The History of CB&W

In 1884, Col. Wendell J. Davis, a wealthy logging tycoon built the David Timber Company Railway. This three foot narrow gauge railroad was built to haul cut timber from his large land holdings on Davis Mountain near the town of Davis, Virginia to the sprawling saw mill at Kezzeltown, Virginia. The little narrow gauge line would eventually grow in the Chesapeake Bay and Western Railroad. The new railroad proved to be a very profitable operation in more ways than one. In July 1886 the brakes failed on a loaded log train coming down the famous Nose Bleed grade. The entire train jumped the track and the locomotive dug a four feet deep furrow into the mountainside. The locomotive and six cares were a total loss, but the Colonel wasn't about to abandon the locomotive without first pulling it out of the dirt and making a personal examination to satisfy himself that it couldn't be repaired. After extracting what remained of the locomotive out of the ground, workers discovered the locomotive laid bare a vein of coal. The Colonel, knowing that the day would come when all the timber he owned would be cut, seized this opportunity and began mining his new found black gold.

columbia-furnaceHis nearest market for coal was the large forge at Columbia furnace, Virginia. To reach this customer the Colonel hauled coal on his narrow gauge railroad to Keezletown where it was off loaded onto standard gauge cars of the Keezletown, Columbia Furnace & Washing Railroad (CF&W) and shipped to Columbia Furnace. Colonel Davis found new markets for his coal in the northern industrial centers and it became obvious that the narrow gauge railroad was not going to be able to handle the increased traffic. The standard gauge conversion was completed in November 1890. this included bypassing the Nose Bleed grade, making the ruling grade 3.0%. Col. Davis, quickly began buying as much mineral rights to all the surrounding land as he could finance. he had a vision of a large coal empire that included a railroad to haul coal to a sea port on the Atlantic where it could then be shipped up or down the East Coast. In spite of his successes, he was stretched to his financial limit, so to get his coal to the coast he tried to negotiate a merger with the CF&W.  The CF&W owners refused all his offers, forcing him to look at other plans.


Model Railroading Tips

Tools to Help You Apply a Small Drop of Glue

(Geoff Holman)

How many times have you needed to apply a very small amount of glue to parts that need repair or assembly on you HO Scale models?  We all have experienced the frustration of finding "the right" tool to help us with this task.  Recently, I came across a great tool that will help you with this task.  It's called "The Glue Looper," and it will allow you to put glue exactly where you need it.  It will fit in virtually any hobby knife handle that uses a flat clemping vise and is extremely easy to use.  Another cool thing, it's made in the USA.  Check out this short video and see for yourself.

The GlueLooper In Action

The Glue Looper Explained

Take it from me, I picked up a couple of them and they are well worth the money. Check it out!

Painting and Weathering Using Common Household Items

(article from

Always on the lookout for cost effective ways to enhance their model railroad layouts, modelers continue to come up with unique methods for weathering. Painting Here’s a tip where Palmer Schatell describes one way he paints some components of his layout: When airbrushing HO [cars & engines], with a little hand molding, the soft cardboard rolls that toilet paper comes on fits into the cars and locomotive bodies and provides a way of holding these objects. I used the cap from a spray can fastened to the center of an inexpensive Lazy Susan to allow me to turn the bodies without having … [Read more...]

Model Railroad Clubs in Virginia

Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, INC.

(HO Scale) - Vienna, VA

Prince William County Model Railroad Club

(HO Scale) - Quantico, VA

Winchester Model Railroad Club

(HO Scale) - Winchester, VA

Lynchburg Area N-Scalers

(N Scale) - Lynchburg, VA

nvntrak logo 1
Northern Virginia NTRAK

(N Scale) - Manassas, VA

Peninsula Model Railroad Club

(N Scale) - Newport News, VA

Tidewater Modular Railroad Club

(HO Scale) - Virginia Beach, VA

RR Friends (All Scales)
Fredericksburg, VA

Winchester Model Railroad Club

Recommended Vendors Railroad Travel, Hobby & Industry

The Train Station - When in Ohio, visit Columbus' premier all-scale railroad store. Ask for Mike Flick or his son, Marty and enjoy central Ohio's best in model railroading stock and supplies.

Ralph's Trains
- Ever sit at a rail crossing, counting cars and wondering how you could purchase life like railroad loads? Visit "Ralph's Trains" and see authentic flat bed loads in several scales.

Classic Toys 4u2
- Interested in HO scale engines and rolling stock. Contact Merle Morey.

Valley Railroad Model Trains - Hampton Roads area of Virginia (Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk), Valley features HO, N, O and Z scale products for the rail enthusiast.

Dale's Trains - Visit Hampton Roads premier all-scale model railroad store.