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Wed May 12, 2021, 03:45 PM

On this day, May 12, 1968, C&O passenger train the Fast Flying Virginian (FFV) made its final run.

The Sportsman also made its last run in May 1968, but I don't know if it was on the same day.

Fast Flying Virginian

First service: May 11, 1889
Last service: May 12, 1968
Former operator(s): Chesapeake and Ohio Railway

Start: Washington, D.C. and Phoebus, Virginia
End: Cincinnati, Ohio
Distance travelled: 666 miles (1,072 km) (Washington-Cincinnati route)
Train number(s): 3 (westbound) / 6 (eastbound)

The Fast Flying Virginian (FFV) was a named passenger train of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

The FFV was inaugurated on May 11, 1889, and ran until May 12, 1968; this was the longest running C&O named passenger train. The train operated on a daily daytime schedule, being carried from Jersey City, NJ—Penn Station in Manhattan was years in the future—as a Pennsylvania Railroad train to Washington, D.C. (after 1908 to Washington Union Station) and, as a C&O train, from there to Cincinnati, OH (after 1933 calling at the Union Terminal). The train operated westbound as #3 and eastbound as #4. The train ran behind C&O locomotives beyond Washington, DC, first to Alexandria, VA over trackage rights from the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac to Alexandria, VA, there changing to tracks of the Southern Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern). In Orange, VA, C&O trains left Southern property to turn onto what is now a transfer track between Orange and Gordonsville, VA, but this track was originally part of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, which continued through Gordonsville on to Charlottesville. This segment of track became part of the C&O, as did the track through Gordonsville, which before becoming part of the C&O was the Virginia Central Railroad. Northeast of Orange, portions of the Orange and Alexandria railroad became part of the Southern; the present-day Norfolk Southern tracks between Orange and Charlottesville were built after the Civil War. When the FFV was new, the transfer track from Southern property at Orange joined the C&O main line from Phoebus, Virginia at Gordonsville, and proceeded on them to Charlottesville. About a mile west of the C&O station in Charlottesville, the C&O tracks crossed the Southern line. The Southern station was, and is, a union station, with platforms for both main lines; a few C&O trains, but not seemingly the FFV, stopped at both stations. From Charlottesville, the FFV continued west over the Blue Ridge Mountains and North Mountain to West Virginia, along the New River Gorge, and finally crossing the Ohio River into Ohio at Cincinnati. (The "Ohio" of "Chesapeake and Ohio" is the river, not the state.)


Sportsman (train)

Sportsman one-time logo in 1948 C&O timetable

First service: 1930
Last service: 1968

Start: Washington, D.C. and Phoebus, Virginia, latter shortened in final decade to Newport News
End: Detroit, Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati
Service frequency: Daily
Train number(s): Detroit-Phoebus: 46 (eastbound), 47 (westbound)
Cincinnati-Washington, D.C.: 4 (eastbound), 5 (westbound)

The Sportsman was a named passenger night train of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. It was the Chesapeake & Ohio's long-standing train bound for Detroit from Washington, D.C. and Phoebus, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay, opposite Norfolk, Virginia. It was unique among C&O trains for its route north from the C&O mainline in southern Ohio. For most of its years it had a secondary western terminus in Louisville at its Central Station.


Color - C&O E8 #4021 and mate lead westbound train #5/47, the Sportsman, out of Charlottesville, Va.'s Union Station, just crossing the Sothern Railway's Washington-Atlanta main line ca. 1954. In that era, C&O trains made two stops in Charlottesville, one at C&O's own depot on Main Street and a second at Union Station, near UVA. Added interest here is that the RPO, three cars back, is still in green paint.

Source: https://archives.cohs.org/

In this Chesapeake & Ohio publicity photo train #3, the westbound "Fast Flying Virginian," rolls to a stop at Russell, Kentucky on its way to Cincinnati at 11:05 AM on a summer's day in the 1950's.

Source: https://www.american-rails.com/ffv.html

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Reply On this day, May 12, 1968, C&O passenger train the Fast Flying Virginian (FFV) made its final run. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 12 OP
keithsw May 12 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:58 PM

1. Thanks for posting this!

Brings back many memories! I come from a Railroad family. My grandpa was a conductor, as were my uncles, and my mom was a clerk for 40 years. I rode this train many times as a child. And it's where i fell in love with Trains. I grew up and hired on the C&O Railroad ( now CSX ) . I was an engineer for over 30 years before retiring.

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