Map showing the Fredericksburg &
Gordonsville Railroad of Virginia, leading from Fredericksburg, via
Orange C.H., to Charlottesville, where it connects with the Chesapeake &
Ohio R.R. and the extension of the Orange & Alexandria R.R. to
Lynchburg. Prepared by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co.
The Fredericksburg & Gordonsville Railroad was a three-foot narrow gauge railway running east to west between Fredericksburg and Gordonsville or Orange Court House, which connected with existing lines to Gordonsville, Charlottesville and Lynchburg.
The railroad’s construction was begun in the 1850's, but wasn’t completed until the 1870's because of several delays, such as funding and the War Between the States.
During the Civil War portions of the line were used for Confederate troop transport. It was rumored that during wartime evenings, Gordonsville residents would regularly run well-lit trains in and out of town, with bells ringing, to make Union troops think that constant reinforcements were arriving.
Eventually the line, popularly called the “Poor Folk & Preachers”, was completed with a fleet which included three Baldwin locomotives, a Vulcan, and an older model purchased from the Georgia Railroad. The railroad operated a number of combination passenger and baggage cars as well as freight cars; mostly flat-cars, which held such items as lumber, masonry and fertilizer.
The Fredericksburg & Gordonsville Railroad was a mildly successful line until the age of the automobile.