The History of CB&W - Chapter 2

Through the influence of a brother-in-law who was a member of the Virginia Senate, he obtained a grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia to run a railroad from the port of Phoebus, westward to Rapidan, CBW-Rapidanwhere he would interchange with the CF&W. After getting the grant he persuaded some Phoebus bankers to finance 25% of the railroad. His brother-in-law hung an amendment on a tobacco tax bill that obligated the Commonwealth to 24%. The Colonel put together a complex financing structure for the remaining 51%, Colonel Davis being the owner of record of that 51% block of stock. Construction of the Phoebus & Western Virginia Railway (P&WV Rwy.) was completed on April 16, 1898. Obviously from the new railroad's name, the Colonel's ultimate plan was to run the railroad all the way to his mines. On April 17 the railroad held a large celebration on the docks at Phoebus to celebrate the arrival of the first coal train. The primary refreshment served was "coal miners punch." the main ingredients, according to legend, was dynamite, coal dust and Davis Mountain moonshine. The Colonel consumed more than the other guests and as the train pulled into the siding he stumbled off the pier into the water and drowned.

The whole financial structure he had built unraveled with his untimely death, and the railroad went into the hands of receivers after only one week of operation. the CF&W had, in spite of its name, never been able to get clearance from the Commonwealth of Virginia to run trackage beyond Culpeper Virginia. The owners saw the Colonel's death as a way to extend their line to an east coast port. They quickly formed a partnership of the CF&W and three local mine owners, raising sufficient capital to bid on the P&WV Rwy. Being the first and only group with cash in hand, they bought the Colonel's 51% at a bargain basement prices and resumed operations under the name Chesapeake Bay and Western Railway Company. The first train to operate under the CB&W name was an eastbound coal train from the town of Davis to Phoebus on October 3rd 1898.


Over the next several years the railroad began its westward expansion, increasing the number of coal fields served. By 1910 it hauled coal from fields in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia to the Atlantic coast. the railroad's management saw the limitations and vulnerabilities of being a one commodity railroad so plans began to expand west to St. Louis. World War I meant putting expansion plans on hold. The railroad prospered during the war and by the signing of the armistice in 1918, the railroad had almost doubled the tonnage it moved annually. During this period the railroad bought back the stock held by the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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.