Fairmont & Clarksburg Electric Railroad

The Fairmont & Clarksburg Electric Railroad, established in the early 20th century, was an electric interurban railway linking Fairmont and Clarksburg, as well as several surrounding communities in West Virginia.


Despite the challenges posed by West Virginia’s mountainous landscape, the state was home to several electric streetcar systems. These were primarily interurban lines, which served as vital connections between cities, rural areas, and coal mining communities. The largest of these networks was operated by the Monongahela West Penn Public Service Company. 2 It featured street railways in the cities of Fairmont and Clarksburg, linked by a main line, and extended branches to Bridgeport, Fairview, Mannington, and Weston. This network not only provided passenger transportation but also managed local freight services.

The Fairmont & Clarksburg Traction Company, established in 1901, aimed to build an electric interurban railroad between Fairmont and Clarksburg in West Virginia. 2 This segment was operational by 1907. 4 Subsequent expansions included the Fairmont & Mannington Railroad in 1910, linking Fairmont and Mannington, and interurban branches from Fairmont to Fairview in 1911 and Clarksburg to Weston in 1913.

In 1912, the Fairmont & Clarksburg Traction Company merged with the Fairmont & Mannington Railroad to form the Monongahela Valley Traction Company. 1 2 4 This expanded network served Bridgeport, Clarksburg, Fairview, Mannington, Weston, Wolf Summit, and Wyatt. By 1914, the company had started offering local freight services, coordinating with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. 1 2

In 1921, reflecting its expansion into the power industry, the company was renamed the Monongahela Power & Railway Company, with interurban operations continuing under its Monongahela Valley Traction Company subsidiary. 3 4 By 1923, 4 the company was under the management of the West Penn Public Service Company and became known as the Monongahela West Penn Public Service Company, a firm with experience in operating interurban systems in southern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and eastern Ohio. 1

A new freight house was built in Fairmont on First Street in 1927. 3 However, the Fairmont to Mannington and Fairmont to Fairview interurban branches were discontinued in 1933, 4 and all freight services ended in 1938. 2

The Monongahela West Penn was acquired by City Lines of West Virginia in 1944. 1 2 By 1947, the remaining interurban network was converted to bus operations. Simultaneously, the power generation division was restructured into the Monongahela Power Company. 3

City Lines of West Virginia operated as an independent, private organization until 1972 when it was integrated into the Central West Virginia Transit Authority, a public transportation system. 5




  1. Burns, Adam. “West Virginia Interurban and Streetcar History.” American-Rails.com, 24 May 2023.
  2. Tanner, Borgon “Streetcar Lines.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, 29 May 2020.
  3. Workman, Michael. “Fairmont, West Virginia: A Historic Industrial Survey.” The Institute for the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology, 22 Mar. 1993, pp. 35-36, 51.
  4. Transit Systems in West Virginia – Historic Interurban Railways.” Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site.
  5. Transit Systems in West Virginia – Major Cities.” Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site.

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