CN Freight Train - 16th St. Chicago

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Front Side: Union Railroad Back Side: Union Railroad Union RR Flag

Union Railroad Company

Item 1-U     Price: $65.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Slaymaker forged.
Superb serif lettering and patina.
Interesting fact: The URR keys' style bit is exactly the
same as the VGN key listed on this page.
The two roads more than likely had a interchange agreement.
Great conversation key.

History

On July 2, 1894 the Union Railroad came into existence. From 1894-1907, the original URR extended from East Pittsburgh to Hays, a distance of six miles. The Union Railroad was unique given that it was basically a switching railroad and yet its loads were incredibly heavy made up of either; ore, coke, coal, slag or steel. This unique combination in addition to the steep grades around Pittsburgh demanded some special tractive force. In 1898 the largest locomotive of the time was built for the Union Railroad. The engine was a 2-8-0 had more weight on its drivers (208,000 pounds) than any built up to that time. This was locomotive 95 in the U RR. stable and according to the article was built by Pittsburg's Locomotive Works.

Today the U RR is a Class III switching railroad located in Allegheny County in Western Pennsylvania. The company is owned by Transtar, Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of USS Corp, more popularly known as United States Steel.

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad UP RR Flag

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 2-U     Price: $65.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Nice block lettering and fine pocket wear. Nice two-tone patina.

History

The Union Pacific Railroad is a Class I line haul freight railroad that operates nearly 9,000 locomotives over 32,000 route-miles in 23 states west of Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. The Union Pacific Railroad network is the largest in the United States and is serviced by more than 50,000 employees.

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP); both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the years Union Pacific Corporation has grown by acquiring other railroads, notably the Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western, Western Pacific, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, and the Southern Pacific (including the Denver & Rio Grande Western). Union Pacific Corporation's main competitor is the "BNSF Railway", the nation's second largest freight railroad, which also primarily services the Continental U.S. west of the Mississippi River. Together, the two railroads have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the U.S.

The original company was incorporated on July 1, 1862, under an act of Congress entitled Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. The act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln, and it provided for the construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. It was constructed westwardly from Council Bluffs, Iowa to meet the Central Pacific line, which was constructed eastwardly from San Francisco Bay.

UP was entangled in the credit mobilier scandal, exposed in 1872, that involved bribing congressmen and stock speculations. Its early troubles led to bankruptcy during the 1870s, the result of which was reorganization of the Union Pacific Railroad as the Union Pacific Railway on January 24, 1880, with its dominant stockholder being Jay Gould. The new company also declared bankruptcy, in 1893, but emerged on July 1, 1897, reverting to the original name, Union Pacific Railroad. The corporate headquarters of the Union Pacific Corporation were located in New York City from its initial founding in the 1860s until Drew Lewis became CEO in the mid-1980s. He relocated it to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Later the headquarters was shifted to Dallas, Texas, before relocating to Omaha to join the operating headquarters.

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad Lampoon mocks the UP for accepting money from the state of Oregon

Union Pacific Railroad

SOLD     Price: $295.00

Remarks: Circa; late 1800's-early 1900's. Forged by Bohannan
Great serif lettering. Attractive accent ring and superb patina.
Rare UP key in respect to being Bohannan forged.
A real old beauty!

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad UP RR Flag

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 3-U     Price: $65.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and patina.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Work train

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 4-U     Price: $75.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Slaymaker forged.
Superb block lettering and dark patina.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad UP construction crews guarding the rail line against hostile Plains Indians.

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 5-U     Price: $85.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and gold patina.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Railroad Back Side: Union Pacific Railroad UPY locomotive No.2005

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 6-U     Price: $45.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Attractive block lettering and gold patina.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: UP System Back Side: UP System UP RR Flag

Union Pacific System

SOLD     Price: $195.00

Remarks: Circa; late 1800's-early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Attractive block lettering and gold patina. Fine pocket wear.
"System" stamp + low serial number = rarity.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: UP-4-roads Back Side: UP-4-roads Traveling photographer for the Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 8-U    Commemorative - 5 Road Stamps    Price: $145.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Attractive block lettering. 5 roads = UP-Union Pacific, OSL-Oregon Short Line,
SJGI-St. Joseph & Grand Island, LASL-Los Angeles & Salt Lake and
OWRN-Oregon Washington R.R. & Navigation. A great West Coast key!

