Alderson, West Virginia
1 C&O Plaza on Railroad Avenue Alderson, WV 24910
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||City of Alderson|
|Parking Lot Ownership||City of Alderson|
|10 Long Term Parking Spaces||10 Short Term Parking Spaces|
Local Community Links:
Alderson is a flag stop on the route of the Cardinal and therefore unstaffed . If there is a reservation for a passenger boarding or detraining here, the train will stop. If not, it simply continues through.
This station was originally built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O, succeeded by CSXT) in 1896, and still stands today. Like many stops in West Virginia, the depot was originally built for the C&O’s lucrative coal freight business. Built in the Gothic style, the one-story wood frame station is typical of a standard station built on the C&O system at that time. The decorative brackets, purlin work on the gable ends, and the exposed rafters and roof brackets were all typical of C&O stations from 1890 to 1914. It was enlarged with an addition in 1924. The station also houses a seasonal museum and gift shop. However, the hours seldom coincide with train arrival and departure, so passengers often find shelter under the eaves of the station.
The Alderson station is scheduled to receive a platform information kiosk as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Between 2001 and 2004, the station was closed and was eliminated from Amtrak timetables. During this time, the station underwent many minor renovations. Most significantly, the station was repainted from white to the orange color it is today. Besides these minor touch-ups, the station received very little in the way of structural renovations. Therefore, much of the station still must receive major renovations to be completely ADA-compliant. The station is included in the Alderson Historic District, although it is not itself on the National Register of Historic Places.
Alderson is named after its founder, John Alderson, a Baptist frontier missionary. He eventually organized the first Baptist church in Greenbrier County in 1781, which eventually became Alderson Broaddus College in Phillippi, West Virginia.
By 1877, express shipments of freight through Alderson were the largest in all of West Virginia with the exception of Charleston and Huntington. Large livestock shipment facilities had been constructed in 1876 and by the 1880’s, thousands of sheep and head of cattle were going through per shipment. A side track was constructed for freight loading in 1882, and by 1904, there were 14 freight sidings in Alderson. The freight depot was not demolished until the 1950’s, by which time business through the yard had declined.
The city of Alderson has almost completely transitioned from its history as a railroad town and is now largely a residential community. The retail center is located in the downtown area of the city, located in the heart of the historic district. Recently, the city has seen a boom in real estate, as many people move to the area for its scenic views and impressively maintained historic homes.
Alderson is also home to the historic Federal Reformatory for Women, now known as the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson. In 1927, this was the first correctional institution for women in the United States. During its long history, it has been home to many famous—and infamous—women. Both Martha Stewart, convicted for obstruction of justice, and Billie Holiday, convicted of possession of narcotics, have served terms there. The prison has usually housed those convicted of non-violent and white collar crimes, and is composed of many separate buildings and cottages in a fenceless compound. The prison serves as the city’s largest employer.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or help with baggage at the Alderson station.
Alderson is served by tri-weekly trains.