Richmond and Petersburg Railroad

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Richmond and Petersburg Railroad
Richmond & Petersburg Railroad 02705r.jpg
Richmond & Petersburg locomotive destroyed in the fall of Richmond, April 1865
Locale Richmond, Virginia
Dates of operation 1838–1898
Successor Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge previous gauges:
5 ft (1,524 mm) and
4 ft 9 in (1,448 mm)[1]

Richmond and Petersburg Railroad was a regional railroad serving east-central Virginia. It was strategically important to the Confederacy during the American Civil War, when it provided a vital supply and transportation route in late 1864 and early 1865 for Robert E. Lee's entrenched Army of Northern Virginia, which was protecting the Confederate capital of Richmond and Petersburg.

Richmond, Virginia showing damage from the American Civil War at the site of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad on the James River between circa 1860 and circa 1865.

The Richmond and Petersburg Railroad was chartered in 1836[2] and opened in 1838. It was originally built between Manchester, Virginia, across the James River from Richmond and the north bank of the Appomattox River across from Petersburg. The single track railroad initially extended 22.15 miles (35.65 km), and included a siding to Port Walthall.

River bridges into both Richmond and Petersburg were added after the Civil War. In 1898, the Petersburg Railroad was merged into the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, and the resulting corporation was renamed the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad of Virginia.

As of 2006, most of the original line of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad is still in use as part of the A-line of CSX Transportation.