Steam Engines near Capitol Street,  and the "Coonskin Steam Engine"

I remember seeing steamers like this as a child.  This one was parked just across the street from my house,  but the day of the Diesel was not too far away, and these same tracks had lots of them by the time I was a kid.

 Capitol Street used to cross all the tracks where the Farmers Market stands today.  There were so many sets of tracks, that a little guard-house was built in the middle of them off to the side.  The guard would warn people that a train was approaching and you might actually be caught between tracks at times, because there was space between some of them.  This engine however is sitting on the old B & O line, which paralleled the New York Central lines for a short distance.  In the background you can see the old "Nelson Transfer & Storage" building, which was a fixture for many years.  That building is still standing today as a "U-Storage".

Steam Engines Charleston WV

All of these photos were taken near the Capitol -Broad Steet areas.

Steam Engines Charleston WV

The B & O was situated near where Greens Feed & Seed is today.

Steam Engines Charleston WV

See the car on the left?  That's right off Capitol Street.  Capitol St.  used to join Piedmont Rd at this point.

Steam Engines Charleston WV

Looking  along side Dryden Street.  The building on the right is featured in another section of this website.

Steam Engines Charleston WV

This roundhouse sat close to where Greens Feed & Seed is today.

B&O Roundhouse         B&O Roundhouse

Most Roundhouses had an Ashpit.  It was half filled with water so to cool the hot ashes that were dumped from the steam engines.  Some of the ash would float on top and appear to the untrained eye as solid ground, especially if the pit were full.  An old person or a child would be especially vulnerable to such a situation.  This was the case when in a span of 4 years, two people drowned in the B&O Roundhouse ashpit.

The Coonskin Park Engine

VGN Locomotive Class PA No. 213

The Virginian Railway was one of the smallest Class I systems in the east, not to mention one of the youngest. However, despite its small size the VGN was a force to be reckoned with in the movement of southern West Virginia coal to the ports of southern Virginia. The Virginian, built during the first decade of the 20th century, spent lavishly in featuring the best engineering and lowest graded railroad between the two points, even better than larger rivals Norfolk & Western and Chesapeake & Ohio. However, because of the railroad’s small size and dominance in hauling southern Appalachian coal it comes as no surprise that it was eventually purchased by one of its rivals, in this case the Norfolk & Western. Today, the former VGN main line remains an important and vital link in successor Norfolk Southern’s system.

This is the Steam Engine known as the Kanawha Class “K-4” Alco 2700 that stood in Coonskin Park for many years.  Several people have asked what ever happened to it.  Well, the story is long and sad.  It left Coonskin due to lack of interest in the engine and the deterioration that was starting to show. The engine was moved to St Albans for a while, but that's where the story gets interesting.  Instead of publishing the entire sordid affair , here's the bottom line:  The Engine was brought to Ohio by S.T.E.A.M.  from West Virginia, and was displayed on the Esber Beverage Spur in Canton, Ohio near Timken.  It was relocated to Dennison, Ohio where it was stored for years, until finally moved to the head of a track that houses a wing of cars to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.  Transportation Enhancement Funds were secured to restore the Engine, but the restoration was delayed due to a lawsuit over the Engine ownership.  Two court cases have since confirmed the Dennison Depot as owner, and plans are currently underway to raise funding to cosmetically restore the Engine.

Coonskin Engine