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge Back Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge UP RR Flag

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 9-U     Road & Bridge     Price: $175.00

Remarks: Circa; 1800's. Superb block lettering & patina.
Decorative accent ring. Key has all indicative characteristics
of a Slaymaker/Barry forged key. A great looking UP R&B key.

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Bldg. & Bridge Back Side: Union Pacific Bldg. & Bridge Directors of the Union Pacific Railroad gather on the 100th meridian, which later became Cozad, Nebraska

Union Pacific Railway

Item 10-U     Bldg. & Bridge     Price: $375.00

Remarks: Circa; 1800's. Forged by the Slaymaker/Barry Co.
Superb serif lettering and patina. Although the keys' bit
seems similar to a R&B key, the bit has a notch on the bottom.
A very rare UP key and a real beauty!

History - See 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge Back Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge Central Pacific built 15 tunnels and the Union Pacific built 4

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 11-U     Road & Bridge     Price: $125.00

Remarks: Circa; late 1800's-early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Nice block lettering and gold patina. Single digit serial number.
Ex-fine "bib" pocket wear. An early R&B beauty.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge Back Side: Union Pacific Road & Bridge Miss Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 12-U     Road & Bridge     Price: $85.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Superb block lettering and gold patina.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: UP Tool Rack Back Side: UP Tool Rack Helltowns

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 13-U     Tool Rack     Price: $65.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Great block lettering and two-tone patina. Nicely stamped back.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: UP Tool Rack Back Side: UP Tool Rack Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad

SOLD     Tool Rack     Price: $85.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Attractive block lettering and gold patina.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: UP Tool Rack Back Side: UP Tool Rack Union Pacific Railroad engine No.924

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 15-U     Tool Rack     Price: $55.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Forged by the Adlake Co.
Nice block lettering and carmel patina.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: UP Motive Power & Car Key Back Side: UP Motive Power & Car Key Cheyenne Indians attacking a working party on the Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad

Item 16-U     UP Motive Power & Car Key     Price: $55.00

Remarks: Circa; mid 1900's. Slaymaker forged.
Attractive serif lettering and nice carmel patina.

History - See key 2-U

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Front Side: United States Steel Back Side: United States Steel USS R.R. Flag

United States Steel (USS)-Lorain Tubular Operation

Item 17-U     Price: $45.00

Remarks: Circa; late 1900's. A rarity.
A rustic looking key with nice serif lettering and copper like patina.

History

Lorain Tubular Operations, located approximately 30 miles west of Cleveland, Ohio, manufactures high-quality seamless pipe for customers in the construction and oil and gas exploration and production industries. The facility has an annual production capability of 780,000 net tons, and major product lines include oil country tubing, casing and drill pipe; standard and line pipe; and coupling stock

In 2011, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a grant of $100,000 to rearrange the railroad tracks inside the Lorain steel plant, 2199 East 28th St. The money is part of a project worth $400,000 to improve the transportation of materials within the plant. The rail improvements will straighten and add track to make transportation easier inside. The two track projects at the LTO plant site will enable more efficient movement of incoming and outgoing freight car loads, as well as to handle an anticipated increase in demand for steel pipe. The plant currently has rail operations that handle up to 20,000 to 30,000 tons a month, or about 220 to 330 rail cars, of inbound pieces of steel called rounds that are processed into seamless pipes.

U.S. Steel once owned the Northampton & Bath Railroad. The N&B was an 11-kilometer (6.8 mi) short line railroad built in 1904 that served Atlas Cement in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and Keystone Cement in Bath, Pennsylvania. By 1979 cement shipments had dropped off such that the railroad was no longer economically viable and the line was abandoned. A 1.5-kilometer (0.93 mi) section of track was retained to serve Atlas Cement. The remainder of the right-of-way was transformed into the Nor-Bath Trail.

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Front Side: Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Back Side: Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Union Stock Yards, Chicago    Chicago stockyard

Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Railroad

Item 18-U     $95.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
This key + key below = nice set.

