Hill, West Virginia, United States. The depot is located on the southwest corner of Virginia Avenue and Central Avenue. It opened as a station on the White Oak Railway in 1903 and later became part of the Virginian Railway, which it served until 1957. From this year until closure in 1983, it operated as a depot for the Norfolk and Western Railway.

Per Wikipedia: The depot served a line from Glen Jean to coal mines in Summerlee and Lochgelly; it initially served as both a checkpoint for coal cars from these mines and a freight and passenger station for the newly incorporated town of Oak Hill. The station’s opening led to a commercial boom in Oak Hill, which transformed from a farming community to a commercial center with multiple banks, hotels, and stores. The Virginian Railway leased the depot in 1912 and ultimately bought it in 1922. The depot continued to provide passenger and freight service to Oak Hill until after World War II, when passenger service to Oak Hill ended . The depot became part of the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1957 and provided freight service for the railway until it closed to trains in 1983.

The depot now serves as the meeting place for the White Oak chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. It is the only remaining Virginian Railway depot in West Virginia.

From The NPS Gallery Site:

Title: Oak Hill Railroad Depot
National Register Information System ID: 95000255
Applicable Criteria: EVENT
Architectural Styles: LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN MOVEMENTS
Architects: White Oak Coal Company
Areas Of Significance: TRANSPORTATION
Periods Of Significance:1925-1949, 1900-1924
Significant Years:1903, 1922
Resource Type: BUILDING
Related Collections: National Register of Historic Places Collection
Date Published:3/17/1995
Parks: National Register of Historic Places
Locations:
State: West Virginia
County: Fayette County
Oak Hill ; Jct. of Virginia Ave. and Central Ave.
Related Portals: National Register of Historic Places

The White Oak Railway was constructed during the early 1900’s and was under the control of the New River Company.

The short-line railroad was originally incorporated to provide citizens of the area a direct rail-connection between the primary business centers in Beckley, Mount Hope, and Oak Hill. The railroad consisted of two unconnected “pieces” that never were completely finished. The first section consisted of about 7½ miles of track connecting with the C. & O. Railway at Carlisle. It ran from Carlisle through Oak Hill to Stuart. The second section was about 4 to 5 miles in length, connecting with the C. & O. Railway at Price Hill Junction. It then ran to a mine located at Price Hill.

Under an agreement with the C. & O. Railway, the White Oak Railway operated passenger and freight trains along the tracks of the C. & O.’s White Oak Branch between Glen Jean and Carlisle. In 1912, the New River Company sold the locomotives and rolling stock of the White Oak Railway and jointly leased operation of the railroad to Virginian and the C. & O.

Newspaper Clippings on the Depot and Railway:

CLIPPED FROM
Hinton Daily News
Hinton, West Virginia
21 May 1906, Mon • Page 2
CLIPPED FROM
Hinton Daily News
Hinton, West Virginia
28 Jul 1906, Sat • Page 1
The Raleigh Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
18 Jun 1908, Thu • Page 2
CLIPPED FROM
The Raleigh Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
05 Aug 1909, Thu • Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
The Raleigh Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
11 Jan 1912, Thu • Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
The Raleigh Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
22 Nov 1912, Fri • Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
The Raleigh Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
04 Apr 1913, Fri • Page 7
CLIPPED FROM
The Daily Telegram
Clarksburg, West Virginia
14 Aug 1913, Thu • Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
Hinton Daily News
Hinton, West Virginia
19 Jan 1918, Sat • Page 3
CLIPPED FROM
Hinton Daily News
Hinton, West Virginia
22 Apr 1938, Fri • Page 1
CLIPPED FROM
Beckley Post-Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
26 Aug 1950, Sat  •  Page 107
CLIPPED FROM
Beckley Post-Herald
Beckley, West Virginia
04 Jul 1975, Fri • Page 6

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