From The Editor Sept 2015

By Tex Carter

The November trip is filled up. We will be sending out a form October 1 to confirm those attending. Others will be moved to a later date.

November Field Trip Date and Time Changes

Trips start at the visitor’s center in Rocky Mt.
Trips start at the visitor’s center in Rocky Mt.

The Field Trip originally set for Nov. 7 has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 14 and now starts at 9:00am

Another change will be the starting time. We have arranged to have the visitor’s center and the caboose both open at 9:00am. for our tour group to see before starting the field trip at 10:00am.

Both the caboose and Visitor’s Center are free as well as the field trip so come take advantage of this rare opportunity. This part of the trip is self-guided and you have one hour to tour the facility at your leisure.

Tex leading a tour back in 2013.
Tex leading a tour back in 2013.

We have been collecting names for possible attendees to our Nov. 14 trip for some time. Several weren’t sure about going that far in advance. About October 1 we will send out a notice to all on our list and ask that everyone confirm their attending.

Some of our people have suggested stopping for lunch in Pen Hook. As parking is limited past that point we have decided to split the tour into two groups in Pen Hook to make parking easier. Those not stopping to eat will continue on which will help on the narrow roads beyond Pen hook. This is optional but doing so will keep each group small.

August 2015 Events
August was a busy month for promoting the F&P. On August 4 a brief program was presented to the Altavista Rotary Club. Members were given a photographic tour of the F&P route from Rocky Mount to Gretna that included historical commentary.

The audience was invited to ask questions as we went through the photos of depots, flag stops, maps and other F&P related material. A robust discussion developed on a few issues that was followed up with e-mails and other source links.

The F&P Railroad table at Lynchburg Rail Day 2015.
The F&P Railroad table at Lynchburg Rail Day 2015.

The following Saturday, August 8, Lou Revelle and I were given the use of a table at the Lynchburg Rail Day 2015 event held for the 37th year by the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National Rail Historical Society.

It was held at the Boonsboro Ruritan Club and a total of about 500 people participated. The event featured model railroad layouts and other train related material.

Vendors on the floor at Lynchburg Rail Day.
Vendors on the floor at Lynchburg Rail Day.

Our table included a slide show using two computer monitors of F&P related pictures. Flyers telling a brief history of the line were given to everyone and we signed up people for future tours and notices about the F&P.

Many of the people in attendance had never heard of the F&P. The opportunity allowed us to reach a new audience for the “Old Fast & Perfect.”

Richmond’s Gain is Our Loss

Nathan relaxing after the F&P program in May 2015.
Nathan relaxing after the F&P program in May 2015.

We are sad to report our web master, Nathan White, has moved to Richmond. His job promotion resulted in a lot of driving to Richmond so the choice was no surprise.

Nathan was on one of our first F&P field trips and he contributed as much spare time to the F&P as his job and family would allow. Had it not been for him the website would likely still be a dream unfulfilled.

Nathan and Callum walk down Hogan’s Hill near Pittsville on a cold March day in 2015.
Nathan and his son, Callum, walk down Hogan’s Hill near Pittsville on a cold March day in 2015.

We will be staying in touch with Nathan and hope to again work with him in the future. He plans to continue to run the website from Richmond.

We wish him and his family the best of luck in their new location.

Events that occurred in September:

  • September 7, 1910: The Southern RR offers to give away its interest in the F&P RR.
  • September 14, 1921: Chapman Dudley is appointed receiver for the F&P RR.

From the Editor August 2015

2015 Field Trip

The March 2014 group at the visitor’s center.
The March 2014 group at the visitor’s center.

We are planning another field trip for Saturday, November 14 at 9:00am at the visitor center in Rocky Mount. Anyone interested please contact us now at

This is likely to be the only field trip this year so sign up soon. Some of you had expressed interest in months past but let us know if you still want to attend now that a date has been set.

The trip starts at 10:00 A.M. on Franklin St. in Rocky Mount. We meet at the visitor’s center, formerly the old train depot of the N&W.


New F&P Web Page
Our new web page is up and running again. It will take some time to put on the finishing touches so bear with us. It will still have the same basic information and new stories will be added in time.

We will still be sending out the “From the Editor” column each month with miscellaneous information about the F&P Railroad.

Documenting the Past

Preserving the history of the F&P has been the main goal of everyone in our group. An on-going effort is still being made to record everything related to the F&P RR. Most of our information has been made public or posted on the web page.

One thing that isn’t generally known to even those who follow our project is the attempt to record all known info about the depots and flag stops along the line.

Click to enlarge the drawing of the Sandy Level depot.
Click to enlarge the drawing of the Sandy Level depot.

We have taken measurements and made scale drawings of the four remaining depots and two remaining flag stops including a front, side and end view of each.

For those structures no longer remaining some basic size and construction material was found in the inventory taken in 1932 when the line closed. Photos still remain for even those torn down although details are few. The original Pittsville depot is the only one that eludes a photo or drawing. Some of it was used as the starting structure of the Hunt Store at Pittsville after the F&P closed. Some evidence of it was found incorporated into the store.

What remained of the depot at Pittsville in 2013.

That depot was mentioned in some memories by the Rev. Hunt, son and grandson of the family that built and ran the store after the F&P closed. We were fortunate to take many photographs and measurements before it was torn down.

The left side of the Hunt store was once the F&P depot. The store was torn down in 2013.

The floor plan of the depot at Sandy Level.

Anyone wanting to access these photos and drawings can contact us. At some point our extensive file of photos will be made available to the public.

Events in August
august-1August 12, 1922: The court approved the sale of the F&P to Nat Angle for $12,000.

August 25, 1888: The F&P and Pittsville branch were both up-graded to Standard gauge. The process was said to have been done in one day.

The motor car at Sandy Level.
The motor car at Sandy Level.

August 29, 1922: Newspaper notice that Nat Angle had purchased the F&P plus a new steam engine and an Edwards Motor Car.