The shortest railroad in Virginia, the two-mile long Virginia Central Railway of Fredericksburg is scheduled to resume service today after nearly a month without a train.
The Virginia Central, which serves about a dozen businesses, has been closed down because of the collapse of the company that owned it, Railvest, a Washington box car leasing firm.
Service is to be restored as a result of an agreement worked out between the Virginia Central, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, the City of Fredericksburg and the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Under the agreement the ICC authorized the RF&P to provide emergency service for one year to the Virginia Central's customers, said Fredericksburg city attorney Walter Sheffield.
The RF&P will be leasing the tracks and other facilities of the Virginia Central.
Virginia Central President Joseph E. Keating and officials of the RF&P inspected the tracks yesterday as the final step in a long series of attempts to get the tiny train back on its tracks.
The Virginia Central was purchased from the city of Fredericksburg by Keating's Railvest. The company sold boxcars to wealthy investors and was able to get more income for its boxcar owners by being in the railroad business.
After Railvest collapsed earlier this year. Keating continued to run the railroad, driving the locomotive himself in some cases, in an attempt to keep the line open.
But a month ago the train stopped running because more than $500,000 in debts of Railvest and Virginia Central made it impossible for operations to continue.
The agreement for the RF&P to service the Virginia Central's customers is a temporary one, meant to keep the service going until the railroad's debts can be cleared up. Then it is anticipated that either the RF&P or another company will take over the line.