Alderson, WV (ALD)
Founded by a Baptist frontier missionary in the late 18th century, Alderson later became an important livestock shipping point on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.
1 C&O Plaza on Railroad Avenue
Alderson, WV 24910
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2021): 271
- Facility Ownership: Town of Alderson
- Parking Lot Ownership: Town of Alderson
- Platform Ownership: CSX Transportation / Town of Alderson
- Track Ownership: CSX Transportation
The Alderson station consists of a platform and shelter adjacent to the historic depot. Amtrak began serving the community on April 29, 1979.
The depot was originally built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) in 1896. The one-story wood frame structure is typical of a standard station built on the C&O system between 1890 and 1914. It features board and batten walls, decorative brackets, fancy stick work on the gable ends and deep eaves to protect passengers from inclement weather as they wait outside. There were originally spaces devoted to passengers, baggage and express, as well as a ticket agent’s office. After the neighboring freight building was demolished, the depot was also used for freight services. The railroad enlarged the structure in 1924.
Between 2001 and 2004, the station was closed and the stop removed from Amtrak timetables. During this time, the station underwent many minor renovations; most significantly, it was repainted from white to orange. The building is included in the National Register Alderson Historic District.
Alderson is named after its founder, John Alderson, a Baptist frontier missionary. He organized the first Baptist church in Greenbrier County in 1781, which eventually became Alderson Broaddus College in Phillippi, W. Va. 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 1880s, 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 demolished in 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 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 fence-less compound. The prison serves as the city’s largest employer.
Platform with Shelter
- Quik-Trak kiosks not available
- No ticket sales office
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- Bag storage not available
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- No restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Accessible same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- Wheelchair lift available