hawkinsrails.net / shortlines / bb

Buckingham Branch Railroad

Virginia shortline

The Buckingham Branch Railroad is a locally owned shortline in rural Buckingham County, Virginia. In 1989, the 17 mile former C&O branch line was purchased from the CSX. South to north, the lines begins at Dillwyn and ends just across the James River at a CSX connection at Bremo. Interchange with the CSX takes place via trackage rights at Strathmore. The BB also leases and operates a line of railroad from Richmond to Clifton Forge (via Charlottesville) which is approximately 200 miles long. This is known as the Richmond and Alleghany Division.

During my nine years of living in Central Virginia, I enjoyed several trips over to rural Buckingham County to photograph and ride the Buckingham Branch Railroad. I made it onto two of their annual May excursions (2004 and 2006) put on in conjunction with the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS; dad and I made the 2006 ride together. As a fan of first generation diesel power, it was glad to get better acquanted with the BB and to see firsthand their handsome stable of Geeps and Seaboard Coast Line rebuilds. Seeing the well known RF&P #101 in operation is a real treat as well. In 2004 it was the power on the excursion, but by 2006 it has been stripped and prepared for repainting. The original Buckingham Branch line is a treat to ride: slow, meandering shorltine trackage through several interesting industrial sites ... finally culminating in a gorgeous view of the James River. Of course, the little BB became famous in the railfan world for recently taking on the operation of the 200 mile CSX subdivision between Richmond and Clifton Forge. I have yet to see this operation up close, but I'm impressed by any shortline that hosts regular Amtrak trains over its rails!

Links / Sources