RAILROADS IN PULASKI COUNTY



By a deed dated February 8, 1856, Robert MARTIN conveyed to the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad Company 15.24 acres of land for railway purposes, and an additional three acres for a depot lot. This lot was located on the south side of what is now Valley Street, at its intersection with Commerce Street; which was formerly called "Railroad Avenue." The first freight depot was located on this lot. The original depot was a very ordinary frame building, planked up and down. Just west of this depot was a railroad water tank, from which Pulaski got its first name -"Martin's Tank". The tank was tended for many years by Ransom Dudley, a one-armed Confederate veteran, who afterwards lost his other arm in a railroad accident.
The first railroad line, the Virginia and Tennessee, was built through Pulaski County between 1853 and l854. Another Norfolk and Western unit which was to play a vital part in the growth and progress of Pulaski County was the New River line. Construction was begun in 1881 and the route from the main line of the Norfolk and Western at New River Depot to the coal deposits at Pocahontas, Virginia, was formally opened for traffic on May 21, 1883.
The Cripple Creek extension also played an important part in the development of Pulaski County. A part of this extension was located in 1882 and construction was begun between Pulaski and Foster Falls in 1883 to 1886. By 1887 and 1888 the road was extended to Ivanhoe. Other branches were built to Speedwell, Cripple Creek and to Fries and Galax. The main line of the Norfolk and Western entered Pulaski County near New River and extended in a northerly direction across the eastern part of the
county. The Bristol line left the main line at New River and passed through the towns of Dublin and Pulaski on its route to Bristol. The Pulaski Branch on North Carolina Extension served the southern end of the county and touched the towns of Draper, Delton and Allisonia. At Allisonia the line divided with one branch extending to Sylvatus in Carroll County , while the principal line went to Ivanhoe, Galax, Fries and Cripple Creek.

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