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He asked brothers Gene and Roy Hampton, who were hauling the wood to the family’s farm nearby, to wait a few minutes for the train.
Norfolk and Western left a caboose in Todd when it pulled out in 1933, said John Ashburn: “All the kids played in that caboose when we were growing up.” In Todd, drivers pass by this engine and caboose from the old “Virginia Creeper” on Railroad Grade Road.
The Hassinger Lumber Company factored significantly in the operations of the Virginia-Carolina, which by 1919 had become part of the Norfolk & Western Railroad and was designated as the Abingdon Branch.
The passenger and freight trains of the Abingdon Branch shared the track with the Hassinger log trains.
“This train was unusual because very few trains were freight and passenger trains,” said John Ashburn, whose family roots in Todd date back to 1870.
The Creeper departed Abingdon, Va., with freight to be delivered at stops along the line including hardware, shoes, clothing for department stores, dry goods, farm supplies, and other commodities.