History

The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or the Yards, was the meatpacking district in Chicago for more than a century, starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired swampland and turned it to a centralized processing area. By the 1890s, the railroad money behind the Union Stockyards was Vanderbilt money. The Union Stockyards operated in the New City community area for 106 years, helping Chicago become known as "hog butcher for the world" and the center of the American meatpacking industry for decades

When the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company of Chicago was incorporated in 1865 to consolidate the Chicago stock yards, its powers included the construction of a railroad outside the city limits (then Pershing Road and Western Avenue) to link the stock yards with the railroads entering Chicago south of Roosevelt Road. All nine of these railroads - the "Chicago & Alton Railroad, Chicago-Burlington & Quincy Railroad, Chicago & Great Eastern Railway, Chicago & North Western Railway, Chicago & Rock Island Railroad, Illinois Central Railroad, Michigan Central Railroad, Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad, and Pittsburgh-Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway" - had previously come to an agreement to finance the new property as a replacement for their individual yards.

Settlement in the area that was to become known as the "Back of the Yards" began in the 1850s before there were any meat packers or stockyards in the area. At this time the area was known as the "Town of Lake." Indeed, the area would continue to be called Town of Lake until 1939. Witness that the newspaper of the area was called the Town of Lake Journal. Only with the founding of the community organization called the "Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council" in 1939 did the neighborhood west and south of the meat packinghouses start being called the "Back of the Yards." It was a name that the residents proudly claimed as their own. In 1939, the Town of Lake Journal officially changed its name to Back of the Yards Journal.

From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. Construction began in June 1865 with an opening on Christmas Day in 1865. The Yards closed at midnight on Friday, July 30, 1971, after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meatpacking industry. The Union Stock Yard Gate was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 24, 1972, and a National Historic Landmark on May 29, 1981.

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Front Side: Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Back Side: Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Chicago stockyard entrance    Postcard of the Chicago stockyard

Union Stockyard & Transfer Co Railroad

Item 19-U     Car Key     Price: $95.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Superb block lettering and patina.
This key + key above = nice set.

History - See key 18-U

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V



Front Side: Visalia Electric Railroad Back Side: Visalia Electric Railroad Visalia Electric Railroad    VE No.502 GE 44-ton switcher    Visalia Electric Railroad

Visalia Electric Railroad

SOLD     Price: $245.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the A&W Co.
Superb block lettering and gold patina.
Distinctive SP style bit. Very rare key.

History

The Visalia Railroad Company was incorporated 1874 May 19 and a seven-mile spur from Goshen was completed 1874 Aug 14. In 1899 the spur was leased to the Southern Pacific Railroad. By 1898 Nov 29 the rails had been extended southeastward from Visalia to Southern Pacific's East Side Line at Exeter, a distance of ten miles.

n July 1881 Editor-Publisher Ben M. Maddox (see Ben Maddox Way) of the Visalia Daily Times began promoting hydroelectric power from the Kaweah River, which emerges from the Sierra Nevada Mountains about fifteen miles northeast of Visalia. In June 1899 power began to flow from Hammond, a little over three miles upstream from Three Rivers. Potentially producing 1800 horsepower (1343 kW), the power company actually sold 700 hp (522 kW).

As early as 1891 Sep 10 Ben Maddox proposed an electric interurban railroad for Tulare County to make use of the extra generating capacity. Around 1900 John Hays Hammond and Albert G. Wishon propose an electric railroad from Visalia to Three Rivers (about 30 miles). The Visalia Electric Railroad Company was incorporated 1904 Apr 22.

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Front Side: Vandalia Railroad Back Side: Vandalia Railroad Vandalia R.R. Flag

Vandalia Railroad

Item 2-V     Price: $325.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Fraim forged.
Superb block lettering and patina.
Serial #44 stamped on front of key.
This key + key below = nice set!

History

The Vandalia Railroad was formed in 1905 by a merger of several lines in Indiana and Illinois including the "Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad" and the "St. Louis-Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad" which covered a route from Indianapolis, Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri. Another route between Terre Haute, Indiana and Toledo, was created with the inclusion of the Terre Haute & Logansport and Logansport & Toledo branches.

