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West Virginia Railroads, Past and Present

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Kanawha & Michigan Railroad

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NS train on former K&M trackage at Cannelton, WV
C&O bridge at K&M Junction
Bird's eye view of C&O bridge to K&M Junction

In 1892, the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad (K&M), originally chartered in April of 1890, completed its rail line between Point Pleasant, WV (Mason County) and Charleston, WV (Kanawha County). A year later, in 1893, the K&M completed it's an extension of the its rail line to Gauley Bridge, in Fayette County, which provided a transportation link between West Virginia and the Great Lakes region.

The completion of a bridge in 1893 by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) across the New River, at Gauley, provided the K&M a link with the C&O, at K&M Junction, near Gauley Bridge, WV.

In 1910 C&O interests bought control of the Kanawha & Michigan, planning to use the K&M to connect the C&O with the Great Lakes area, but anti-trust laws soon forced the C&O to abandon its K&M interests.

In 1922, the K&M leased its line to the New York Central System (NYC), eventually became a part of the NYC. The NYC expanded the old K&M line with the addition of a branch line to Middle Creek, in Clay County, and another branch line to Swiss, in Nicholas County.


Surviving K&M Structures

The former K&M combination (freight and passenger) station at Gauley Bridge was moved to a new location, and now serves as city hall for the town of Gauley Bridge, WV.

The former K&M freight station in Charleston, WV is now the location of the Capitol Market.

A list of other surviving K&M structures, in Kanawha County, can be found here.

Notes

K&M's predecessor line: Kanawha and Ohio Railroad, reorganized as Kanawha & Michigan in 1893 (?)

K&M was controlled by The Toledo and Ohio Central Railway Company, between 1903 and 1910. (?)

K&M was merged with Toledo & Ohio Central in 1938, and Toledo & Ohio Central was merged with NYC in 1952. (?)


(?) I'm somewhat unsure of the details of these entries. See: timeline of the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad and K&M at Dunbar

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