The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) Pickens Branch extended from Weston, West Virginia to Pickens, a distance of 49.3 miles.1
The Pickens & Hacker Valley Railroad had been formed in 1883 under the name of Weston & Buckhannon Railroad between Weston to Buckhannon, but was taken over by the West Virginia & Pittsburgh Railroad and converted to standard gauge in 1891-92.1 It was under the insistence of Senator J.N. Camden, who brought a sawmill to Pickens, to extend the railroad to the community in 1892.
In an attempt to reduce overall losses on its passenger operations, the B&O experimented with a gasoline railcar on the branch in May 1927, which was ultimately successful.4 In October 1935, when the B&O requested the Public Service Commission to abandon service to Ten Mile, which was immediately opposed by the community’s residents who feared that they would become isolated. A decision by the P.S.C. on June 29, 1936 agreed with the residents and service remained intact. But in May 1939, the P.S.C. granted the B&O’s request to abandoned passenger service on the Nos. 101 and 102 from Weston to Pickens, which carried fewer than a dozen passengers daily and operated at a loss. The last passenger train between the two towns operated on October 1.
A request to the P.S.C. to abandoned the final passenger train in the region, Nos. 453 and 454, between Buckhannon and Pickens, was requested on June 23, 1958 and granted on October 30.3 The last train operated on November 15.
In 1992, the railroad from Alexander south to Pickens was abandoned due to a lack of originating traffic.3 At Alexander, the remainder of the 15.8-mile line to the B&O (and later CSXT) Cowen Subdivision remained in service.1 On March 25, 2005, the line was leased to Watco Companies and then to Four Rivers Transportation on May 15, 2006.2 3 It became part of the Appalachian & Ohio Railroad (A&O) in March 2005.
The line at Alexander today connects to the Beech Mountain Railroad which services an underground coal mine.[/stag_one_half] [stag_one_half_last]