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1999 - Cumberland Valley Railroad Depot, Martinsburg, WV

The Cumberland Valley Railroad Depot (CVRR) announced in 1867 its intention to construct a new railroad line extending from Hagerstown, MD to the C&O Canal at Williamsport, MD. The Hagerstown to Williamsport line was to provide a connection at the Potomac River with the C&O Canal, thus allowing in theory, the CVRR to be used to interchange westbound iron ore and anthracite for eastbound pine, hardwood, and bituminous coal. Just as construction started on the extension in 1868, the CVRR announced further plans to push the line across the Potomac River and continue the next 12 miles to Martinsburg.

Located on the west side of town, the new line was constructed by the Martinsburg and Potomac Railroad Company, a subsidiary of the CVRR. Construction of this extension began in August 1869. Completion of the line in 1873 prompted a wave of newly established businesses to take root in the city.

The Williamsport to Martinsburg extension, owned by the Cumberland Valley and Martinsburg Railroad Company, was extended 22 miles southward in 1889 to Winchester, VA. This extension completed the link to the south, thus allowing passenger and freight traffic to proceed from Winchester through Hagerstown, and on to all destinations on the northeast coast. Shortly, thereafter, in 1890, the Martinsburg and Potomac Railroad Company of Virginia merged with the Cumberland Valley and Martinsburg Railroad Company. By 1910, the CVRR had obtained all of the Cumberland Valley and Martinsburg stock. Railroad ownership changed once again, when in 1913 the CVRR became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system.

The Cumberland Valley Railroad’s depot and freight station were originally located on Raleigh Street in Martinsburg. In 1889, with the opening of the Winchester extension, the decision was made to construct a new depot on West King Street. The freight station remained at its Raleigh Street location. Utilized until the fazing out of passenger service by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the two-story brick and shingle depot is still regarded as one of the city’s architectural treasures. The rail line today is owned by the Winchester and Western Railroad, and operated strictly for freight service.

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