In 1917 the line was acquired by the "Pittsburgh-Cincinnati-Chicago & St. Louis Railroad" (the Panhandle) giving the "Pennsylvania Railroad" a direct route from New York City to St. Louis. In 1968 PRR merged with "New York Central Railroad" to become "Penn Central" and in 1976 becoming part of "Conrail". Much of the North-South line was abandoned with the Conrail formation but parts of the East-West line survive as part of "CSX Transportation".

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Front Side: Vandalia Railroad Back Side: Vandalia Railroad Vandalia Switch Engine

Vandalia Railroad

Item 3-V    Car Key    Price: $125.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the Bohannan Co.
Nice serif lettering and fine pocket wear. Attractive gold patina.
Post Pennsy style bit. This key + key above = nice set!

History - See key 2-V

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Front Side: Virginia-Carolina Railroad Back Side: Virginia-Carolina Railroad VC RR Crew

Virginia-Carolina Railroad

Item 4-V     Price: $225.00

Remarks: Circa; late 1800's. Nice tapered ring barrel.
Superb serif lettering and gold patina.
VC operated from 1887-1920 until the N&W gobbled up the line.

History

Chartered in 1887, the Virginia-Carolina Railway was an interstate railroad in southwestern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina. It ran from Abingdon in Washington County, Virginia to Todd in Ashe County, North Carolina. The line charted a complicated course through the mountains of the area, crossing the Blue Ridge not far from Mount Rogers. The "Norfolk & Western" absorbed the line in 1919 and operated it as its Abingdon branch until 1977, when operations ceased after flooding damaged portions of the track. Most of the former roadbed in Virginia is occupied by the "Virginia Creeper Trail". Efforts are underway to extend the trail into North Carolina.

Construction of the railroad was begun in 1887 by the "Abingdon Coal & Iron Railroad", but the company folded before the railroad became operational. Construction was continued by the Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railway in 1894, and it was renamed the Virginia-Carolina Railway in 1898, but financial difficulties persisted. The Norfolk & Western Railway funded construction to Damascus, which was completed in 1900. By 1907, the line had reached Taylor's Valley, Virginia. The Hassinger Lumber Company, whose mill was seven miles away in Konnarock, Virginia, built the "Virginia-Carolina & Southern Railway" to make this connection. Later, the V-C&S would be absorbed into the V-C, which used it as a branch line to the mill. The V-C was extended through the Blue Ridge Mountains to White Top in 1912 and to its terminus by 1920.

During the late 1880's the rail company began to secure the land rights to build a railroad from Abingdon to Damascus. By the early 1890's not one rail had been laid on the partially cleared rail bed. After thousands of man hours and thousands of dollars, the railroad company was broke. In the early 1890's the company's assets were bought by the "Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railroad" Company.

Work on the railroad was slow and tedious. With many problems to overcome and after many delays the Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railroad Company found itself in the same position that its predecessors were facing, bankruptcy. Seeing the need for a railroad, a Norfolk-Western executive began work on the railroad, forming a new company called the Virginia-Carolina Railroad Company. The assets of the Virginia Western Coal & Iron Railroad Company were purchased, but this time the focus was on the rolling hills rich with timber.

The locals referred to the train that climbed eastward into the Iron Mountains as the "Virginia Creeper", a name taken from the native plant that grows along the route. A steam engine laboring up mountain grades with heavy loads of lumber, iron ore, supplies, and passengers was also a "virginia creeper" in every sense of the word.

In 1956 the last steam engine was retired from the line and replaced with diesel powered engines. By 1974, the Norfolk and Western Railroad Company petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the line. In 1977 hard rains flooded and damaged most of the track and it was left in disrepair.

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Front Side: Virginian Railroad Back Side: Virginian Railroad Virginian Railway No.135

Virginian Railroad

SOLD     Price: $75.00

Remarks: Circa; early-mid 1900's. Not the standard VGN switch key.
Interesting fact: This VGN key has the exact same style bit as a standard
URR Co. key listed at the top of this page.
The two roads more than likely had a interchange agreement.
Great conversation key.

