Your support and contributions will enable us to preserve and restore the Captain Edward Richardson Pilot House ; our heavily modernized 1956 early GP 9 series General Motors diesel (originally built for the Illinois Central Railroad) ; 1948 Nickel Plate Railroad Caboose ; a 1930's baggage car ; a rare steam-era former Southern Railway low-side gondola car originally built by Pullman in 1938 ; an army surplus flatcar dated 1953 ; a 1951 army surplus GATX General American Transportation Corporation tanker car ; and a mid-century short boxcar
In October of 1884, the first steam engine arrived at what was then the newly completed New York, Philadelphia, & Norfolk Railroad terminus at Cape Charles. At the time, Cape Charles was little more than an area of windswept sand dunes and marsh next to a shallow mud creek.
As the railroad and town evolved, railroad shops, yards, buildings, a newly dug harbor, barge landings and a steamer terminal soon followed. Houses and stores sprang up. The railroad flourished and provided work for generations of Eastern Shore residents. In its later years, it began to diminish as new roads filled with cars, busses, and trucks slowly began replacing railroads in the movement of people, produce, and manufactured goods throughout the country. When passenger service ceased in the 1950s, freight service continued, including the freight car barge link with Little Creek, across the Bay. Last May, Bay Coast Railroad, which had leased and operated the railroad line, stopped running trains in Cape Charles. After over 130 years, railroad operations finally shut down for good in May 2018.
The yard property will be cleaned up and eventually incorporated into the town.
The Pilot House, which once stood on top of the barge, Captain Edward Richardson (see above), was moved to the museum property for use as archive storage and office space. It is in a much-deteriorated condition and will require considerable restoration. Please consider making a donation to help us in this endeavor so that we may preserve another piece of Cape Charles railroad history.
These two have been at our museum for several years and are ready for some restoration. We have completed some interior work on the caboose, but both need exterior paint and weather-proofing. The caboose was formerly with the Nickel Plate Railroad and was built in 1948. The 1930s baggage car if from the former Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) Railroad and used by the Railway Express Agency (REA). Please consider helping us with these restorations.
Our recently acquired diesel locomotive, #2000, is from the Illinois Central Railroad and maybe originally delivered to the Union Pacific. Although it will never run under its own power again, it will require extensive exterior restoration for display. If locomotives are "your thing", please consider a donation to help us begin the restoration.