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Esmont Depot, Esmont

Esmont Depot, 1950's

Name:  Esmont Depot

Date:  1950's

Image Number:  NandAEsmontStationwithGEDiesel50scopy.jpg

Comments:   Esmont Depot was a train depot that originally was served by the Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Railroad.  In the 1890's, the C & O Railway had taken ownership of the Alberene Railroad.  When the Nelson and Albemarle (N & A) Railway, a shortline serving local quarries and mines in Nelson and Albemarle counties, was formed by the Alberene Soapstone enterprise, C & O Railroad leased the portion of their railway between Alberene and Esmont to N & A.  This N & A spur from Alberene and Esmont ended in the late 1930's due to the financial fortunes lost to many in the Great Depression. 

However, the entry of the U.S. into WWII brought back contracts to lower Albemarle and Nelson counties, and the N & A restarted business along the Esmont to Alberene line.  N & A also ordered their first diesel-powered locomotives for use line because diesel fuel was much cleaner than the steam-powered locomotives that had powered this rail line prior to WWII.  Shown above is a 44-ton GE diesel engine parked at the Esmont Depot in the early 1950's.  Later that decade, pollution issues again rose in Esmont, and the Hamlett Slate Works of Esmont would close down.  With improved railways and the advent of the Interstate Highway system starting in 1958 under the Eisenhower administration, trucks became the preferred method of shipping the area's soapstone products, and the need for interconnection to the C & O at Esmont ended.  The N & A formally shut down in 1963.  Today, in 2018, a grassy patch exists through the middle of Esmont that once held the Nelson & Albemarle Railway line and the Esmont Depot.

1)   Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society Website; Tales of Esmont, Virginia, Part One, April 2013.  See: .  
2)   Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society Website; Tales of Esmont, Virginia, Part Two, September 2013.  See: .
3)   Abandoned Rails Website; The Nelson and Albemarle Railroad; see: .
4)   NandAEsmontStationwithGEDiesel50scopy.jpg; see:

Copyright © 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Image Located On:  NandAEsmontStationwithGEDiesel50scopy.jpg, Nelson & Albemarle Railway Historical Society Image Repository.



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