History

The Virginian Railway was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia. The VGN was created to transport high quality "smokeless" bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port at Hampton Roads. The Virginian was considered a folly at the time of construction, as so much capital was spent on making the railroad as flat and straight as possible, "As though the Virginia hills did not exist". In the long run this proved to be a very profitable route as operating costs were low due to the relative lack of grades and little curvature of track. Throughout a profitable 50-year history, VGN continued the Page-Rogers philosophy of "paying up front for the best". It achieved best efficiencies in the mountains, rolling piedmont and flat tidewater terrain. Known for operating some of the largest and best steam, electric, and diesel motive power, it became nicknamed "Richest Little Railroad in the World". Merged into the "Norfolk and Western Railway" in 1959, a large portion of the former VGN remains in service today.

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Front Side: Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Back Side: Virginia Blue Ridge Railway VBR engine No.9.

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway

Item 6-V     Price: $250.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Forged by the Hopkins & Dickinson Co.
Short tapered barrel. Superb serif lettering and gold patina.
"Hopkins & Dickinson Mfg. Co." founded in 1880's.
Regardless of the key belonging to the VBR R.R.,
the fact that the key was forged by the Hopkins & Dickinson Co.,
is a rarity of it's own. Very few H&D switch keys in circulation.

History

The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway (VBR) is a historic intrastate short line railroad that operated in central Virginia in the 20th century. The VBR was a small, historic short line system tucked away near the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of this, as well as the road's secluded nature, it received little coverage and often went unnoticed by rail enthusiasts. However, the VBR offered all of the things which made short lines fascinating; friendly service, a leisurely schedule, and small power. It also gained recognition for utilizing steam locomotives into the early 1960s. When first conceived the VBR was envisioned as a logging/timber operation. However, this traffic was short-lived and after nearly going under the railroad returned to prosperity beginning in the 1930s by hauling other natural resources.

The company was incorporated in 1914, and construction was started in 1915. The VBR extended from Tye River Depot in Nelson County, where it interchanged with the Southern Railway, to Massies Mill. The railroad followed the course of the Tye and Piney Rivers for several miles before entering the mountains. It was initially built to haul chestnut for lumber out of the heavily-timbered Piney River area to local mills until World War I. The chestnut blight wiped out much of the timbered areas. However, the railroad later served several quarries in the area where titanium dioxide and aplite were mined. It passed through the communities of Roses Mill, Piney River, Canopy, Lowesville, and Buffalo Mine.

The line was abandoned in 1980. In the early 21st century, part of the roadbed was being developed as a rails-to-trails project, the Blue Ridge Railway Trail.

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Front Side: Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Back Side: Virginia Blue Ridge Railway VBR Piney River Shop

Virginia Blue Ridge Railway

Item 7-V     Price: $145.00

Remarks: Circa; early 1900's. Elongated barrel.
Superb block lettering and patina.
Different style cut than VBR key above.

History - See key 6-V

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Front Side: Valley & Siletz Railroad Back Side: Valley & Siletz Railroad Valley & Siletz R.R.     Valley & Siletz R.R.

Valley & Siletz Railroad

SOLD     Price: $125.00

Remarks: Operated from 1917-1978. Oregon logging line.
Nice block lettering and rustic bronze patina. A rarity.
In respect to longevity, compared to other logging roads,
the V&S had a good run, 61 yrs.

History

The Valley & Siletz Railroad (VS) is a 40.6-mile (65.3 km) defunct railroad located in Polk and Benton counties in the U.S. state of Oregon.

The railroad began construction in 1912. It was 12 miles (19 km) long by 1915, 34 miles (55 km) long by 1917, and was extended to 40.6 miles (65.3 km) and completed later that year. In order to supply the Willamette Valley with wood products from forests in the Northern Oregon Coast Range, the railroad followed the Luckiamute River to connect Independence, a city along the Willamette River, to Valsetz, a logging community in the Coast Range whose name is a portmanteau of the railroad's name. In September 1978, when it became no longer profitable for the logging industry, most of the railroad was abandoned.

In 1985, brothers Dave and Mike Root bought the intact remnant of the Valley and Siletz line and combined it with the former Longview Portland & Northern Grand Ronde Division line to form a company called the "Willamette Valley Railroad". The Valley and Siletz line was separated from the Willamette Valley Railroad in 1988. It operated until May 1992, serving the Mountain Fir Lumber Company.

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Dates quoted for keys are approximate dates. Railroad switch keys initials (reporting mark) are assumed to be correct and accurate.
Comments on any railroad initials origin, including (typos), are welcome. Last update 10/23/17

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